JBuzz News June 24, 2014: Spanish town named ‘kill Jews’ to seek Jewish studies center

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Spanish town named ‘kill Jews’ to seek Jewish studies center

Source: JTA, 6-24-14

The Spanish town in the process of changing its name because it contains the words “kill Jews” is promoting plans to open a Jewish studies center….READ MORE

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JBuzz Musings February 8, 2014: After survey of American Jews Pew Research Center plans one for Israeli Jews

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Speaking at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) annual conference on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, philanthropist Joseph Neubauer announced that he has partnered again with the Pew Research Center to fund this time a survey…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings January 6, 2014: Pope Francis formally announces May trip dates to Israel, Middle East

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Pope Francis formally announces May trip dates to Israel, Middle East

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Although for months it was widely speculated that Pope Francis would make a trip to Israel in spring 2014, the Pope himself announced on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 that he will make a trip to Israel, Bethlehem, and Amman, Jordan…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings October 23, 2013: High Intermarriage numbers reveals troubling future for Judaism in the US

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High Intermarriage numbers reveals troubling future for Judaism in the US

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Earlier this month, on Oct. 1, 2013 the Pew Research Center released their new poll entitled “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” showing a growing a trend of American Jews identifying only culturally as Jews, but not religiously. What…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings September 25, 2013: Quebec Jews oppose proposed Charter of Values

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Quebec Jews oppose proposed Charter of Values

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The Jewish community in Quebec, Canada is standing in opposition to the Quebec government’s new proposed bill the Charter of Quebec Values and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs – Quebec (CIJA-Québec) announced on Tuesday, Sept…READ MORE

JBuzz News August 30, 2013: March on Washington a reminder of black-Jewish relations at their best

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March a reminder of black-Jewish relations at their best

Source: Washington Post, 8-30-13

For many Americans, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was a time of broad themes, of big-picture talks about race and economic justice. But for some, the events of the past week stirred specific memories — some good and others not — concerning relations between African Americans and Jews….READ MORE

JBuzz News August 28, 2013: On 50th Anniversary of March on Washington, Recalling Jews’ Singular Role

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On 50th Anniversary of March on Washington, Recalling Jews’ Singular Role

Half Century Later, Civil Rights Struggle Binds Two Peoples

 

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington

Source: Forward, 8-28-13

As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the majestic “I Have a Dream” speech, we should reflect on the singular role the Jewish community played throughout the civil rights struggle and, in particular, remember with pride Jewish participation in the March on Washington itself….READ MORE

JBuzz Musings July 22, 2013: Growing Jewish-Catholic dialogue under Pope Francis

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Growing Jewish-Catholic dialogue under Pope Francis (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The installation of a new pope this past March 13, 2013 is ushering in a new era in Jewish-Catholic relations. Pope Francis formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 of Argentina had been committed as a cardinal to…READ MORE

JBuzz News May 26, 2013: Naomi Schaefer Riley: Why do Jews intermarry, and who’d marry a Jew anyway?

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Why do Jews intermarry, and who’d marry a Jew anyway?

In her new book, Naomi Schaefer Riley takes a look at why so many in the American Jewish community are marrying out of the faith.

Jewish wedding

Jewish wedding Photo: Thinkstock
Over the past half century, intermarriage has become increasingly common in the United States among all religions – but among Jews at the highest rate.

Why that is the case is one of the questions Naomi Schaefer Riley probes in her new book, “‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America” (Oxford University Press).

One of the main reasons, Riley finds, is that the older people get, the more likely they are to intermarry….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 21, 2013: Hebrew Union College: US Reform Jewish seminary reconsidering policy against intermarried students

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U.S. Reform Jewish seminary reconsidering policy against intermarried students

Movement already embraces intermarried couples; now may start ordaining rabbinic students who married outside the faith.

Source: Haaretz, 5-21-13

Should the Reform movement ordain intermarried rabbis? Hebrew Union College, which is the seminary of America’s largest Jewish denomination, is considering altering its current policy, which does not allow admission to its rabbinical, cantorial or education schools of applicants who are married to or partnered with non-Jews.

A growing chorus of voices — including newly-ordained and long-time Reform rabbis — says that changing it is the only way to be a truly inclusive movement. Other rabbis, including the HUC’s president, say that doing so would undermine their graduates’ ability to model ideals of Jewish commitment, a key part of a rabbi’s role….READ MORE 

JBuzz News May 20, 2013: Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

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Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

Source: New York Times, 5-20-13

Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and Molotov cocktails, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93….

Mr. Spiegel was on guard duty and, according to his son-in-law, Eugene Orenstein, a retired professor of Jewish history at McGill University, gave the signal to launch the uprising….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 7, 2013: Ted Merwin: Judaic studies speaker examines ‘non-Jews’ involvement in Jewish life

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Judaic studies speaker examines ‘non-Jews’ involvement in Jewish life

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, 5-7-13

The University of Scranton Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute hosted a lecture by Ted Merwin, Ph. D., entitled “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish: Non-Jews’ Growing Investment in Jewish Life” in Brennan Hall’s Pearn Auditorium….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 30, 2013: Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres: Hopes for resumption of peace talks

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Pope and Israeli President : Hopes for resumption of peace talks

Source: Vatican Radio, 4-30-13

Pope Francis on Tuesday received in audience at the Vatican the Israeli President Shimon Peres and held talks on a variety of issues concerning the Middle East. President Peres also met the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertoni and Archbishop Dominque Mamberti, Secretary of Relations with States.

Please find below an English translation of the official communique on the talks released afterwards by the Holy See’s Press Office:

“During the cordial talks, the political and social situation in the Middle East—where more than a few conflicts persist—was addressed. A speedy resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is hoped for, so that, with the courageous decisions and availability of both sides as well as support from the international community, an agreement may be reached that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region. Reference to the important issue of the City of Jerusalem was not overlooked. Particular worry for the conflict that plagues Syria was expressed, for which a political solution is hoped for that privileges the logic of reconciliation and dialogue.

A number of issues concerning relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See and between state authorities and the local Catholic communities were also addressed. In conclusion, the significant progress made by the Bilateral Working Commission, which is preparing an agreement regarding issues of common interest, was appreciated and its rapid conclusion is foreseen.”

Following Tuesday’s meeting between Pope Francis and President Peres, Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Zion Evrony spoke to Vatican Radio’s Susy Hodges about their talks and in particular about the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Syrian conflict and the long-standing bilateral talks between Israel and the Holy See on tax and economic issues.

Listen to the extended interview with Ambassador Evrony by Susy Hodges: RealAudioMP3

Ambassador Evrony says Israel “really hopes” for an early resumption of the stalled peace process between the Jewish state and the Palestinians. “There’s nothing that that the people of Israel want more than peace … peace with our Palestinian neighbours is one of our main goals,” he says.

Ambassador Evrony also talks about Israel’s concerns over the Syrian conflict, saying the crisis there “is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis.” “It is tragic,” he continues, “to see the bloodshed and human suffering and see a brutal dictator massacre his own people.” The Israeli Ambassador also spoke of his country’s concern about the issue of chemical weapons in Syria and said he is worried that “these chemical weapons could end up in the wrong hands.”

Turning to the question of the bilateral discussions between Israel and the Holy See over various economic and tax issues, Ambassador Evrony said “there was reason to be optimistic” concerning these long-standing issues although he added “there is still some work to be done” before a final conclusion can be reached.

JBuzz News March 28, 2013: Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni in the Spotlight over Relations with New Pope Francis

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Rome’s Chief Rabbi In The Spotlight

In one week, Riccardo Di Segni prepares for Passover and a new pope.

 
Jewish-Catholic relations are “very complicated,” says Rabbi Di Segni, above. “But this pope shows a good disposition.”
Jewish-Catholic relations are “very complicated,” says Rabbi Di Segni, above. “But this pope shows a good disposition.”
 
Ground zero for Catholic-Jewish relations is Rome, and the man at the center of it all is the city’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni.

On the week before Passover, Rabbi Di Segni was busier than ever. A new pope had been elected and members of the news media flocked to the historic Great Synagogue to interview the 63-year-old religious leader.

With the clock ticking on the arrival of Passover, the rabbi attended the installation and shared some words with the new pope. “I blessed him for success and told him that we are interested to meet, the Jewish community and him, in a way that would be useful.”…READ MORE

Full Text JBuzz News March 25, 2013: Pope Francis: Passover Message to Jewish Community

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Pope Francis: Passover telegram to Jewish Community (full text)

Source: Radio Vaticana, 3-25-13

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegram to Rome’s Jewish community, to mark the feast of Passover, which this year begins at sundown, Monday, March 25th. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of the full text of the message, addressed to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni, with whom the Holy Father met on March 20th during the course of his audience with delegations from other Christian confessions and non-Christian religions.

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A few days on from our meeting, and with renewed gratitude for your having desired to honour the celebration of the beginning of my ministry with your presence and that of other distinguished members of the Jewish community, I take great pleasure in extending my warmest best wishes to you and Rome’s entire Jewish community on the occasion of the Great Feast of Pesach. May the Almighty, who freed His people from slavery in Egypt to guide them to the Promised Land continue to deliver you from all evil and to accompany you with His blessing. I ask you to pray for me, as I assure you of my prayers for you, confident that we can deepen [our] ties of mutual esteem and friendship. – FRANCIS

Gli auguri di Papa Francesco alla Comunità Ebraica

Source: Romaebraica, 3-25-13

Messaggio_Papa_Pesach

Questa mattina gli uffici della segreteria di Stato del Vaticano hanno fatto recapitare una lettera firmata da Papa Francesco al Capo Rabbino della Comunità Ebraica di Roma. Bergoglio porge gli auguri di buon Pesach a tutta la Comunità romana e, in un passaggio della sua lettera, scrive: “L’Onnipotente, che ha liberato il suo popolo dalla schiavitù dell’Egitto per guidarlo alla Terra Promessa, continui a liberarvi da ogni male e ad accompagnarvi con la sua benedizione. Vi chiedo di pregare per me, mentre io assicuro la mia preghiera per voi, confidando di poter approfondire i legami di stima e di amicizia reciproca“.

Il Capo Rabbino, Riccardo Di Segni, ha accolto con piacere gli auguri del Pontefice e lo ringrazierà nelle prossime ore, porgendo a Papa Francesco i migliori auguri per la Pasqua Cristiana.

JBuzz News March 14, 2013: Jewish leaders have hope in election of new Pope Francis

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Jewish leaders have hope in election of new Pope

Source: JPost, 3-14-13

ADL “reassured” by nomination of Pope Francis I, citing Jewish connections; WJC: Bergoglio to strengthen Israel-Vatican ties.

Faithful react as newly elected Pope Francis I, March 13, 2013.
Faithful react as newly elected Pope Francis I, March 13, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) along with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Wednesday welcomed Cardinal Jorge María Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, on his election as Pope Francis I.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said he was “reassured” over the record of the new Pope, stating that Bergoglio was crucial in maintaing “positive Catholic-Jewish relations.”…

Related:

Rabbi David Rosen, the director of interfaith affairs for the American Jewish Committee, told JTA that the new pope is a “warm and sweet and modest man” known in Buenos Aires for doing his own cooking and personally answering his phone.After the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, he “showed solidarity with the Jewish community,” Rosen said….READ MORE