Tag: Jews and Judaism

On the Frontlines of Progressive Anti-Semitism

I have never done 23-and-me, nor have I “ancestry.com’d” myself. It’s never felt necessary. My family’s Eastern European Jewish heritage was something we lived to honor, including in our politics. Like so many others, my family came to this country escaping discrimination in the Old Country and facing injustice in the New: abusive labor conditions; […]

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F.B.I. and Prosecutors Try Speaking Plainly About Domestic Terrorism

OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio — As a group of prominent black pastors listened, the top federal prosecutor in northern Ohio, Justin E. Herdman, spoke recently at Mount Zion church about the prospect that a gunman could target one of their congregations. The subtext was clear. Mr. Herdman is among a group of federal law enforcement officials […]

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Teenage Rescuer, Now 92, Meets Family She Saved From Nazis

Sarah Yanai, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor, clutched the handle of her wheelchair as she closed her eyes, and then opened her arms to embrace the woman who helped save her and most of her family from the Nazis more than 75 years ago. “How are you, how are you Melpo?” Ms. Yanai asked in Greek […]

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Florida Principal Who Wouldn’t Call Holocaust ‘Factual’ Is Fired

ImageThe principal of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla., was removed earlier this year and fired this week by school officials.Credit…Zuma Press/Alamy A high school principal in Florida who refused to acknowledge the Holocaust as “a factual, historical event” was fired on Wednesday by the Palm Beach County school board. The board […]

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Pittsburgh Marks a Massacre’s Anniversary With Prayers and Projects

PITTSBURGH — It was a scene that would have infuriated the man who set off a whole year of pain and sorrow. Men and women, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, crowded elbow to elbow around tables at the Jewish Family and Community Services building, making blankets for refugees and packing bags of crayons and coloring books for the […]

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Memorializing Tragedy at a Pittsburgh Synagogue Through Faith, History and Good Works

PITTSBURGH — In early September, James Young, an international expert in public memorials, came to speak to the local Jewish community. It had been nearly a year since 11 worshipers were shot to death by an anti-Semitic gunman at Shabbat service — months of therapy, of reciting their names in the mourner’s kaddish, of tending […]

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In a Deeply Split Israel City, Both Sides Urge Unity

ROSH HAAYIN, Israel — On one side of town, it’s falafel and observing Shabbat. On the other, it’s sushi and the yearning for a Saturday morning coffee at a local cafe. Both sides can be guilty of insularity and snobbery. The identity and culture wars that were fought in the two recent Israeli elections — […]

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How Amazon Has Transformed the Hasidic Economy

They are a religious community known for clinging to 18th-century fashions and mores — strict rules that keep men and women apart and constraints on attire, with men favoring black suits and formal hats and women in long sleeves and long skirts. But when it comes to doing business, Hasidic Jews have become enamored with […]

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In Hate-Filled Manifesto, German Synagogue Attacker Sought a Wide Audience

HALLE, Germany — In a hate-filled screed written in English and published online before he tried to breach a synagogue in eastern Germany, the gunman who killed two people made clear not only that he had chosen his target hoping to kill as many Jews as possible but also that he hoped to impress a […]

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A Synagogue Attack Shocks Germany. But Why?

ImageLighting candles at a marketplace near the scene of a shooting outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Wednesday.CreditJens Schlueter/Getty Images BERLIN — On Wednesday a gunman attacked a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle while 51 Jews, including a group of young Americans, were inside observing Yom Kippur. When he found the […]

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Texas Stays Execution of Jewish Man After Judge Is Accused of Anti-Semitism

For more than 15 years on death row, Randy Halprin filed challenge after challenge to his sentence. The denials began to stack up. Finally, on Friday, one of his appeals persuaded Texas’ highest court to stay his execution, which had been scheduled for Oct. 10. Mr. Halprin’s lawyers had found several people who said that […]

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Dutch Railroad Reckons With Holocaust Shame, 70 Years Later

AMSTERDAM — The indispensable role that German railroads played as part of the Nazi machinery of genocide during World War II has long been known. But it may be only now that the Dutch are beginning to fully reckon with the role that their own national railroad played in the Holocaust. For several decades, according […]

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Hearing the Shofar’s Cry in the Jerusalem of Lithuania

I spend a lot of time in cemeteries. It’s part of the gig: I’m a rabbi. And my Hebrew name — Avraham Yitzhak — is common enough that I often see myself on gravestones, an eerie reminder of the liturgy we’ll recite this Rosh Hashana: “A man’s origin and end is from dust.” But last […]

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Teenager’s Diary Offers Window Into Life Under Soviets and Nazis

ImageElizabeth Bellak under a picture of her sister, Renia Spiegel, in New York, in 2016.CreditBrian Harkin for The New York Times PRZEMYSL, Poland — She was a Jewish teenager in a small trade city in southeastern Poland when she began writing her diary, months before the advent of World War II. By the time she […]

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American Jews and American Muslims Have a Common Antagonist

President Trump seeks to drive a wedge between American Jews and the Democratic Party. He claims that the Republican Party is more concerned with protecting Jewish people at home and abroad. He also wants to stoke tensions between American Jews and American Muslims. He loves to attack the Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, […]

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Benny Gantz Can’t Heal the Rift Between U.S. Jews and Israel

It is still too early to know who will be Israel’s next prime minister, or what Israel’s governing coalition might look like. But it is clear that Benjamin Netanyahu’s long spell over Israeli politics — the longest of any prime minister in Israeli’s history — has finally broken. Last week’s election results have led American […]

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An Improbable Relic of Auschwitz: a Shofar That Defied the Nazis

For years there have been fragmentary reports of almost unbelievable acts of faith at the Nazi death camps during World War II: the sounding of shofars, the ram’s horn trumpets traditionally blown by Jews to welcome the High Holy Days. These stories of the persistence of hope even in mankind’s darkest moments have been passed […]

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Jewish Summer Camp With Campfires, Crafts and No Lights Out

As if on cue, the first camper I meet is a guy named Josh: a nice, 27-year-old Jewish boy with kind eyes, a subtle smile and the same name as my husband, another nice Jewish boy, back home. “Do you know where Malbec is?” asks this Josh, Josh Blake, rolling his eyes, and then his […]

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