World

Six decades later, fibbing ex-flying ace really sees the London Olympics

Mitchell Flint standing in front of his P51 Mustang fighter plane in Israel in 1948. (Courtesy Tom Tugend)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — After a 64-year detour, Mitchell Flint, a former fighter pilot for the United States and Israel, has finally landed for the London Olympic Games. In the summer of 1948, Flint, with a four-year wartime stint as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot in the Pacific under… Read more »

Aly Raisman leads U.S. to gymnastics team gold

Alexandra "Aly" Raisman performing a leap on the balance beam at the 2010 World Championships. (John Cheng)

(JTA) — Aly Raisman, a Jewish American, won the floor exercise in helping the U.S. women’s team to the gold medal in the gymnastics competition at the London Olympics. The Americans on Tuesday won their first team gold medal in women’s gymnastics since the Atlanta Games in 1996,  finishing… Read more »

LONDON OLYMPICS: Australia’s Steven Solomon takes fast track to Olympics

Sprinter Steven Solomon, the only Jewish member of the Australian Olympic team, playing for the Australian junior soccer team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel. (Peter Haskin)

SYDNEY (JTA) — Moments after Steven Solomon walked into Ramat Gan Stadium for the opening of the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel, the Australian teenager sent his parents a photo with a message describing how amazing it was to be at his first “Jewish Olympics.” On July 27, Solomon,… Read more »

SUMMER OLYMPICS: With special prayers and kosher food, Jewish London embracing Olympic spirit

Leslie Lyndon, former cantor of the Masorti New North London Synagogue, carrying the Olympic torch in London, July 25, 2012. (Ian Ellis)

LONDON (JTA) — For Leslie Lyndon and the London Jewish community, it was a minor miracle. When Lyndon carried the Olympic torch through a north London neighborhood last week, it was more than representative of how Jewish Londoners have embraced the Olympic spirit. This was five years since Lyndon,… Read more »

Strangers to hate crimes, Bulgarian Jews reeling from Burgas bombing

Israeli ZAKA emergency rescue team examining the remains of the bus at the scene of the terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, July 19, 2012. (Dano Monkotovic/FLASH90/JTA)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (JTA) — Until this week, leaders of Bulgaria’s small, generally placid Jewish community said felt untouched by hate crimes or terrorism. But after Wednesday’s apparent suicide bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the Black Sea city of Borgas, Jews in the country are speaking of… Read more »

Deadly Bulgaria attack survivors recall chaos, tragedy

Survivors of the terror attack on the Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, returning to Israel with the help of the Israeli Air Force, July 19, 2012. (Yossi Zeliger/FLASH90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Vered Kuza was standing with her daughter, Amit, on an airport shuttle bus at Sarafovo International Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, when she suddenly heard a blast. “It’s an attack!” Kuza, 54, shouted at Amit, 26. “We need to get out of here!” She pushed her… Read more »

As London’s Jews prepare for Olympics, Munich 11 on their minds

The Tower Bridge in London, decorated with the five Olympic rings in preparation for the 2012 Summer Games, June 2012. (Iain Farrell via CC)

LONDON (JTA) — For the British Jewish community, the most memorable moment of the London Olympics may be a somber one. On Aug. 6, several hundred people are expected to attend a commemoration for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics.… Read more »

Germany’s Jewish patriots find a home in the military

Michael Fuerst enlisted in the Bundeswehr, West Germany’s armed forces paratroopers unit, in 1966. (Photo courtesy Michael Fuerst)

In an office amid a labyrinth of hallways in Germany’s Ministry of Defense, a short jaunt from where Claus von Stauffenberg was executed in 1944 for trying to kill Adolf Hitler, sits Bernhard Fischer, lieutenant colonel and Jew. What’s a nice Jewish guy doing in a place like this?… Read more »

Peter Singer: ‘World’s most dangerous man’ or hero of morality?

Peter Singer speaking at a Veritas Forum event on the Massachusetts Institute of technology campus, March 2009. (Joel Travis Sage via CC)

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — He’s been brandished “the most dangerous man on earth,” accused of being a “public advocate of genocide” and likened to Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi “Angel of Death.” Yet he’s also been hailed as “one of the world’s 100 most influential people” and “among the… Read more »

German plans for ‘Mein Kampf’ excerpts in schools seen as a way to demystify Hitler tome

Students from the St. Ursula-Schule, a Catholic high school in Germany, view facsimiles of ads for Hitler's "Mein Kampf" at the House of the Wannsee Conference in Potsdam, site of the planning of the Final Solution. (Toby Axelrod)

BERLIN (JTA) –- Does “Mein Kampf” belong in German high schools? With Adolf Hitler’s book due to come out of wraps here in 2015, freed after decades under copyright protection that prevented its publication in Germany, it’s a question that is being debated in classrooms and on German TV… Read more »

Athens’ Jewish school, the community’s jewel, imperiled by Greek economic crisis

Kindergarten students in yellow caps run out into the school yard to rehearse for their end of year concert at the Athens Jewish Community School. (Gavin Rabinowitz/JTA)

ATHENS, Greece (JTA) – When the bell rang, the sixth-graders who had been playing basketball rushed off to a computer class. Their place in the yard at Athens’ Jewish Community School was taken by two dozen giggling 4- and 5-year -olds practicing dance steps for the year-end concert. “One,… Read more »

Australia’s poor record prosecuting Nazis highlighted by pending Karoly Zentai case

Marika Weinberger, a Holocaust survivor and former president of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants. (Henry Benjamin)

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — When Australia’s highest court soon rules on whether the 90-year-old Karoly “Charles” Zentai should be extradited to Hungary, it likely will be passing judgment on the last known Nazi war criminal suspect residing in the country. The pending end of the drawn out legal proceedings is… Read more »

Bulgaria’s economic crisis has Jewish community facing harsh realities

Yana Levy, left, and her husband, Harry, and their three children inside their apartment in Sofia. (Courtesy Bulgaria Office of the American Joint Distribution Committee)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (JTA) — The stories – some months or years in the making — started trickling in last year. Young successful families were showing up desperate. As Bulgaria’s program director for the American Joint Distribution Committee, Julia Dandalova ran social services programs for the Jewish community’s most needy:… Read more »

South Sudan, world’s youngest nation, develops unlikely friendship with Israel

James Lago, a street merchant in Juba, South Sudan, with the Israeli flag. (Armin Rosen)

JUBA, South Sudan (JTA) – This city in the world’s newest country is not your typical Arabic-speaking capital. For one thing, most of the city’s inhabitants are Christian. For another, the Israeli flag is ubiquitous here. Miniature Israeli flags hang from car windshields and flutter at roadside stalls, and… Read more »

Amid security concerns in Tunisia, a smaller Hiloula celebration

Pilgrims enjoying the Hiloula celebration at the El Ghriba Synagogue in Tunisia, May 2012.

DJERBA, Tunisia (JTA) — Two thousand years ago, a mysterious woman who was unable to talk arrived on this island. Every sick person she touched was healed. Although she died when her wooden house caught fire, her body remained intact and did not burn. That’s a local legend. Another… Read more »