World

Hillel International introduces Broadway Kol Nidre

This Sunday evening, Jews around the world will chant the Kol Nidre, the ancient Aramaic incantation repeated three times at the Yom Kippur evening ceremony. Hillel International, embracing the diversity of Jewish tradition, is sharing three distinct versions as part of its Higher Holidays program: A dramatized reading in… Read more »

How an annual religious pilgrimage created a year-round Jewish community in Uman, Ukraine

Jews pray on a street near the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman, Ukraine, Sept. 20, 2006. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Before deciding to stay permanently, Chaim Chazin would visit the small city of Uman, Ukraine, every year around Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. For Chazin, a religiously observant music producer from Israel, the brief annual visits were energizing spiritual experiences away from money troubles back home.… Read more »

Locals in Uman, Ukraine scuffle with Jewish pilgrims

(JTA) — Residents of Uman, Ukraine, scuffled with Orthodox Jews who were seeking to enter a building in the city that is the site of an annual  Jewish pilgrimage. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday by Sergiy Alekseev, a city council member representing the far-right Svoboda party, several… Read more »

Jewish woman celebrates 111th birthday under lockdown in South Africa

(JTA) — Only one person has ever officially fulfilled the traditional Jewish birthday blessing of living “until 120,” but Rosalie Wolpe from South Africa is well on her way. Wolpe celebrated her 111th birthday last week at her Cape Town retirement facility, Highlands House Home for Jewish Aged, with… Read more »

Austria will allow descendants of Holocaust victims to receive citizenship

(JTA) — Austria will allow the descendants of Holocaust victims to receive citizenship beginning Sept. 1, the country’s embassy in Israel announced Sunday. Before an amendment to Austria’s citizenship law ratified last September, only survivors were entitled to receive citizenship, and then only if they left Austria due to… Read more »

Uzbekistan Jews fight to save 124-year-old synagogue from demolition

(JTA) — A construction firm in Uzbekistan is attempting to have a 124-year-old synagogue demolished to make way for a luxury apartment complex, according to a Russian-Jewish publication. Absolute Business Trade, a company based in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, earlier this year sued the Jewish Ashkenazi Community of… Read more »

Holocaust survivors launch campaign to fight Holocaust denial on Facebook

BERLIN (JTA) – Joining a growing chorus of critical voices, Holocaust survivors have launched an international online campaign criticizing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that is aimed at countering Holocaust denial on his social media platform. Starting Wednesday, a campaign sponsored by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany… Read more »

A holiday marking one societal rupture, Tisha B’Av spurs Jewish creativity amid another

Daniel Olson's "Coronavirus Eli Tziyon" includes laments for frontline workers and those who have fallen ill. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — For many observant Jews, the mourning over the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem on the fast of Tisha B’Av actually begins three weeks earlier with the onset of a period of mourning during which it’s customary to avoid joyful activities like weddings and music.… Read more »

In significant meetings with Jewish leaders, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez condemns the AMIA bombing

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, right, met with the head of the AMIA Jewish group and the father of an AMIA bombing victim in Buenos Aires, July 14, 2020. (Courtesy of AMIA)

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — In the days before the 26th anniversary of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center bombing that killed 85 in 1994, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has conveyed to Jewish leaders his desire to end the decades-long legal case that followed the attack, which has been complicated… Read more »

How a Holocaust survivor’s book helped this Rohingyan refugee survive brutal detention

Jaivet Ealom is now a political science student at the University of Toronto. (Cole Burston)

This story originally appeared on Alma. Jaivet Ealom is the only known person to have ever escaped the notoriously brutal Australian-run refugee detention center on Manus Island. As a Rohingyan refugee fleeing Myanmar’s campaign of genocide, Jaivet found himself imprisoned on the remote island near Papua New Guinea for three… Read more »

This French town is known for saving Jews during WWII. It just elected a far-right mayor who has been accused of anti-Semitism.

Children sing at the inauguration of an avenue named for the Righteous Among the Nations in Moissac, France, April 28, 2013. (Courtesy of Moissac, ville de Justes oubliée)

(JTA) — The municipal council of Moissac sometimes calls its placid French town overlooking the Tarn River, near Toulouse, “the city of the Righteous Among the Nations.” It’s a reference to how hundreds of locals during the Holocaust helped resistance activists rescue about 500 Jewish children — an occurrence that… Read more »

Brazil’s president has COVID-19 and the country is a coronavirus hot spot. Here’s how Rio Jews are adapting to the pandemic.

An aerial view of Flamengo Park in Rio de Janeiro, July 5, 2020. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The bombshell news on Tuesday was ironic for some — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, one of the world leaders who has most staunchly downplayed the potential of the coronavirus pandemic, had contracted the virus. Despite his ardent support of Israel, Bolsonaro’s tempered rhetoric on… Read more »

After World War II, there were 100 Jews left in Frankfurt, Germany. Today, the community has a potent voice.

A view of the Frankfurt skyline, May 8, 2020. (Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

BERLIN (JTA) — There were approximately 30,000 Jews in the city of Frankfurt before World War II, making it the largest community in Germany. By the time the U.S. military occupied the city in 1945, there were only about 100 left. “Jewish life was destroyed,” said Tobias Freimuller, author… Read more »