Jesse Jackson Appeals to Cuba to Free Gross

03/01/2011 - 19:00

(JTA) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson has called on Cuba to release Jewish U.S. citizen Alan Gross from prison and reunite him with his family.

Jackson, who has been to Cuba several times and met with former President Fidel Castro and current President Raul Castro, offered to go to Cuba to negotiate the release of American contractor Alan Gross, according to a statement issued Tuesday from his Rainbow PUSH coalition.

Arab Unrest Alters Power Balance in As Yet Unseen Ways

03/01/2011 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- They were the devils they knew.

Though Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood, surrounded by countries whose leaders or people wish its destruction, over the years it had adjusted to the status quo, more or less figuring out how to get by while keeping an eye on gradual change.

But the sudden upheaval in the region that in a matter of weeks has toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and threatens autocrats in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere, is forcing Israel to grapple with how to recalibrate for dramatic change.

Wanna Buy A Historic Shul In Poland?

Since 2002, Jewish communal reclamation in Poland has reaped millions of dollars. Critics complain of a lack of financial transparency.

03/01/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

As Menachem Daum walked through the streets of Dzialoszyce, Poland, in 2002, he saw the roofless synagogue built in 1854, a poignant reminder of the vibrant Jewish community that had once existed there. On a return trip he made three years later, Daum was approached by a man who seemed to be in charge.

“How much do you want to pay me for it?” he asked Daum.

The shell of a synagogue in Dzialoszyce, Poland.  Courtesy of Menachem Daum

Summer Camp Impact Seen High In New Study

Strongest evidence yet of effect of camping on Jewish identity, adult engagement.
03/01/2011 - 19:00
Associate Editor

When your child grows up, do you want him or her to feel an emotional attachment to Israel, go to synagogue and donate regularly to Jewish causes?

Then start packing a duffel bag, and load it on a bus bound for a Jewish sleep-away camp.

A just-released report — the most comprehensive analysis so far of the impact of Jewish camp experiences — offers the strongest evidence yet that a summer of bug juice, fresh air and color war leads to significantly stronger adult Jewish engagement.

Do camps cultivate a stronger Jewish future?

New Compensation Effort For Private Jewish Property

02/28/2011 - 19:00

The years have not dimmed Frances Irwin’s memory of when the Nazis came to the homes of her parents, grandparents and married brother in Konske, Poland, in 1939. They ordered them to turn over their valuables — their gold, their silver candelabras and menorahs, the “gorgeous, valuable pictures” on their walls and their diamond rings and earrings.

“Even my father’s shtreimel [hat] we had to give because it was fur,” Irwin, 80, of Midwood, Brooklyn, recalls.

Dior Designer Fired Over Alleged Anti-Semitic Slurs

02/28/2011 - 19:00

PARIS (JTA) -- British fashion designer John Galliano was fired by the Christian Dior fashion house after allegedly harassing a couple using anti-Semitic and racist slurs.

Galliano's firing as chief designer for Christian Dior was announced Tuesday, just days after he was suspended from the house.

Galliano's harassment of the couple in a Paris bar, which he has denied, was reported last week. On Monday, a video of Galliano saying he loves Hitler also came to light.

Hamas to U.N.: Don’t Teach Holocaust

02/28/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Hamas said it will stop the United Nations from teaching Palestinian children in Gaza about the Holocaust.

The history of the Holocaust is set to become part of a human rights curriculum in Gaza schools run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency that are attended by more than 200,000 Palestinian children, The Guardian reported.

Yemen’s President: Israel Planned, Funded Arab Uprisings

02/28/2011 - 19:00

(JTA) -- Yemen's president blamed Israel for planning and funding protests in several Arab states.

"There is an operations rooms in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world," Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly said Tuesday during a speech at Sanaa University. He said that the operations room is "run by the White House."

"The wave of political unrest sweeping across the Arab world is a conspiracy that serves Israel and the Zionists," he also said.

Cuba Announces Trial Date for Alan Gross

02/24/2011 - 19:00

(JTA) -- U.S. government contractor Alan Gross, whom the State Department says was in Cuba to assist Cuban Jews, will go on trial in Cuba next month on charges of acts against the state.

Gross was charged in Cuba on Feb. 4 with "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state," a charge that carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.  U.S. officials will attend the trial, which likely will be in front of a panel of judges, Reuters reported. The trial is expected to last a couple of days.

Nuclear Site Identified in Syria, Report Claims

02/23/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A suspected nuclear site has been identified in Syria using commercial satellite photos.

The installation is said to be a nuclear conversion plant, according to the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, which published photos of the site in a report released late Wednesday.

The Institute's report indicates that Syria's nuclear program was much more advanced than previously thought when Israel bombed what was believed to be a nearly operational nuclear reactor in eastern Syria in 2007.

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