A famed French-Jewish philosopher is afraid to leave his home

Pessimistic questions have become a trademark of Alain Finkielkraut's writing. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

PARIS (JTA) — As a French celebrity philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut belongs to a tiny group of VIPs who get to lead normal, paparazzi-free lives despite having film star-like recognizability here. Unlike most countries, France makes celebrities out of intellectual heroes. They’re revered, quoted and featured regularly on primetime television… Read more »

When young Israelis move to Germany or Austria, it’s a hard pill for their families to swallow

Dan Peled, center, with his father, Gidi, and grandmother Lea. Peled is a main subject of "Back to the Fatherland," a documentary on Israelis moving back to Germany and Austria. (First Run Features)

(JTA) — On the surface, Gil Levanon and Kat Rohrer seem unlikely friends. Levanon is an Israeli, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. Rohrer, an Austrian, is the granddaughter of an avowed Nazi officer. If their friendship seems a little odd, their collaboration on the documentary “Back to the… Read more »

Officials alarmed by anti-Semitic assaults in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentinean and international Jewish organizations are demanding action from local and regional authorities amid recent violent anti-Semitic attacks in the country. The Argentinean Jewish political umbrella DAIA labeled Sunday’s attack on Rabbi Shlomo Tawil in Rosario as “brutal anti-Semitic aggression” and demanded an investigation into the… Read more »

Drowning out jeers, Polish soccer fans applaud Israeli anthem

(JTA) — Thousands of Polish soccer fans attending a match in Warsaw between their national team and Israel’s applauded during the playing of the Jewish state’s anthem. “Hatikvah” was played just before “Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” on Tuesday ahead of the match, which ended with Poland winning 4-0. When some fans… Read more »

Jews abroad support a Cambodian man’s commitment to his fellow orphans

Arun Sothea runs an orphanage in Cambodia with the help of Jewish charities. Here he is shown dispensing supplies to girls in his village of Phum Thom. (Courtesy of Sothea)

PHUM THOM, Cambodia (JTA) — Arun Sothea is a slight, soft-spoken man. He speaks both casually and simply when discussing the horrors of his past — as well the triumphs of his present — both of which have taken place in his childhood home of Phum Thom. The Khmer… Read more »

Rabbi attacked in central Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — A rabbi in Rosario, the third most populous city in Argentina, was verbally and physically attacked in violence that has been characterized as anti-Semitic. Rabbi Shlomo Tawil, of the local Chabad-Lubavitch organization, was attacked Sunday night by three men in the city center of… Read more »

Former Italian synagogue sees 1st Jewish wedding in centuries

(JTA) — An Italian couple whose ancestors were forced to hide their faith got married atop the ruins of an ancient synagogue, giving the site its first Jewish wedding in centuries. Roque Pugliese and Ivana Pezzoli tied the knot earlier this week in the presence of about 100 guests,… Read more »

Organization of American States to adopt International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism

(JTA) — The Organization of American States will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism, the group’s head said. OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro’s announcement June 4 in Washington makes him the first Latin American leader to do so. He also called Hezbollah “a terrorist organization”… Read more »

7 Jewish fun facts about the 2019 Women’s World Cup

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 26: The full roster for the United States Women's National Team that is heading to France for the 2019 World Cup just after the International Friendly match the U.S. Women's National Team and Mexico as part of the Send Off Series prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup at Red Bull Arena on May 26 2019 in Harrison, NJ,USA. The United States won the match with a score of 3 to 0. USA. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

(JTA) — There aren’t any Jewish players that we know of at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, which runs from June 7 to July 7 in France. The top-ranked U.S. team is looking to win its second Cup in a row and fourth all time. But there are… Read more »

Southern Arizona racer to vie for gold at Maccabi Pan Am Games in Mexico

David Tannenbaum at the 2018 Three Bears time trial in Eloy, Arizona. [Sam Almesfer)

David Tannenbaum has proven that riding a bicycle is indeed “like riding a bicycle.” After 23 years out of the saddle, Tannenbaum entered the 2014 annual Cochise County Cycling Classic in Douglas, Arizona, and pedaled 27 miles to second place in one hour and 20 minutes. He’s been riding… Read more »

The son of Holocaust hero Chiune Sugihara is setting the record straight about his father’s story

Nobuki Sugihara, second from left with Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler and villagers from Mir, Belarus on May 2, 2019. (Boris Brumin)

(JTA) — After decades of relative obscurity, the tale of the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara has become one of the best-known Holocaust rescue stories, rivaling those of Oskar Schindler and Irena Sendler. The late Sugihara, who issued thousands of life-saving visas to Jewish refugees in Lithuania in defiance of… Read more »

5 years after the Ukrainian revolution, Jews there say it was a mixed blessing

Participants in the March of Dignity gather in Kiev's Maidan Independence Square for ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan Revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovic, Feb. 22, 2015. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Walking on the scorched and scarred sidewalks of this capital city’s main square five years ago, Eduard Dolinsky felt hopeful and proud. A member of Kiev’s large Jewish population and a longtime activist for its communal causes, Dolinsky had hoped that the bloody street fights… Read more »

Who are the Jews of Ukraine?

Children play musical instruments during the celebration of Hanukkah at the Kharkiv Choral Synagogue, in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, Dec. 5, 2018. (Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Jews have lived in Ukraine for such a long time that their arrival here predates even the first recorded use of the country’s name. Starting in the ninth century, Jews began settling between Uzhgorod and Lugansk — respectively the westernmost and easternmost cities of what… Read more »

Israeli man, 65, indicted for spitting on Polish ambassador

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A 65-year-old Israeli man has been indicted for banging on the roof of the car of Polish Ambassador Marek Magierowski and spitting at him. According to the indictment filed Thursday by police with the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court, Arik Lederman of Herzliya stood in the middle… Read more »

How Venezuela’s remaining Jews are hanging on amid the crisis

Students argue with police officers during a rally in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido and against Nicolas Maduro at Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela, May 2, 2019. (Edilzon Gamez/Getty Images)

(JTA) — One night years ago, when a Jewish man was driving to his parents’ house in Caracas, Venezuela, two cars blocked off the street he was on and held him up at gunpoint. He got into their car and began answering questions: who he was, where he lived,… Read more »