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  • New radio show in Italy plays international Jewish melodies

    MILAN, Italy, June 22 (JTA) — Francesco Spagnolo was selecting music for his prime-time program on Radio Popolare, one of Italy’s foremost independent radio stations. “I want the show this week to be about ghettos,” the bearded 28-year-old said. He considered the possibilities. Classical music that was composed in the World War II ghetto of…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD [Part 1] Serbia’s Jews skirt politics, hoping for improved situatio

    BELGRADE, Jan. 20 (JTA) — At 5 o’clock on a recent Friday evening, a score of Jews gathered in Belgrade’s synagogue for Shabbat services. At the door, one man reached into his pocket and showed a friend a handful of badges bearing slogans from the mass street demonstrations that have been sweeping Belgrade on a…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Polish Jews aim to overcome discord in building community

    WARSAW, Feb. 2 (JTA) — A joke told by Polish Jews describes how if the last remaining Jew leaves town, 20 other Jews go to the station to bid him goodbye. Two speakers at a recent conference of Polish Jews referred pointedly to that joke when describing the current situation of Jews in Poland. The…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD [Part 1] Croatian government strives to revamp relations with Jews

    ZAGREB, Croatia, Dec. 17 (JTA) — On the first night of Chanukah, Ognjen Kraus, the president of Croatia’s 2,000-member Jewish community, took the stage of Zagreb’s modern Lisinski concert hall and lit the candles on a 3-foot-tall menorah. With television cameras trained on him, Kraus recited the Chanukah blessings in Hebrew before an audience that…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD [Part 2] Israel’s first envoy to Belgrade in 30 years cheerful about

    BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, Jan. 21 (JTA) — The new Israeli Embassy in Belgrade is, for the time being, an eighth-floor suite at the end of a long corridor in the Intercontinental Hotel. But Ambassador David Sasson, the first Israeli ambassador to Yugoslavia since Belgrade cut ties after the 1967 Six-Day War, is looking for a more…

  • Polish priest faces charges of slandering Jews in sermon

    WARSAW, Jan. 28 (JTA) — Controversial right-wing Polish priest Henryk Jankowski has made another anti-Semitic sermon in his church in the northern city of Gdansk. His comments, reported by the Polish news agency PAP, came less than a week after he was formally charged with slandering Jews in an earlier sermon. On Sunday, in a…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD [Part 2] Croatian Jewish community faces challenges to survival

    ZAGREB, Croatia, Dec. 17 (JTA) — Croatia’s Jews observed Chanukah this year by celebrating the 190th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish community here in the Croatian capital. The Festival of Lights is a perfect example of the “ever- renewed miracle of the survival of the Jewish people, their resilience, optimism and courage,” Paris-based…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD [Part 3] Vibrant Serbian community enjoying Jewish resurgence

    BELGRADE, Jan. 23 (JTA) — Last summer, crisis-ridden Belgrade was the scene of a particularly joyous simcha. Two young members of the Belgrade Jewish community celebrated their wedding in the city’s sole synagogue. It was the first full-scale, traditional synagogue wedding in the city in many years. “You start a new life when you get…

  • Upscale kosher restaurant thrives in Prague’s Old Town

    PRAGUE, April 8 (JTA) — “You know what makes me happy?” says restauranteur Amos Fellah. “It’s when someone who has eaten dinner upstairs asks for an after- dinner espresso with milk in it — and then I have to explain to him why he can’t.” Fellah, a 29-year-old Israeli, is the manager of Metzada, a…

  • Budapest university lectures on Judaism draw large crowds

    BUDAPEST, April 24 (JTA) — A two-month Jewish lecture series at the Budapest-based Central European University has drawn enthusiastic audiences and has bolstered efforts to develop a broader Jewish studies presence at the school. Entitled “Jews in Central European Societies,” the series ran from early February to mid-April and was open to students, faculty and…