For Antwerp Jews, turns out diamonds aren’t forever

ANTWERP, Belgium — Some years ago, Benjamin Lubelsky’s son asked him for help fixing his bicycle, a preferred mode of transport here among Jews and gentiles. Lubelsky, a Bobover Chasid, acquired the necessary parts and soon was fielding requests from neighbors for similar services. Seeing the potential for a business, he acquired training in bicycle mechanics and opened his own […]

Gaza Christians permitted to enter Israel to visit Bethlehem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Christian Palestinians living in Gaza will be permitted to enter Israel and to visit Bethlehem in the West Bank for Christmas. Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov made the announcement Dec. 16 saying that Israel’s gesture is in contrast to the “inhuman cruelty” of Hamas in not allowing Red Cross officials to visit captive soldier Gilad Shalit, who […]

Jewish environmental group re-energizing efforts

WASHINGTON — The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life is ramping up its efforts to help make the Jewish community a key player in the current discussions on climate change Without a full-time director since early 2006, COEJL has secured a half-million dollars in funding for the next two years and hired Sybil Sanchez, executive director of the Jewish […]

‘Arbeit Macht Frie’ sign stolen from Auschwitz

BERLIN (JTA) — The “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign was stolen from the memorial at the Auschwitz death camp. Polish police reported Dec. 18 that the 16-foot long metal sign with the words meaning “Work will set you free” was missing and said they were searching for the thieves. A $1,700 reward has been offered for information leading to the sign’s […]

Earliest leprosy case found in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The DNA of a man from the first century found in a tomb in Jerusalem has revealed the earliest known case of leprosy. It is also the first time fragments of a burial shroud have been found from the time of Jesus in Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The burial cave, also called the […]

Conservatives’ conference eyes more inspiring way to pray

CHERRY HILL, NJ – Do Conservative Jews need a new, perhaps jazzier way to pray? Rabbi Steven Wernick, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, apparently thinks so. During his much-anticipated installation speech at the United Synagogue’s biennial gathering, in Cherry Hill, NJ, he called for the immediate creation of a movement wide task force to tackle […]

Mother of murdered student gets FBI award for advocacy

NEW YORK (JTA) — The FBI has recognized the Brooklyn mother of a terrorist victim for her advocacy of anti-terrorism and anti-gun laws. Devorah Halberstam, whose 16-year-old son Ari was shot and killed in 1994 while traveling across the Brooklyn Bridge in a van with other Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva students, was presented the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award in a Dec. […]

Menorah lighting world record try lures young people to Moscow Chanukah party

MOSCOW — A Jewish holiday, a nightclub atmosphere and the possibility of helping break a Guinness world record drew hundreds of young people to a Moscow nightclub for an unusual Chanukah celebration. The event was the brainchild of the new Russian Hillel director, Alexander Shlimak, who was appointed in September and says he is trying to come up with new […]

Bill maintains foreign aid level to Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Despite the recession, the annual foreign aid bill, just signed by President Barack Obama, maintains the promised level of security assistance to Israel. The $2.22 billion allocated by the bill to defense assistance for Israel, combined with the $555 million approved in an earlier supplemental spending measure, maintains the 2007-17 schedule established under the Bush administration that […]

Diet and chronic conditions will be topic at January TIKVAH Special Needs Program

Pediatrician David Berger, MD, will discuss how chronic conditions can benefit through changes in diet and nutrition at the next TIKVAH Special Needs Program. Co-hosted by Tampa Jewish Family Services and Erica DuPont, LCSW, the program will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 7-9 at the Tampa Jewish Community Center, 13009 Community Campus Drive. Berger will present an informal […]