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  • Italian judge: Soccer chants about Jews not hate speech

    ROME (JTA) – An Italian judge ruled that soccer fans chanting a slogan featuring the word “Jews” was not hate speech, sparking an angry response from the Jewish community. In a letter to Italy’s justice minister, Andrea Orlando, the president of the Rome Jewish community, Ruth Dureghello called the ruling earlier this month “undoubtedly an…

  • Milan marchers protest vandalism of ‘stumbling stone’ Holocaust memorial

    ROME (JTA) – A large crowd marched through central Milan as a human chain to protest the defacement of a recently placed “stumbling stone” Holocaust memorial. The marchers Saturday, estimated in the thousands, included Milan’s mayor and Italy’s justice minister. Organized largely on social media, the march led from the Stumbling Stone commemorating Jewish Holocaust…

  • Pope Francis calls for Holocaust remembrance, so ‘human tragedy never happens again’

    ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis said it is important to remember the Holocaust so it never happens again. The pope met Friday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a delegation from the European Jewish Congress. The secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Father Norbert Hofmann, who also attended the meeting, told Vatican…

  • Vandals deface new Milan ‘stumbling stone’ Holocaust memorial

    ROME (JTA) – Vandals defaced one of the “stumbling stone” Holocaust memorials unveiled last week in Milan, covering it with black paint. The vandalism was discovered Saturday by Ornella Coen, the daughter of Dante Coen, the person commemorated by the plaque, who was deported to Auschwitz and then killed at Buchenwald on April 4, 1945. “Stumbling stones,”…

  • Hundreds of runners mark Holocaust in race past Rome Jewish sites

    ROME (JTA) – Hundreds of participants in a road race through downtown Rome commemorated the Holocaust while looking to the future. Dubbed the “Run for Mem,” Sunday’s race was among an array of events on and around International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. The noncompetitive race was organized…

  • Rome road race to commemorate the Holocaust

    ROME (JTA) – A road race passing sites of Holocaust and Jewish remembrance in Rome will highlight events in Italy marking International Holocaust Memorial Day. The “Run for Mem” — short for Run for Remembrance: Looking Ahead — is scheduled for Jan. 22, five days before the observance of International Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary…

  • Milan counter-demonstrators protest ultra-rightwing rally

    ROME (JTA) – Hundreds of people took part in a counter-demonstration in central Milan to protest an ultra-right-wing rally held in another downtown location. The two demonstrations Saturday took place about two miles apart, and no incidents were reported. Local media said the counter-demonstrators greatly outnumbered those at the far-right rally organized by the Forza Nuova movement….

  • Pope Francis and Abbas in Vatican meeting call for direct Israel-Palestinian talks

    ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting at the Vatican called for renewed direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Abbas warned against moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that President-elect Donald Trump has said he intends to make without offering a specific timetable. “If…

  • Jews in Milan object to planned rally by far-right movement

    ROME (JTA) – Italian Jewish leaders warned against a neo-fascist rally planned for Saturday in Milan. In a joint statement, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, and the leaders of the Milan Jewish community called the planned rally by the far-right Forza Nuova movement “a dangerous initiative, promoted…

  • Palermo, Sicily, to get first synagogue in 500 years

    (JTA) – The Roman Catholic Church in Palermo is ceding to Jewish ownership the use of part of a church and monastery complex built atop the ruins of a medieval synagogue. The move is being viewed as a gesture of reconciliation more than 500 years after the expulsion of Jews from Sicily. The church will…