World

60,000 joined a Polish nationalist march. Should Jews be worried?

Some of the tens of thousands of nationalists marching through Warsaw, Nov. 11, 2017. (Jakob Ratz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(JTA) — The sight of far-right activists waving racist banners and shouting anti-Semitic slogans during a nationalist march in the capital of Poland over the weekend shocked many around the world. It was an understandable reaction to witnessing tens of thousands in Warsaw marching near what used to be… Read more »

OP-ED Israel and Africa need each other

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets Liberians upon arriving at the airport in Monrovia, June 4, 2017. (Prime Ministry of Israel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish month that began this week, Cheshvan, has traditionally been dubbed “mar,” or bitter, because it alone among the months is devoid of any holidays. It is time for the Jewish people, and the Jewish calendar, to drop mar from Cheshvan, since it is blessed… Read more »

Copenhagen Jewish museum worth finding

The Dansk Jodisk Museum in Copenhagen has 250 Torah binders dating back to the 1750s. [Mary L. Peachin)

While visiting any new city, following hotel check-in most guests take a moment to look at tour books or “where to go” information the hotel provides. Copenhagen was no different. How would we spend several days? After checking a few restaurant menus, museums, and even a palace, I noticed… Read more »

4 Jewish things you need to know about Catalonia

Independence supporters gather outside the Palau Catalan Regional Government Building in Barcelona, Oct. 30, 2017. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(JTA) — After simmering for decades, national aspirations in the region of Catalonia in northeast Spain plunged that country into a major crisis with far-reaching international implications. The current crisis began earlier this month when federal police clashed with voters over an illegal referendum on independence. But it came… Read more »

Kiev’s American-style JCC gives low-income Jews the millionaire treatment

Children entering the Halom Jewish Community Center in Kiev, Ukraine, Sept. 8, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

KIEV (JTA) — This city of 2.5 million residents may be the capital of one of the poorest countries in the Former Soviet Union, but it offers a dazzling selection of luxury services to those who can afford them. On potholed streets where some elderly people are forced to… Read more »

Europe has a ‘Jewish’ soccer team problem

Feyenoord supporters Monti Ahmed, left, and Sjuul Deriet, right, along with a friend, waiting to enter De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam, Oct. 22, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (JTA) — Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.” “They have the money, they run the business from management positions and they think they’re better than blue-collar people… Read more »

Is it Islamophobic to oppose the mosque next door? London Jews debate the question.

A Jewish man walking in London's Golders Green neighborhood, which is home to a large Jewish population, Sept. 23, 2015. (Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

(JTA) — A plan to open a mosque in a heavily Jewish area of London is dividing British Jews, with some calling the development worrisome and others accusing its opponents of racism. The Islamic center is slated to open next month at the Hippodrome, a former concert hall in the heart… Read more »

‘Stumbling stone’ gives family overdue closure

Tucsonan Bertie Levkowitz-Herz speaks at the installation of a ‘stumbling stone’ honoring her uncle in Groningen, the Netherlands, Aug. 6. (Photo courtesy Bertie Levkowitz-Herz)

Active remembrance can provide an alternative to warfare, and taking pause to acknowledge as well as consider human tragedies may force us to search for peaceful means, says Bertie Levkowitz-Herz.    “You only have losers with war, and killing makes no sense,” she says. “There’s got to be another… Read more »

Barcelona chaos had this Israeli reporter-turned-lawmaker dodging bullets

Police dispersing a crowd in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain, Oct. 1, 2017. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Seeing armed police in riot gear outside a school in Barcelona, the Israeli lawmaker Ksenia Svetlova felt the instincts kick in from her days as a Middle East reporter for Russian-language media. “One look was enough to see these officers were preparing for something bad,” said Svetlova, a… Read more »

JDC responds to Mexican earthquake, continues hurricane relief efforts

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is responding to the devastating 7.1 earthquake in Central Mexico, immediately supporting the search, rescue, and emergency aid efforts of CADENA, its Mexican Jewish humanitarian partner, in hard-hit Mexico City. This work, as well as the tracking of Hurricane Maria’s impending impact in… Read more »

Leftist Jewish youth groups in Rio boycott Israeli folk dance festival

Jewish youths dancing at the Hebraica in Rio de Janeiro. (Courtesy of Hebraica Rio)

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Three leftist Jewish youth movements have refused to attend Brazil’s longest running Israeli dance festival in retaliation for a lecture given by a right-wing politician at a mainstream Jewish center five months ago. Chazit Hanoar, Habonim Dror and Hashomer Hatzair say their unprecedented boycott… Read more »

In the Ukrainian city of Uman, businesses and mobsters follow the Jewish pilgrims

Pilgrims to Uman praying at the grave of Rebbe Nachman, Sept. 7, 2013. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

UMAN, Ukraine (JTA) — By selling coffee to Jewish tourists, 18-year-old Yuri Breskov can earn in a week more than his teachers from high school make annually in this provincial city. His revenues peak at $3,000 on the week of Rosh Hashanah, when some 30,000 Israelis and other Jews visit… Read more »

The top 10 moments that mattered to Jews in 5777

(JTA) — This Jewish year was not a quiet one, to say the least. From the tumultuous first eight months of Donald Trump’s presidency, to a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers, to a neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville that turned violent, to the twin weather catastrophes of… Read more »

11 inspiring Jews who died in 5777

(JTA) — It’s always difficult to whittle down the list of influential Jews who died in a given year, but this year the task seemed to be especially tough. The number of Jews who left historic marks on their fields — and, more broadly, on Jewish culture — was… Read more »

Does Berlin’s mayor belong on Wiesenthal Center’s top 10 list for anti-Semitism? Local leaders say no.

Berlin Mayor Michael Muller, right, speaks with Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal in Berlin, July 19, 2017. (Matthias Nareyek/Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Berlin’s mayor, many local Jewish leaders agree, could do more to counter the city’s vocal BDS movement. But does that make him an anti-Semite? A report that the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center may include Mayor Michael Müller on its annual list of the world’s 10 worst cases… Read more »

A century ago, Jewish Salonica burned. It was rebuilt, only to be destroyed anew.

Destruction after the great fire in Salonica, Greece, Sept. 4, 1917. (Photo 12/ UIG via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Exactly a century ago, on Aug. 18, 1917, a massive fire roared through the Mediterranean port city of Salonica, Greece, then home to the largest and most dynamic Ladino-speaking Sephardi Jewish community in the world. According to local legend, the fire erupted one Sabbath afternoon amid World… Read more »

FIRST PERSON I talked to the ‘anti-Semitic’ Swiss hotel owner. It’s more complicated than you think.

The Paradise Apartments hotel in Arosa, near Zurich, Switzerland. (Courtesy of Paradise Apartments hotel)

(JTA) — A chuckle tickled my throat as Ruth Thomann, a Swiss hotelier who posted signs urging her “Jewish guests” to shower before entering the pool, assured me that she has “nothing against Jews.” To be clear, I don’t find racism particularly amusing, especially not these days. But there… Read more »

Following terrorist attack, Barcelona’s chief rabbi says his community is doomed

Police officers patrol Las Ramblas avenue in Barcelona a day after the car-ramming terrorist attack in the Spanish city, Aug. 18, 2017. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Commenting on deadly attacks in Catalonia, the chief rabbi of that region in Spain said his community is doomed, partly because of radical Islam and the alleged reluctance of authorities to confront it. Rabbi Meir Bar-Hen has been encouraging his congregants to leave Spain, which he called… Read more »