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  • Warsaw rabbis quits, highlighting Jewish growing pains

    WARSAW, Nov. 17 (JTA) — Citing irreconcilable differences with the lay leaders who hired him, Rabbi Baruch Rabinowicz has tendered his resignation as rabbi of Warsaw only six months into his two-year contract. His decision focuses light on tensions within the emerging Jewish community in Poland and demonstrates the growing pains of the Jewish revival…

  • Romanian Jews try to prevent extinction

    BUCHAREST, Romania, Nov. 8 (JTA) — Romania’s Jewish leaders have approved an ambitious program of youth and leadership development as a belated, last-ditch effort to prevent the extinction of Romanian Jewry. “We now are at the last moment in which we can do something,” warned Tibor Kovari, coordinator of Talmud Torah education around the country….

  • European leaders embrace Jewish revival

    WARSAW, Oct. 24 (JTA) — For European leaders, the recent inauguration of three Jewish schools in Central Europe symbolizes far more than a Jewish revival. They also reflect hopes for a return to normalcy in the heart of Europe more than half a century after the Holocaust — and 10 years after the fall of…

  • Descendants of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators reflect on the legacy

    VIENNA, Sept. 1 (JTA) — On the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, children and grandchildren of both Holocaust survivors and the perpetrators of the Shoah opened a three-day conference to discuss the troubling legacy of memory. “The aim is to create a forum in which dialogue and communication between survivors and…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Jews rejoice at dedication of Torah given by U.S. shul to Auschwitz town

    BUDAPEST, Aug. 31 (JTA) — Almost 60 years to the day after the outbreak of World War II, the shofar sounded and Jews danced with the Torah in the southern Polish town where the Auschwitz death camp was located. The occasion was an emotional ceremony in Oswiecim on Monday that combined joy, tears, memory and…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Venice cemetery, a treasure of Jewish heritage, restored

    VENICE, Italy, Aug. 31 (JTA) — One of the oldest and historically most important Jewish cemeteries in Europe is reopening as a cultural monument after having languished virtually abandoned for centuries. Just after the High Holidays, Venice’s historic Old Jewish cemetery will be formally opened to the public, following an intensive, year-and-a-half-long restoration and conservation…

  • Israeli Philharmonic members shock Sardinia by baring shirts

    ROME, Aug. 17 (JTA) — Members of the Israeli Philharmonic shocked concert-goers in Sardinia when they took off their black tuxedo jackets and performed the second half of their concert in shirtsleeves because of the heat. Italian newspapers quoted Philharmonic director Zubin Mehta as saying he didn’t approve of this weekend’s breach in protocol, but…

  • Jewish sites in U.S. behind Europe in security against terrorist attacks

    ROME, Aug. 15 (JTA) — Armed police stand guard 24 hours a day outside the main synagogues in Rome and Vienna. Worshipers in Rome and Milan must have their bags searched before entering synagogue for High Holiday services. Visitors to Budapest’s main synagogue and Jewish museum — and also to Jewish community offices in the…

  • Europe promotes its Jewish sites by opening their doors on Aug. 29

    ROME, Aug. 12 (JTA) — An unused, 18th-century synagogue in the northern Italian town of Cherasco, whose elegant canopied bimah features gilded carving, painted decoration and slim spiral columns. A 13th-century mikvah in the heart of Strasbourg, France, and a former synagogue in nearby Pfaffenhoffen that dates back 200 years. One-time synagogues in the Spanish…

  • TEN YEARS AFTER THE WALL Whether remnant or renaissance, European Jewry is redefining itself

    ROME, Aug. 5 (JTA) — A decade ago, the Jewish communities in Communist-dominated Eastern and Central Europe were generally written off as dying remnants of the pre-Holocaust past. Forty years of communist restrictions — and decades more than that in what was then the Soviet Union — had compounded the devastation of the Shoah. Most…