World

Ukraine’s next president is a Jewish comedianc

(JTA) — If official exit polls from Ukraine’s presidential elections are to be believed, that country is set to become the only one in the world besides Israel whose president and prime minister are both Jewish. Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky’s dramatic lead in exit polls Sunday — in many of… Read more »

Notre-Dame will be rebuilt – but most European Jewish sites never will be

A Star of David stands in the Nozyk Synagogue, Warsaw's only surviving synagogue from before World War II and located in the city's former ghetto, April 12, 2018 (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BUDAPEST (JTA) – Architecture and built heritage can be powerful symbols. Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most famous and familiar buildings in the world, visited by an astonishing 30,000 people a day, or 13 million people a year. It is embedded in global collective consciousness and immortalized around the… Read more »

Despite Brexit woes, Theresa May is a hero to many British Jews

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at a United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner in London, Sept. 17, 2018. (Peter Nicholls/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — As the United Kingdom’s political establishment continues its tailspin over Brexit, little can be said with certainty about either’s future. All bets are off as Prime Minister Theresa May, whose own survivability in office seems increasingly doubtful, continues a desperate balancing act meant to satisfy her own coalition’s many… Read more »

An indigenous and Jewish photographer wants to tell her people’s story before it’s too late

In “An Exploration of Resilience and Resistance,” Kali Spitzer photographed indigenous and mixed race women and gender non-conforming people. (Kali Spitzer)In “An Exploration of Resilience and Resistance,” Kali Spitzer photographed indigenous and mixed race women and gender non-conforming people. (Kali Spitzer)

(JTA) — At the age of 20, Kali Spitzer left her home in Victoria, British Columbia, to travel north and immerse herself in the culture of her father, who is a member of the Kaska Dena, a First Nations people native to Canada. For around seven months, she lived… Read more »

This new town will be the first fully inclusive community in Israel

Ayala, 11, a student with a cognitive disability, communicates via a computer screen with her teacher, Rivka Dimant, in a school at Aleh Negev, a campus for Israelis with disabilities, Oct. 25, 2018. (Ben Sales)

OFAKIM, Israel (JTA) — Ayala’s eyes darted around the screen, choosing words and pictures as her teacher asked her rapid-fire questions. Ayala, 11, has a cognitive disability that prevents her from speaking. But she can communicate thanks to a screen that reads her eye movements and transmits answers to… Read more »

Billionaire German family to make amends for company’s Nazi past

BERLIN (JTA) — One of Germany’s wealthiest families said it will make amends for its company’s Nazi past. In a spectacular announcement, the Reimann family, worth about $37 billion and the second richest in Germany, announced that new research had shown that the company’s Nazi-era directors, Albert Reimann and… Read more »

Jewish journalist’s Purim prank about fleeing anti-Semitism shocks Holland

Esther Voet is the editor in chief of the Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad. (Courtesy of NIW)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The Netherlands’ main Jewish weekly is the kingdom’s oldest commercial magazine and one of its most reputable publications. Which is why many Dutch were shocked to read a column Tuesday by its editor announcing that she is leaving for Israel because of rising anti-Semitism here. “I am… Read more »

Holocaust denier picked as congressional candidate in Spain

(JTA) — A far-right party in Spain has nominated a Holocaust denier as a congressional candidate. Vox tapped Fernando Paz, a historian, this week to run in the city of Albacete, in the central part of the country, in the April 28 national elections for parliament, the Libertad Digital… Read more »

Brexit is pushing Jews to seek passports from countries that persecuted their ancestors

The Association of Jewish Refugees' Michael Newman, right, and British politician John Attlee in London Nov. 21, 2018. (Courtesy of AJR)

(JTA) — Portugal used to be little more than a sunny holiday destination to Adam Perry, a 46-year-old Londoner who works in procurement. But following the United Kingdom’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, Perry, who is a Sephardic Jew, applied for citizenship in the Iberian nation. Since… Read more »

New Zealand Jews ‘sickened’ by mosque shootings that killed 49

(JTA) — Jewish groups from New Zealand and beyond expressed their horror at the slaying of at least 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch Friday. The New Zealand Jewish Council is ”sickened and devastated” by the attacks, in which at least one armed individual killed dozens of people… Read more »

On this Spanish island, Purim used to be the biggest holiday for persecuted Jews

Members of the Jewish community of Mallorca, Spain, attend a Tu b'Shvat picnic, Feb. 10, 2019. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (JTA) — On this island south of Barcelona, Jews celebrate Purim these days pretty much as they do most anywhere else in Europe. There’s the reading of the Book of Esther at the small synagogue near the marina, followed by a costume party bringing together… Read more »

A Jewish comedian is the front-runner in Ukraine’s presidential vote

(JTA) — Ukraine’s presidential elections is shaping up to be a case of life imitating art. The leading candidate in the March 31 vote is Volodymyr Zelensky, a Ukrainian-Jewish comedian who portrays a history teacher turned president in his hit television show “Servant of the People.” Polls conducted throughout… Read more »

Belgium Jewish museum killer sentenced to life in prison

(JTA) — The French Muslim extremist convicted of murdering four people in a terrorist attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in 2014 was sentenced to life in prison. Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, was convicted last week for the 2014 attack that left four dead, including two Israeli tourists. He… Read more »