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Ukraine Synagogue Firebombed — Attack Caught on Video

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 09:59

The main synagogue in Nikolayev, located in the southeast of Ukraine, reportedly was firebombed.

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Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Firing on Salt Lake City Synagogue

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 09:26

A Utah man pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights crime for firing a gun at a Salt Lake City synagogue in 2012.

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Ukrainian synagogue firebombed

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 08:35

(JTA) — The main synagogue in the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev was firebombed.

The synagogue was empty of worshippers when it was firebombed early Saturday morning, according to the Chabad-affiliated Shturem.org website.

Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the door and window, the report said, citing Yisroel Gotlieb, son of the city’s chief rabbi, Sholom Gotlieb.

A passer-by put out the fires with a fire extinguisher, according to the report.

The attack was recorded by the synagogue’s closed circuit television security camera and uploaded to YouTube.

Nikolayev, a Black Sea port city of approximately 500,000, is located in southeastern Ukraine about 70 miles from Odessa.

The Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev, in eastern Ukraine, was firebombed in late February.

Last week in eastern Ukraine, fliers calling on Jews to register with pro-Russian separatists and pay special taxes were distributed in Donetsk.


K.C. suspect said world should be rid of Jews

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 07:16

(JTA) — The Missouri white supremacist charged in the Kansas City-area killings told a Manhattan rabbi that “we have to get rid” of every Jew.

Frazier Glenn Miller, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Cross, called the American Friends of Kiev hotline on March 30 and spoke with Rabbi Menachem Siegal, director of the United Jewish Communities of Eastern Europe and Asia, the New York Post reported Saturday.

Miller attacked Siegal for raising money for Jews who he said “cause all of the problems” and “destroyed the whole economy in the United States and the world,” Siegal told the Post. He also said, according to Siegal, that “Hitler should have finished off the job in Europe by coming to the United States and getting rid of every Jew.”

He did not indicate that he planned to actually attack and kill Jews.

Siegal provided a copy of the call log and caller ID of the 10-minute conversation for the U.S. Justice Department.

Miller was indicted for the April 13 shooting spree that killed three people at Jewish community buildings in suburban Kansas City, Kan. The victims, none of whom were Jewish, were a man and his 14-year-old grandson outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and a woman outside the nearby Village Shalom retirement community.


Utah man pleads guilty to firing on Salt Lake City synagogue

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 06:04

(JTA) — A Utah man pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights crime for firing a gun at a Salt Lake City synagogue in 2012.

Macon Openshaw, 21, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty on April 16 in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to firing three rounds from a handgun at Congregation Kol Ami, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. The shots broke windows and damaged the window casings.

Openshaw admitted to firing at the synagogue because of its Jewish character.

As part of a plea bargain, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. He also agreed to pay to repair the damage.

Openshaw is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15.

“Religiously-motivated violence tears at the fabric of our diverse society,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.



Virtues of the Marathon Rabbi

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 06:00

We treasure the young, fresh rabbi. But Gerald Zelizer, who has been with his congregation for 44 years, thinks it’s more valuable to have a rabbi who stays for a long time.

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Rabbi Tries To Squelch 'Register Jews' Story — But It Won't Die

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 17:41

A Ukrainian rabbi whose congregation was the target of an anti-Semitic leaflet wants to put the matter to rest. But the ‘register Jews’ controversy won’t die.

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Did Israel Block U.N. Envoy From Easter Event?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 16:56

A United Nations envoy accused Israel on Saturday of trying to block him and other diplomats from a pre-Easter “Holy Fire” ritual in the packed Jerusalem church Christians revere as the burial site of Jesus.

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Overland Park Rampage Killer Ranted to Rabbi About 'You Jews'

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:59

The notorious white supremacist charged with carrying out the shooting rampage near Kansas City reportedly ranted to a rabbi about “getting rid of every Jew.”

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Atrocities in Myanmar

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 16:00

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, continues to experience the violent persecution of its minority population of Rohingya Muslims. Muslims are being attacked by mobs of extremist Buddhist factions, despite Buddhist principles of nonviolence. “They refer to the Rohingya as subhuman, but beyond that they actually believe the Rohingya are subhuman,” says Matthew Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, an independent organization to protect and defend human rights, “and I think this is one of the things that make them particularly dangerous.”

The post Atrocities in Myanmar appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Hardline Rabbi Named Head of Israel's Shas Party

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 07:55

xShalom Cohen, a hardline rabbi known for his overt hostility toward modern-Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews, was appointed spiritual leader of the Orthodox, Sephardi Shas Party.

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Shas taps new spiritual leader who derided Modern Orthodox

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 06:46

Rabbi Shalom Cohen of the Shas Party Council of Torah Sages and head of the Porat Yosef yeshiva speaks in Jerusalem in July 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) — Shalom Cohen, a rabbi known for his hostility toward modern Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews, was appointed spiritual leader of the Orthodox, Sephardi Shas Party.

Cohen, leader of the Porat Yosef religious seminary, was named president of the Shas Council of Torah Sages on Thursday at a ceremony in Bnei Brak neat Tel Aviv, Army Radio reported. He replaced Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died last year.

Shortly after being announced as Yosef’s successor, Cohen reiterated his criticism of Israeli Jews who are not haredi.

“They hate us, all the ignoramuses of the Jewish Home and Yesh Atid,” Cohen said, referencing the Zionist Orthodox party headed by Naftali Bennett and the secularist party headed by Yair Lapid, respectively. “There is no difference between the two. The Ha-Kadosh barukh Hu [God] wants us to stay away from them. They are there, we are here. They will pursue their nonsense, we will pursue our holy Torah.”

Cohen, who is considered a close ally of Shas political boss Aryeh Deri, last year called Zionist Orthodox Jews “Amalek” — an extinct people that the Torah singles out for total annihilation for what is described as their cruelty to Jews.

According to Army Radio analyst Yair Sharki, Cohen’s first speech as spiritual leader marked a more separatist and hardline world view than that of Yosef.

Shas’ political party, the “World Union of Sefardi Observers of the Torah,” currently has 11 seats out of 120 in the Knesset and is not part of the coalition. Its pragmatic approach to issues connected to security and peace and other subjects that are not connected to religion and welfare has allowed it to join rightist as well as leftist coalitions, where it has used its clout to promote the movement’s massive welfare and religious education systems.

This strategy and several corruption scandals by Shas politicians have antagonized many secular and moderate religious Israelis, who form the voter bases of Yesh Atid and the Jewish Home, respectively.

Yesh Atid, which is a coalition party, has vowed not to stay in government if Shas joins.

Reform Leader Responds to New Reports of Anti-Semitism in Ukraine

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 18:02

In response to reports of demands that Jewish residents of Donetsk, Ukraine register with the government and pay fees or risk serious penalties, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Reports that Jewish residents of Donetsk, Ukraine received notices telling them to register with authorities and pay fees or risk loss of citizenship and deportation are deeply concerning. After speaking with experts in the field, it has not been established whether this was the result of action by Ukrainians or by pro-Russian activists, designed to use the Jews of Donetsk as pawns in the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

While the facts will need to be verified as soon as possible, we note with alarm that throughout the past several months of unrest between Ukraine and Russia, incidents of anti-Semitism, alleged and real, have been asserted by those seeking political advantage. We condemn in the strongest of terms any acts of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and elsewhere, as well as any requirement that Jews register and pay fines to live as citizens in their own country. We call on all sides to ensure that the Ukrainian Jewish community, like all the people of Ukraine, remains safe and secure. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and continue to call for a swift and peaceful resolution of the broader dispute.

Tears and Calls for Peace at Overland Park Service

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:45

The scene of what authorities say was a hate crime just days ago became the setting for tears, prayers and calls for peace as religious leaders gathered at a Kansas Jewish community center for a memorial service in honor of three people shot dead on Sunday.

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"Save America Gathering" and "One Church // One...

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:17

The organizers of "555 Days of Prayer to Save America" and the approaching, September 11, 2014 "Great Wave Offering" are asking the participants in the 555-day-long prayer...

(PRWeb March 26, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11697727.htm

URJ Books and Music Releases the Ultimate Debbie Friedman Anthology

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:39

URJ Books and Music is proud to release the ultimate anthology of the musical works of Debbie Friedman, z”l (1951 – 2011). Regarded as one of the most influential Jewish singer-songwriters in history, Debbie is known for her timeless Jewish folk music, filled with peaceful and universal messages, which have been adopted by Jewish congregations and summer camps around the world. Now, for the first time, that music has been gathered together in one definitive, comprehensive collection – Debbie’s original works, preserved just as she created them.

Sing Unto God: The Debbie Friedman Anthology is a tribute to Debbie’s life and music, featuring every song she wrote and recorded (plus more than 30 songs previously unavailable) in lead sheet format, with complete lyrics, melody line, guitar chords, Hebrew lyrics, transliteration, and English translation. This incredible collection of more than 215 songs was meticulously edited by composer and publisher Joel N. Eglash, formerly managing director of Transcontinental Music Publications and URJ Press, with assistance from Debbie’s sister Cheryl Friedman and other family, friends, and lifelong colleagues. The book includes more than 400 pages of music, photographs, biographical information, memories of Debbie, and tributes to her legacy.

Says Rabbi Daniel Freelander, URJ senior vice president and a close friend of Debbie’s,

Part of the Jewish revolution of the late 1960′s and 70′s was a return to Hebrew as the primary language of Jewish singing. But Debbie’s unique contribution was the courage to blend Hebrew and English in the same song, using spiritually clear and poetic English to bring meaning to a Hebrew text or concept. Debbie’s reclamation of the vernacular to express our deepest aspirations was a tipping point in contemporary Jewish music, a profound change that has created the sound and substance of American Judaism today. My life – our lives – have been spiritually enriched by her contributions, which will continue to bless as future generations sing her songs.

Debbie once stated, “My work is my joy. It is what drives me and keeps me alive.” This collection is Debbie’s final gift to song leaders, cantors, choir directors, musicians – all who breathe new life into her music, keeping her legacy alive as they “sing unto God.”

Learn more about the anthology in this press release from the URJ and order the anthology now from URJ Books and Music.

Temple Mount Closed as Passover Violence Flares

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 08:20

Israeli riot police entered one of Jerusalem’s most revered and politically sensitive religious compounds on Wednesday to disperse rock-throwing Palestinians opposed to any Jewish attempts to pray there.

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Temple Mount closed to Jewish visitors following Arab rioting

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:54

The Temple Mount was closed to Jewish visitors on the second day of Passover following rioting at the site by dozens of Arab youth.

The Arab youth, many wearing masks, threw rocks and firecrackers at Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount Wednesday morning, shortly after it opened for Jewish visitors. Many Jewish visitors come to visit the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews, during the Passover holiday.

Israeli security forces used stun grenades to quell the rioting, according to police. The French news agency AFP reported that the security forces also used rubber-coated bullets, which wounded dozens of Palestinian rioters. It also reported that many Palestinian rioters remained in the Al Aksa Mosque for fear of arrest.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said early Wednesday afternoon that no police forces remained on the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount closed to visitors after disturbances this morning. Situation calm again. Police units not on Temple Mount

— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) April 16, 2014

Arab protesters also threw rocks at police officers in an alley in the Old City of Jerusalem, with one policeman being injured. Rosenfeld said police were assessing security in the area.

Police assessing security in the old city, Jerusalem. Units in and around area to prevent any further disturbances throughout the day

— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) April 16, 2014

The Temple Mount also had been closed to visitors on Sunday due to Arab rioting and violence against Israeli security forces.

On Monday, police prevented five Jewish Israeli activists from performing a live animal sacrifice at the site to commemorate Passover.

"Save America Gathering" Planning Participation in 11/11/14...

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 05:35

The organizers of "555 days of Prayer to Save America" are eager to join with the California -based planners of the upcoming solemn assembly, in Anaheim, on November 11, 2014. Today marks...

(PRWeb March 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11693060.htm