The Jewish community of Denmark documented 40 anti-Semitic incidents in 2012, almost double those in 2009, a year that marked a sharp upturn in such attacks.
In 2000, an urban congregation of 1,000 families found itself at a crossroads. The synagogue had a balanced budget and a beloved rabbi who was retiring after three decades, but its building was badly in need of repairs and the congregation was aging. To survive, the leadership felt they had to upgrade, so they took four steps: They hired a big-name rabbi, renovated the building, and put together an ambitious schedule of lectures and other programs to attract new faces. They also borrowed $1 million to pay for it all.
Allegations of child sex abuse, rampant in Melbourne’s Jewish community, have spread to Sydney, with police mounting investigations into two individuals.
From generation to generation, starting in 1950 and continuing today, one of the most important sites on the map of the Jewish community in Southern California was a stretch of rolling hills in Simi Valley. The story is richly told in the pages of “The Brandeis-Bardin Institute: A Living History” by Jenna Leventhal (American Jewish University, $30), an “official” history. Published by the university that now owns the property, it is predictably upbeat but also, at moments, candid and forthright about the birth pangs and growing pains of a Jewish institution.
President Barack Obama named as his new chief of staff a security official, Denis McDonough, who has strong ties to the Jewish organizational community. McDonough, until now the deputy to National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, handled much of the National Security Council’s Israel-related traffic and has strong ties with Jewish groups. He addressed the Washington Institute for Near East Policy just weeks before the last presidential election.
Jewish institutions throughout the eastern United States remained closed following the onslaught of superstorm Sandy.
When the Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences (AEA) opened in August 2010, part of the draw for parents was the chance for students at the Santa Clarita charter middle and high school to study Hebrew. Since then, AEA backers have submitted petitions to set up elementary schools in the Newhall School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and Ventura Unified School District, without success. In August 2012, a revised version of its twice-rejected petition for an elementary charter was submitted to the Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita. Among the changes in the newest version was eliminating offering Hebrew at the school, at least initially.
Gerald B. Bubis is 88, and he knows there are things he’ll never do again. He’ll never travel to Israel again, for one, and after 46 trips, that’s a tough one to swallow. Then there’s the fact that this author and/or editor of 12 books and 200 articles on serving the Jewish community now has a tremor in his hand that prevents him from putting pen to paper. He also can’t drive anymore, and he can’t stand up long enough to wash dishes.
In a not-so-quiet corner of Café Stella at Sunset Junction in Silver Lake, Jill Soloway and Ayana Morse look around and see a model for Jewish connection.
Jewish leaders in Greece expressed concern and disappointment after the fascist Golden Dawn party was poised to enter the Greek parliament for the first time.
As I sit here in Tokyo with the first anniversary of the tsunami fast approaching, I recall my surprise the first time a Japanese person thanked me, as a Jew, for Israel’s immediate response to the disaster.
Among the gifts of the Jews, to use Thomas Cahill’s flattering phrase, perhaps none is more stirring and enduring than the biblical call to social justice. We are reminded of the Jewish injunction to seek justice in a couple of new books from Jewish Lights, each of which shows us how do more than pay lip service to one of the bedrock principles of Judaism.