News of note: November 10, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic headlines and post-election analyses, it’s easy to lose sight of just about everything else. But the Jewish world keeps turning. Here are recent Jewish stories from around the globe, selected by the AJP editorial team.

  1. Jonathan Sacks, former UK chief rabbi and Jewish intellectual giant dies at 72

Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, died Nov.7 at age 72. The prolific author and commentator was among the world’s leading exponents of Judaism for a global audience.

  1. Four 1,000-year-old gold coins unearthed near Jerusalem’s Western Wall

The coins were discovered by the Antiquities Authority inside a small container, or juglet, and date to between 940 and 970 C.E., the Early Islamic Period.

  1. Portugal naturalizes 23,000 applicants under Jewish law of return

This law was enacted in 2015 to grant citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews. Thus far, the Portuguese government has approved 30% of applications submitted since the law went into effect.

  1. Saeb Erekat, longtime Palestinian peace negotiator, dies of the coronavirus

The often acerbic Erekat forged close relationships with his Israeli counterparts and never gave up hope for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  1. As popularity of Yiddish skyrockets, Knesset launches Yiddish initiative

A group of Knesset members is lobbying for Israel to take responsibility for preserving Yiddish as a national language. You can read the article from The Forward in English or in Yiddish.

  1. Number of Jews in Europe falls to 1,000-year low

The number of people who identify as Jews in Europe has fallen to a new low – 1.3 million, according to a new report from the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research. To read JPR’s full report, go here:  Jews in Europe at the turn of the millennium

  1. Let There Be Light: 2020 Kristallnacht Commemoration

Video from the International March of the Living marks the 82nd anniversary of The Night of Broken Glass, which historians cite as the beginning of the Holocaust.