International

A Bittersweet Seder In Poznan

In Poland today, non-Jews rival Jews in interest in tradition.

04/28/2011
Staff Writer

Poznan, Poland — The eyes of Poland’s Jewish history are upon me when I come here for Passover.

Three years ago I led the seders, as a volunteer, in the Lublin yeshiva that that been renovated and returned to the Jewish community, in the eastern part of the country. It was established about 100 years ago by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the scholar better known as founder of the Daf Yomi Talmud study project. As I moved around the meeting hall where the seders took place, a framed portrait of Rabbi Shapiro hung on the front wall, his eyes, I imagined, watching me.

Hebrew Language students at Adam Mickiewicz University, a number of whom took part in the author's seder. Steve Lipman

Q & A: The Hamas-Fatah Unity Deal

The Jewish Week talks to JCPA's Martin Raffel

04/27/2011

Wednesday’s Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, the result of secret negotiations in Cairo over a period of weeks, is yet another complication for an Obama administration facing a tidal wave of political change in the Middle East and new international pressure to resume active Israeli-Palestinian mediation.

According to press reports, the deal includes the creation of an interim government and elections to be called within a year.

Details reportedly will be made public next week.

Bipartisan House Delegation Visiting Israel

04/26/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan delegation of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers is in Israel this week.

The delegation, including Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), and Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) had meetings planned with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

They also planned to tour areas in Israel subject to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Second Computer Virus Infiltrates Iran’s Computer Systems

04/26/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Iran has discovered a second computer virus designed to damage government computer systems.

The discovery of the virus, called Stars, was announced Monday by a senior Iranian official, Gholam-Reza Jalali, head of an Iranian cyberdefense agency, according to reports.

Jalali said in a statement that the damage from the virus, which looks like a regular government computer file, has been minimal and that Iranian scientists are currently studying the virus.

Agriprocessors Supervisor Arrested in Israel

04/15/2011

(JTA) -- A former supervisor of the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Iowa was arrested in Israel.

Hosam Amara, 46, was indicted in 2009 on federal charges of fraud and immigration abuses. He is accused of some of the worst worker abuses at the now defunct plant in Postville, according to the Des Moines Register. In 2008, the plant was the site of what at the time was the largest immigration enforcement action in American history.

Extradition proceedings against Amara will begin in Israel on May 2, according to the newspaper.

Goldstone Committee Members Stand By Report

04/14/2011

(JTA) -- Three members of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza war say they stand by the report and that calls to retract it disregard the rights of the victims.

The three international law experts on Thursday published a statement in the British newspaper the Guardian saying :Aspersions cast on the findings of the report, cannot be left unchallenged."

Religious Books Rescued From New Zealand Chabad House

04/13/2011

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Nearly 1,000 religious books have been rescued from the heavily damaged Chabad House in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Chabad House is located in the city's downtown, near the epicenter of the major Feb. 22 temblor that claimed more than 165 lives, including three Israelis. Days following the quake, a rescue worker, at risk to his own life, removed the Chabad center's two Torah scrolls.

When The ‘Arab Spring’ Meets The Seder

A Passover metaphor of the moment that’s too hot to handle?

04/12/2011
Staff Writer

The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring of Boston, a secular liberal Jewish group, has been hosting an interfaith seder for Muslims and Jews for the past five years and writing a progressive Haggadah to go with it.

This year, seder organizer Alice Rothchild is tapping the zeitgeist to animate the ancient seder story — she plans to emphasize “the Arab spring.”

Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt’s democracy movement. getty images

Japan Jews Staying Put As Relief Funds Flow

Community leader says life goes on at Tokyo community center as U.S. Jews send millions for relief.

04/12/2011
Assistant Managing Editor

In his 16 years living in Tokyo, Phillip Rosenfeld has seen a few earthquakes shake Japan’s capital.

But when the ground started shaking and buildings swaying on March 11, he immediately knew this one was different.

“This was much more severe than anything that happened for a very, very long time,” said the Cleveland native who runs a travel business based in Tokyo and was with a friend spending his first day in Japan. “When the earthquake struck I was walking down the street and just stood in place as the ground began to sway more and more.

Israeli medical personnel check on a baby near disaster area in Japan check. IDF Photo

Federations Raise $1 Million in Japan Relief

04/11/2011

(JTA) -- Jewish federations throughout North America have raised nearly $1 million to help Japan recover from last month's massive earthquake and tsunami.

The federations' Japan, Hawaii and Pacific Relief Fund, opened immediately following the earthquake and resultant tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, has collected the money to support relief and recovery efforts in the damaged areas.

The Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella group of the federation movement, has directly raised more than $187,000 through online, mobile and mailed donations.

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