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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Synagogue Vandalized in Jerusalem, Torah Stolen in Ramat HaSharon

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

A Holy Ark was set ablaze and a swastika was sprayed in red paint on to a Beit Midrash in the heart of Jerusalem in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Both the Holy Ark – where the Torah scrolls rest – and its protective curtain were set on fire in the “Pitchei Olam” central synagogue at 57 King George Street, its decades-long location.

Anti-Semitic epithets and swastikas were also scrawled on walls around the building, situated at the heart of the capital’s shopping and tourism district.

Rabbinical students at the Beit Midrash told the Tazpit News Agency this is the third time this month the sanctity of the Beit Midrash has been violated.

Police and forensic investigators searched the building for evidence that could lead to the perpetrators.

“The circumstances surrounding this event are unclear,” Jerusalem police told Tazpit. “An investigation into the incident has been launched.” Police are confident they will track down the perpetrators.

In Ramat HaSharon, meanwhile, thieves stole a Torah scroll this week worth more than NIS 100,000.

The Torah was donated just a few months ago by a Bnei Brak family to the city’s main Beit Knesset, Geulat Yisrael, on Rabeinu Tam Street.

The busy synagogue is host to Ramat HaSharon Chief Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein. Police have opened an investigation into this desecration as well.

Police Catch Two PA Arabs in Beit Shemesh Synagogue

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Detectives in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, caught two Palestinian Authority Arabs who had broken into a synagogue.

The Arabs possessed tools that were used to force their into the synagogue as well as nearby parked car, which they apparently intended to use to escape.

Turkey’s Jewish Community in Edirne Hosts Public Iftar Meal

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Led by Jewish community leader Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, the Jews in the northwestern province of Edirne hosted a public Iftar meal for their neighbors last week.

The meal which breaks the daily Ramadan fast was held in order to “express appreciation for the recent restoration of the historical Edirne Synagoge by the General Directorate of Foundations,” Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported. The synagogue was reopened on March 26.

Some 700 people showed up for the meal on June 21, according to the newspaper, which quoted the chief rabbi as saying, “We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an iftar meal with them.

“We thank them all very much,” Ibrahimzadeh was quoted as saying. “We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own.”

According to the report, “Leading figures of the country’s Jewish community personally served guests at the Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in a tent set up by the Social Solidarity Foundation.”

The head of the Edirne office of the General Directorate for Foundations, Osman Güneren, attended the event.

The Grand Synagogue of Edirne was the second-largest synagogue in Europe, built in 1907 after a massive 1905 inferno in the city destroyed 13 separate Jewish houses of worship.

Allegedly “abandoned in 1983 due to a lack of worshipers,” Hurriyet reported, The synagogue was transferred for use as a museum to the local Thrace University after its restoration by the General Directorate of Foundations. Sharp criticism from the Turkish Jewish community put a stop to that plan, however.

Nevertheless, last year Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Sahin decided to punish the local Jewish population for Israeli government measures that were necessary to stop Palestinian Authority Arab violence on the Temple Mount.

In retaliation, Sahin announced the synagogue would be turned into a museum, rather than be returned to the Jewish community for worship following its restoration.

The Edirne governor later claimed his suggestion had “no connection” to Turkish Jews and apologized for the proposal. Four months later, a government ceremony was held to herald the reopening of the synagogue for use by the Jewish community.

Jewish Organizations Raise Relief Funds after Houston Flood

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Jewish organizations are raising disaster-relief funds following the devastating flooding in Texas earlier this week, during which Houston’s Jewish community sat at the center of the damage experienced by that city.

Countless Jewish homes and multiple synagogues were among the structures damaged following rain that exceeded 11 inches in some areas on Monday and Tuesday.

The Orthodox Union, which is raising flood-relief funds, sent its senior managing director, Rabbi Steven Weil, to help assess the damage on site in Houston.

B’nai B’rith International opened its Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund in the city following the Houston flood.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is raising flood-relief funds in Houston, noting that “many in our community have lost everything” in the hardest-hit neighborhood. Other Jewish Federations around the country are raising relief funds for Houston.

At the same time, local Jewish community is trying to focus on the positive, and Rabbi Barry Gelman, the leader of a heavily flood-damaged Orthodox synagogue, wrote to his congregants:

Let us focus on repairing what was ruined and rededicating ourselves to what makes UOS (United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston) so special, the community. After all, what is really special about us are the people that make up our community. That is what is indispensable—the building can always be fixed.

Egyptian Journalist Poses as Jew and Discovers Ant-Semitism

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Crowds of curious and angry Egyptians shoved and cursed a man they thought was a Jew and who in reality was a reporter for an Internet website in Cairo that wanted to find out how people would react to the appearance of a Jew.

The response bears out God’s command to the People of Israel never to return to Egypt.

The “Jew,” dressed up as a Hareidi, complete with earlocks, a beard and black hat, roamed the streets  and showed people a note, written in Hebrew, asking for direction  to the synagogue.

Responses rand from “Get lost” to a few words unfit to print.

Here is the video:

Rivlin Tells Bnei Akiva, ‘We Must Not Let This Happen Again’

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin expressed deep concern Thursday over an attack on a Bnei Akiva building containing a synagogue in northern Israel after learning about the desecration from an Arutz 7 reporter who called asking for a comment.

Vandals torched a Bnei Akiva synagogue in the northern Israeli city of Nazereth Illit this week, just before the start of the Shavuot holiday that marks the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.

Siddurim and other holy books were torn apart, burned and desecrated in other ways. Elsewhere in the Bnei Akiva building, Israeli flags were defiled, cabinets were upended, paint was splattered all over the place and flourescent lights were smashed.

Bnei Akiva has long been a source of pride in the community; the religious Zionist movement has maintained a branch in Nazareth Illit for 40 years. Five years ago, a hesder yeshiva for Torah scholars entering army service was added to the program there as well.

According to spokesperson Naomi Toledano, President Reuven Rivlin has expressed his shock over the attack to Bnei Akiva Secretary-General Danny Hirshberg.

Rivlin expressed support for a plan by Bnei Akiva to hold a meeting between the young members of the branch and neighborhood Arabs immediately following the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which begins at the close of the Sabbath, on Saturday night.

“Only dialogue will lead to closeness and understanding,” Rivlin said. “We must not let harsh and shocking incidents like this one happen again.”

He praised plans by the branch to hold its traditional all-night Torah study session for the Shavuot holiday despite the attack.

Although it is not yet clear who perpetrated the damage and desecration, there have been numerous incidents of harassment of the Bnei Akiva youths by local Arabs in the past.

Torah Stolen from Ziv Hospital in Tzefat

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

A Torah scroll worth NIS 150,000 (approx. $38,000 – $40,000) was stolen this weekend from the synagogue in Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat (Safed).

Police have launched an investigation.

Every government hospital in the State of Israel has a synagogue on the premises and Sabbath services are conducted each Shabbat and holiday.

The theft of a Torah scroll from a synagogue is a devastating loss for any congregation, but particularly so for those in a hospital where family members are often praying for loved ones who are fighting for their lives. Sometimes it is the very patients themselves who have managed to make it to the synagogue to offer their prayers for their own recovery.

Such a theft is a despicable act that can only result in a curse not only to the thief, but also to those who aid in any sale of such a holy object.

Those who may have information about the Torah from Ziv Hospital are asked to please call the national Israel Police “100″ line .

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/torah-stolen-from-ziv-hospital-in-tzefat/2015/05/10/

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