First Read For Aug 10


Minneapolis JCRC reaches out to vandalized mosque

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota has supported affirmed the Muslim community in the wake of an attack on Saturday at a local mosque, JTA reports.

Following the bomb blast at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, in which no one was injured, the JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas said in an ad in the Star Tribune that “the Jewish community affirms its solidarity with the school, mosque, and local Muslim community.”

The attack caused an estimated $95,000 worth of damage.

Glen Campbell, ‘Messianic Jew’

Glen Campbell, the country music star who died this week at 81 from Alzheimer’s disease, was a “Messianic Jew” for the last two decades of his life, JTA reports. He and his wife Kim attended services at a synagogue near their home in Malibu, and they celebrated major Jewish holidays, such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah.

Messianic Judaism combines Jewish traditions with the idea that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah. Some “Messianic Jews” want the movement to be accepted as a branch of Judaism, but mainstream Jewish movements believe the ideology is a contradiction.

In Poland, a Jewish wedding without Jews

A “fake Jewish wedding” was held on Saturday in the Polish village of Radzanów, 80 miles northeast of Warsaw, according to the Times of Israel.

Organized by the Radzanovia Association, a cultural group that promotes Polish heritage, the event featured a few dozen non-Jewish volunteers, men and women, dressed in traditional charedi costumes. Some men wore fake beards and side curls – including ones that didn’t match their natural hair color. The marital “couple” stood under a chupah, where they were “wed” by a fake rabbi in a show before villagers, whom the event’s organizers sought to teach about Jewish traditions.

Teresa Wrońska, an actress from the Jewish Theater in Warsaw, choreographed the entire affair — from the signing of the ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract) to the traditional Jewish music played by a band of locals and musicians from the capital.

Israeli channel fined for excluding non-Orthodox Jews

Israel’s Channel 20 has been fined about $30,000 for failing to give broadcast time to non-Orthodox Jewish groups, Haaretz reports. The fine, imposed by the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting, was preceded by several warnings following complaints on the matter.

The council examined the channel’s broadcasting in April and May of this year following the complaints, and found that there was no coverage at all of Reform or Conservative Judaism. Last month the Reform movement petitioned the High Court of Justice, but the council said it had completed its investigation more than two months before.

Harvey Weinstein to film ‘Mila 18’ novel

Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein is planning to make a version of Leon Uris’ novel “Mila 18” next year, according to Haaretz. The book recounts a fictionalized version of the real-life Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II.

Weinstein announced that he had developed a script for a film adaptation years ago, collaborating with his friend, the Iranian-born writer and director Hossein Amini. Weinstein added that he intended to direct the film himself and that he was “now committed” to making the film.

Israeli boxer wins bronze medal inyouth championship

Israel’s Amit Mdah won a bronze medal this week at the IFMA Youth Muay Thai World Championships in Bangkok after his Palestinian opponent failed to show up for their quarterfinal match-up, the Jerusalem Post reports. Mdah, 16, from the Druze-Arab town of Kisra-Sumei in the western Galilee, was supposed to face Acbag Sultan, a resident of the Ramallah district, but the Palestinian teenager never appeared for their fight.
Mdah eventually ended the age 16-17 under-54 kilogram competition with a bronze medal after losing to Ukrainian Andrii Mezentsev in the semifinals.
The head of the Palestinian Association of Kickboxing and Muay Thai, Muhammad Ahmad Zeidani, told Palestinian news agency Ma’an  that Sultan didn’t face his Israeli opponent “as there has not yet been an official Palestinian decision over whether to face Israeli athletes in any sporting event.”

Endangered Iranian journalist arrives in Israel

Neda Amin, a Turkey-based, Iranian-born blogger for The Times of Israel’s Persian website, arrived safely in Israel yesterday, and was met at Ben-Gurion Airport by Times of Israel editor David Horovitz, the paper reports.

Amin, threatened with imminent deportation by Turkey, had feared that if no other country took her in, she would be sent back to Iran, where she feared for her fate.

After The Times of Israel alerted the Israeli authorities to her plight, government officials immediately responded and paved the way for her safe arrival in Israel.

Amin has blogged regularly for The Times of Israel’s Persian site. ”I felt we had an obligation to ensure her well-being, and I am very grateful to all the Israeli officials to whom I turned for assistance for providing it, immediately,” said Horovitz.