JBuzz Musings November 23, 2014: Where are donations going? Canadian Jewish community high poverty and inequality

JBUZZ MUSINGS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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Where are donations going? Canadian Jewish community high poverty and inequality

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The recently released Jewish Population of Canada, 2011 report indicated there is widening income gap among the Canadian Jewish community. The report looked at the demographics in Canada in general, and the demographics for each province and their major…READ MORE
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Full Text JBuzz Transcripts September 24, 2014: Canada’s PM Stephen Harper’s Statement on Rosh Hashanah

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STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ON ROSH HASHANAH

Source: PM.gc.ca, 9-24-14

Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark Rosh Hashanah:

“This evening marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, which is the start of the Jewish New Year.

“Rosh Hashanah is an important time of celebration and personal reflection for people of the Jewish faith, during which families and friends gather together to count blessings, take stock of the present and look forward with hope to the year ahead.

“It is my sincere hope that Jews in Canada and around the world enjoy peace and prosperity in the coming year, especially those in Israel who endured conflict over the past few months.

“On this hopeful and joyous occasion, I would also like to pay tribute to the Jewish community in Canada for the immense contributions they continue to make to our society in all areas of endeavour.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Laureen and I wish everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah health, happiness, harmony and prosperity.

“L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu.”

– See more at: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/09/24/statement-prime-minister-canada-rosh-hashanah#sthash.FCAv50DV.dpuf

Full Text JBuzz Transcripts September 23, 2014: UK PM David Cameron’s message for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur 2014

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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur 2014: David Cameron’s message

Source: Gov.uk, 9-23-14

The Prime Minister has recorded a message to mark Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The full message is as follows:

I want to send my best wishes to everyone in Britain and around the world marking Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

These High Holy Days give us a chance to look back – and to look forward. To look back at the immense contribution Jews make in Britain: excelling in every field, contributing in every community, and living by those values – of decency, tolerance, hard work and responsibility – that are so central to the Jewish faith and to British life.

And they give us a chance to look forward to a future free from conflict and prejudice. That means lasting peace in the Middle East – a future where families don’t live in fear of rocket attacks. And it means wiping out prejudice in this country, because we will not tolerate anti-Semitism in Britain. No disagreements on politics or policy can ever justify racism or extremism in any form. As long as I’m Prime Minister, we will do everything we can to tackle this, and to ensure we learn the lessons of the past, as the Holocaust Commission, led by Mick Davis, is doing so effectively.

Around the world, Britain stands for diversity and cohesiveness. When mosques came under attack, who helped defend them? British Jews. When a synagogue was under threat from closure, who helped save it? British Muslims. This says a lot about who we are in this country – and it’s something we can celebrate and build upon.

So as we look back and look ahead, let me wish everyone a happy New Year. G’mar Tov and Shanah Tovah.

חדשות

ראש הממשלה הבריטי בברכה לראש השנה

אני שולח את ברכותי לאלה המציינים את ראש השנה ויום כיפור, בבריטניה וברחבי העולם.

״הימים הקדושים הללו הם הזדמנות להסתכל על העבר, ולהביט קדימה. להסתכל לאחור על התרומה האדירה של היהודים בבריטניה: מצטיינים בכל תחום, תורמים בכל קהילה, וחיים על פי ערכי הגינות, סובלנות, עבודה קשה, ואחריות – ערכים כה מרכזיים באמונה היהודית ובחיים הבריטיים.

״הם גם מעניקים לנו הזדמנות להביט קדימה לעתיד חופשי מסכסוך ומדעה קדומה. כלומר שלום יציב במזרח התיכון – עתיד בו משפחות יחיו ללא איום של ירי רקטות. ומיגור דעות קדומות במדינה שלנו, מכיוון שלא נתיר אנטישמיות בבריטניה. חוסר הסכמה בנושאי פוליטיקה או מדיניות לעולם לא יצדיק גזענות וקיצוניות בשום צורה.

כל עוד אני ראש ממשלה, נעשה כל שביכולתנו להתמודד עם זה, ולהבטיח שלקחי העבר יילמדו, כפי שעושה ביעילות כה רבה, הוועדה לנושאי שואה בראשותו של מיק דיוויס.

“ברחבי העולם, בריטניה מייצגת גיוון ואחדות. כשמסגדים עמדו תחת מתקפה, מי הגן עליהם? היהודים בבריטניה. כשבית כנסת ניצב תחת איום סגירה, מי עזר להצילו? המוסלמים בבריטניה. זה מעיד על האופי של המדינה שלנו – וזה משהו שאנחנו יכולים לחגוג ולצמוח ממנו.

אז בעוד אנחנו מסתכלים אחורה ומביטים קדימה, אני רוצה לאחל לכולם שנה טובה וגמר חתימה טובה.”

Full Text JBuzz Transcripts September 23, 2014: President Barack Obama Wishes The American Jewish Community a Sweet, Happy, and Healthy New Year

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Wishing You a Sweet, Happy, and Healthy New Year

Shanah Tovah from the White House! On Wednesday evening, Jews in the United States and around the world will begin celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

The High Holidays offer the Jewish community a moment of pause, a time to reflect on the previous year and recommit to the unending task of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Together, working with people of all faiths, we can bring greater peace and prosperity to the world in 5775.

In his 2014 video message for the High Holidays, President Obama extends his wishes for a sweet new year and discusses why this time of year is so significant.

Watch on YouTube

Read the remarks:

Hello. As Jews across America, Israel, and the world gather together for the High Holidays, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to you and your families for a sweet and happy new year.

My good friend Elie Wiesel once said that God gave human beings a secret, and that secret was not how to begin but how to begin again. These days of awe are a chance to celebrate that gift, to give thanks for the secret, the miracle of renewal.

In synagogues and homes over the coming days, Jews will reflect on a year that carried its shares of challenges. We’ve been reminded many times that our world still needs repair. So here at home we continue the hard work of rebuilding our economy and restoring our American dream of opportunity for all. Around the world, we continue to stand for the dignity of every human being, and against the scourge of anti-Semitism, and we reaffirm the friendships and bonds that keep us strong, including our unshakeable alliance with the State of Israel.

So let’s approach this new year with new confidence and new hope. Let’s recommit ourselves to living out the values we share as individuals and as a country. Above all, let’s embrace this God-given miracle of renewal, this extraordinary opportunity to begin again in pursuit of justice, prosperity, and peace. From my family to yours, shanah tovah.

JBuzz News August 22, 2014: Jewish school in Copenhagen vandalised

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Jewish school in Copenhagen vandalised

Source: AFP, 8-22-14

A Jewish school in Copenhagen had its windows smashed and anti-Jewish graffiti referring to the conflict in Gaza spray-painted on its walls, the school said on Friday….READ MORE

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

Full Text JBuzz Transcripts April 27, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Speech at Yad Vashem on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Address by PM Netanyahu at Yad Vashem

Source: PMO, 4-27-14

יום ראשון כ”ז ניסן תשע”ד

Photo by  GPO

The last time I visited Yad Vashem I accompanied the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people. We went through the exhibition rooms which present heartbreaking documentation of the destruction of European Jewry.

Today in my office, I met Fela, an 82 year old Holocaust survivor. It was important for her to tell me on this day of her memories as a child of seven who was forced to leave her two year old sister. Those memories are always with her. She told me, “I don’t remember what happened yesterday or the day before that, but as is the way of memories at my age, I remember the sad, tearful eyes of my two year old sister whom I left behind to die”.

I met Shalom, an 89 year old Holocaust survivor who told me how, aged 13, he left home at Mila 18 in the Warsaw Ghetto. Conditions in the ghetto were deteriorating. So he, a young boy, decided to leave. He said, “Mother objected and wailed but Father was quiet. He stood up, put his hands on my head, blessed me and told me to save myself”.

All the exhibition rooms here are filled with such heart-wrenching stories.

When we left Yad Vashem, I told the Prime Minister of Canada that my supreme duty as the Prime Minister of Israel is to ensure that there will be no more memorial sites like this, that there will never be another Holocaust.

I have said here many times that we must identify an existential threat in time and take action against it in time.

Tonight, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask: Why, in the years preceding the Holocaust, did the overwhelming majority of world leaders and Jewish leaders fail to detect the danger in time?

In retrospect, all the warning signs were there: the strengthening of the Nazi regime year after year; the horrific anti-Semitic propaganda which grew stronger with each passing month; and the murderous attacks on Jews which began as spurts and became a giant wave.

In retrospect, a direct line connects the racial laws and the gas chambers.

Few world leaders, notably Churchill, understood the enormity of the threat to humanity posed by Nazism. Few among our leaders, primarily Jabotinsky, warned against the imminent destruction facing our people. But they were widely criticized, their warnings disregarded and dismissed as the rantings of doomsayers and warmongers.

How is it possible that so many people failed to understand reality? The bitter, tragic truth is this: It is not that they did not see. They did not want to see.

And why did they choose not to see the truth? Because they did not want to face the consequences of that truth.

During the 1930s, when the Nazis were gaining momentum, the trauma of the First World War was still fresh. Twenty years earlier, the people of the West experienced a terrible trench war, which claimed the lives of 16 million people. The leaders of the West therefore operated on the basis of one axiom: Avoid another confrontation at any cost. Thus they laid the ground for the most horrible war in history.

This axiom of avoiding conflict at any cost was adopted not only by the leaders. It was shared by the peoples themselves, and primarily by the educated elites.

In 1933, for example, the year Hitler rose to power, a meeting was held by the students of Oxford University, an institution which produced generations of British leaders. Following a heated debate, the students voted for a resolution stating that they “would under no circumstances fight for their King and Country”.

This resolution passed by an overwhelming majority a mere ten days after Hitler entered the Chancellor’s office in Germany. The message reverberated in Berlin.

This example illustrates the West’s feeble response to the rise of Nazism.

Month after month, year after year, more and more information was received in London, Paris and Washington about Nazi capabilities and intentions. The picture gradually became clear for everyone to see.

But they had eyes and could not see, they had ears but could not hear.

When you refuse to accept reality as it is, you can deny it.

This is precisely what the leaders of the West did. They dismissed the murderous Nazi rhetoric as internal German politics; they downplayed the seriousness of the danger of the Nazi military build-up, claiming that it was the result of the natural will of a proud nation that should be recognized and accepted.

The reality was clear, but it was enveloped in a bubble of illusions. This bubble burst when the Nazis launched their blitzkrieg on Europe and Africa.

The price of illusion and wishful thinking was very steep. By the time the leaders of the West finally acted, their peoples paid a terrible price. World War II claimed the lives not of 16 million people, the horrific number of victims during World War I, but of 60 million, including one third of our people, who were butchered by the Nazi beast.

Citizens of Israel, my brothers and sisters,

Has the world learned the mistakes of the past?

Today we again face clear facts and a tangible threat. Iran calls for our destruction. It is developing nuclear weapons.

This is the reason it is building underground bunkers for enriching uranium. This is why it is constructing a heavy water facility to produce plutonium. This is the reason it continues to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads which will threaten the entire world.

Today, like then, there are those who dismiss Iran’s extreme rhetoric as serving domestic purposes. Today, like then, there are those who view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the result of the natural will of a proud nation, a will that should be accepted.

And today, like then, those who make such claims are deluding themselves. They are making an historic mistake.

Fateful talks are currently being held between Iran and the world powers. This time too, the truth is evident to all: Iran seeks an agreement that will lift the sanctions and leave it as a nuclear threshold state with the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons within several months at most.

Iran wants a deal that will eliminate the sanctions and leave its capabilities intact.

A deal which enables Iran to be a nuclear threshold state will bring the entire world to the threshold of an abyss.

I hope that the lessons of the past have been learned, and that the desire to avoid confrontation at any cost will not lead to a deal that will exact a much heavier price in the future.

I call on the leaders of the world powers to insist that Iran fully dismantle its capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons, and to persist until this goal is achieved.

In any event, the people of Israel stand strong. Faced with an existential threat, our situation today is entirely different than it was during the Holocaust.

Today, we have a sovereign Jewish state. As Prime Minister of Israel, I do not hesitate to speak the truth to the world, even when faced with blind eyes and deaf ears. It is not only my right, it is my duty. I am always mindful of this duty, never more so than on this day, in this place.

On the eve of the Holocaust, some Jews avoided speaking out to the world’s nations, fearing that the struggle against Nazism would become “a Jewish problem”. Others believed that if they kept silent, the danger would pass.

They kept silent, and disaster struck.

Today, we are unafraid to speak the truth to world leaders. As is written in the Bible: “I will speak of your testimonies before kings, and I will not be ashamed… listen, for I will speak the truth.”

Unlike the Holocaust, when the Jewish people were like a wind-tossed leaf and utterly defenseless, we now have great power to defend ourselves, and it is ready for any mission.

This power rests on the courage and ingenuity of the soldiers of the IDF and the men and women of our security forces. It is this power that enabled us, against all odds, to build the State of Israel.

Look at the remarkable achievements we have made in the 66 years of our independence. All of us – scientists, writers, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, employees, artists, farmers – the entire people of Israel, each one in their own field –  together we have built a glorious state. The spirit of the people of Israel is sublime, our accomplishments tremendous. Seven decades after the destruction of the Holocaust, the State of Israel is a wonder of the world.

On this day, on behalf of the Jewish people, I say to all those who sought to destroy us, and to all those who still seek to destroy us: You have failed, and you will fail again.

The State of Israel is stronger than ever. It is a state that seeks peace with all its neighbors and it pulsates with an iron will to ensure the future of our people.

“The people will arise like a lion cub and raise itself like a lion…and Judea will dwell securely”. (Numbers 23:24; Jeremiah 23:6).

 

 

JBuzz News March 7, 2014: Ukrainian Jews Seek To Emigrate to Israel Amid Uncertainty

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Ukrainian Jews Seek To Emigrate Amid Uncertainty

Source: Jewish Daily Forward, 3-7-14

The Jewish Agency for Israel has seen a spike in Ukrainians looking to immigrate to Israel as turmoil roils their country. Marina Steiman, a Jewish Agency official in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, declined to give numbers, but she said the agency….READ MORE

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 News January 21, 2014: UNESCO exhibit on Jewish ties to Israel rescheduled for June

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UNESCO exhibit on Jewish ties to Israel rescheduled for June

Source: Times of Israel, 1-21-13

UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova poses with the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier and a poster for the exhibit on the Jewish people's 3,500 connection to the land of Israel which she subsequently cancelled. (photo credit: Courtesy Simon Wiesenthal Center)

UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova poses with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier and a poster for the exhibit on the Jewish people’s 3,500-year connection to the land of Israel, which she subsequently cancelled. (photo credit: Courtesy Simon Wiesenthal Center)

UN body had faced storm of criticism for canceling ‘People, Book, Land: The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land’ show under Arab pressure, claiming it could ‘endanger peace process’…READ MORE

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JBuzz News December 3, 2013: Potsdam becomes nucleus of Jewish studies in Germany

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Potsdam becomes nucleus of Jewish studies in Germany

Source: Religion News Service, 12-3-13

Phoenix native Maximilian Feldhake decided to study to become a rabbi at the newly founded School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam….READ MORE

JBuzz Politics November 27, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Statement on Hanukkah

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Statement by the President on Hanukkah

Source: WH, 11-27-13 

Michelle and I send warm wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah.

For the first time since the late 1800s – and for the last time until some 70,000 years from now – the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving.  It’s an event so rare some have even coined it “Thanksgivukkah.”  As we gather with loved ones around the turkey, the menorah, or both, we celebrate some fortunate timing and give thanks for miracles both great and small.

Like the Pilgrims, the Maccabees at the center of the Hanukkah story made tremendous sacrifices so they could practice their religion in peace.  In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, they reclaimed their historic homeland.  But the true miracle of Hanukkah was what came after those victories almost 2200 years ago – the Jewish Temple was cleansed and consecrated, and the oil that was sufficient for only one day lasted for eight.  As the first Hanukkah candle is lit, we are reminded that our task is not only to secure the blessing of freedom, but to make the most of that blessing once it is secure.

In that spirit Michelle and I look forward to joining members of the Jewish community in America, in the State of Israel, and around the world as we work together to build a future that is bright and full of hope.  From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.

JBuzz Musings November 10, 2013: World political and religious leaders mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht

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World political and religious leaders mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This Saturday evening, Nov. 9 overnight into Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” in 1938, which was the official start to the physical and systematic persecution of the Jews…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings October 23, 2013: Montreal Jewish population remains steady, will Values Charter spark exodus?

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Montreal Jewish population remains steady, will Values Charter spark exodus?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

After analyzing the data of the 2011 Canadian census, entitled by the Canadian government “the National Household Survey,” Montreal’s Federation CJA has determined that that unlike previous speculation the city’s Jewish population remains above…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings October 23, 2013: American Jewish views of Israel, its government becoming more liberal, critical

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American Jewish views of Israel, its government becoming more liberal, critical

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Two surveys recently released in early October 2013 looked at the views of American Jews on Israel; one poll looked at the average Jewish Americans position, and the other looks at the position American rabbis take towards Israel. The first…

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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 October 14, 2013: Pope Francis to visit Israel in March 2014

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Pope Francis to visit Israel in March 2014

By Bonnie K. Goodman

With a lingering invitation from Israeli President Shimon Peres from April and other Israeli officials, Pope Francis is now set to make his first visit as Pope to Israel in March 2014. Israel’s Channel 2 news reported on…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 Musings September 25, 2013: Gilad Shalit receives warm welcome from Jewish community on Canadian Tour

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Gilad Shalit receives warm welcome from Jewish community on Canadian Tour (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Gilad Shalit completed the Eastern portion of his four city Canadian tour, having visited Toronto and Montreal on Sept. 16 and 17, 2013 respectively, receiving a warm welcome and greeted by large crowds at both synagogues where he spoke; Toronto…READ MORE

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JBuzz Musings August 4, 2013: Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

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Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This past week Israeli President Shimon Peres embarked on a four day trip to Latvia and Lituania from July 29 to August 1, 2013. Although it was a diplomatic mission filled with state dinners and meetings with the heads of…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings July 2, 2013: Jewish Tribune experiences backlash from Gilad Shalit criticism

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Jewish Tribune experiences backlash from Gilad Shalit criticism (Photos)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

On June 18, 2013, the Jewish Tribune published a blistering critic of Gilad Shalit’s upcoming speaking tour to Canada sponsorded by Jewish National Fund (JNF) Canada. The Jewish Tribune is the newspaper associated the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith…READ MORE

JBuzz Musings June 28, 2013: UTT Herzliah St. Laurent building finally sold

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UTT Herzliah St. Laurent building finally sold

By Bonnie K. Goodman

After nearly two years the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal (UTT) announced on June 20, 2013 by email to their alumni that they have sold the school building that housed the UTT Elementary School and Herzliah High School Beutal campus…READ MORE

JBuzz News June 13, 2013: Evelyn Kozak: World’s Oldest Jew Dies At 113

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Evelyn Kozak Dead: World’s Oldest Jewish Person Dies At 113

Source: AP, 6-13-13
Evelyn Kozak

The world’s oldest Jewish person, Evelyn Kozak, whose family fled Russia to escape anti-Semitism in the 1880s, has died at age 113….

Kozak, who was one of nine children, was born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Aug. 14, 1899. Her family had moved from Russia to escape organized anti-Semitic attacks….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 28, 2013: Funeral held in New York for Torah scrolls ruined by Hurricane Sandy

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Funeral held in N.Y. for Torah scrolls ruined by Sandy

Source: JTA, 5-28-13

A funeral was held in New York for 12 Torah scrolls that were destroyed in superstorm Sandy….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

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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