Demjanjuk conviction hailed as long-awaited victory for justice

John Demjanjuk is wheeled into a Munich courtroom on Nov. 30, 2009 for the first day of his trial. The photo was taken by Sobibor death camp survivor Thomas Blatt. (Thomas Blatt)

BERLIN (JTA) — The guilty verdict pronounced May 12 against John Demjanjuk in a Munich courtroom was a long time coming. Following a trial that lasted a year and a half — capping more than three decades of legal drama — the 91-year-old former Ohio autoworker is now officially… Read more »

In West Bank, Palestinians marking Nakba Day encouraged by Arab Spring in fight against Israel

Stone-throwing Palestinians clash with Israeli troops near the Kalandiya checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem on the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba, May 15, 2011. (Nati Shohat/Flash90/JTA)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (JTA) — Clouds of tear gas hovered over hundreds of rioting Palestinian youths on the road to Jerusalem, where demonstrations marking the anniversary of Israel’s founding 63 years ago turned violent. “I want a third intifada,” said Ala Barghouti, a 21-year-old accounting student, his nostrils stuffed… Read more »

On Independence Day, a reminder about Gilad Shalit

Yoel Shalit, brother of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, is led away by security after interrupting an Idependence Day ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — As Israelis celebrated the country’s 63rd Independence Day, they had much more on their minds than barbecues and fireworks. The carefully crafted theme of the day, “Looking after one another — the year of mutual care,” raised the hackles of some Israelis who do not believe… Read more »

Proposed anti-sharia laws stir concerns that halachah could be next

With conservative lawmakers across the United States trying to outlaw sharia, or Islamic religious law, Jewish organizations are concerned that halachah could be next. If the state legislative initiatives targeting sharia are successful, they would gut a central tenet of American Jewish religious communal life: The ability under U.S.… Read more »

Tucson JCC is on wellness mission for children and teens

Children enjoy the pool at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Larry Haas)

Hearing about the rising incidence of obesity in children makes Mary Burns cringe. Burns, the group fitness coordinator at the Tucson Jewish Community Center is working with other JCC staffers, including children, youth and camping services director Scott Zorn; sports and wellness coordinator/ aquatics supervisor Mindy Grodzki; and sports… Read more »

With community room, Or Chadash can celebrate Shabbat in its own space

Congregation Or Chadash is “the congregation that’s been wandering in the desert forever,” says Cantor Janece Cohen. Not any more. Or Chadash’s May 20 Shabbat service will be held in a new community room on its property at 3939 N. Alvernon Way, which the congregation will use for virtually… Read more »

City council, county supervisors decry state legistature

  A breakfast meeting cosponsored by Hadassah Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Foundation of Southern Arizona, “Views on Recovery and Progress: A Conversation with Tucson City Council Members and Pima County Board of Supervisors,” held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on April… Read more »

Israel 63 Festival on Sunday, May 15 promises dance, food, fun — and democracy

Re-Vital Dance Ensemble will perform its new show, “Hatikvah,” at the Israel 63 Festival on May 15, 2011.

A dance performance by Israel’s acclaimed Re-Vital Dance Ensemble, which played to a standing-room-only crowd here two years ago, will be the climax of Tucson’s Israel 63 Festival, to be held Sunday, May 15 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. But the festival, celebrating… Read more »

New group connects Tucson women across cultures

(L-R) Debi Chess-Mabie, Shelley Lipowich and Maria Rodriguez participate in a Habitat for Humanity build on March 23.

Following the passage of Arizona SB 1070, an anti-illegal immigrant measure that critics say encourages racial profiling of Hispanics, in April 2010, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, considered ways to support Tucson’s Hispanic community, says Brenda Landau, JFSA director of women’s philanthropy… Read more »

Israel debate tricky for Jewish professionals in Tucson, across U.S.

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

The speaker invited then uninvited. The signature on the petition removed. The activity joined, then unjoined. The job threatened. Rabbis and Jewish professionals increasingly are being faced with a dilemma over discussing divisive topics — especially regarding Israel — central to how they see their Jewish missions without losing… Read more »

Wanted: U.S. claimants of Holocaust-era assets in pre-state Israel

In Israel, restituting Holocaust-era assets isn’t just about getting European countries, banks and insurance companies to pay up. It’s also about finding the rightful heirs of thousands of pre-state assets in Israel whose original Jewish owners perished during the Holocaust. These include dormant bank accounts, real estate, bonds and… Read more »

Israel taking Holocaust restitution into its own hands

The Kurt Lindenfeld store in Chemnitz, Germany, seen here in the 1920s, was one of thousands of German Jewish businesses that vanished during the Nazi era. (N.Y. Museum of Jewish Heritage)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Israeli government is firing a new salvo in the turf war over Holocaust restitution. Following years of complaints by survivors about opacity and unjust allocation decisions by the Claims Conference, and after two decades of what critics deride as scant tangible successes by the… Read more »

How should Jews respond to bin Laden’s death?

New Yorkers gather near Ground Zero to celebrate the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed. (Richard via Creative Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- When the news of Osama bin Laden’s death at U.S. hands hit the airwaves Sunday, America breathed a collective sigh of relief. Spontaneous celebrations broke out in front of the White House, as crowds gathered to wave the Stars and Stripes and chant their delight.… Read more »

Israeli leaders, U.S. Jewish groups hail death of bin Laden

(JTA) — Jewish and Israeli leaders welcomed the news that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan. The body of bin Laden, head of the terrorist group al-Qaida and the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks on New York and Washington, was… Read more »

Bin Laden’s killing raises immediate questions of security

Upon hearing the news of Osama bin Laden's death, jubilant crowds packed New York's Times Square in the wee hours of May 1, 2011. (Uri Fintzy)

NEW YORK (JTA) – For years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans waited in fear for the next strike by al-Qaida on U.S. soil.… Read more »