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July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Another Synagogue, Mikvah Destruction Ahead in Judea-Samaria

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Settlers in Judea, Samaria and the Binyamin region are getting ready for government forces intent on more demolitions. This time a synagogue and mikvah are among the targets.

Leaders of the Residents’ Council of Judea and Samaria (Yesha Council) have been negotiating for six months with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and other officials over the looming destruction. The problem stems from a High Court of Justice order forcing the state to demolish 28 buildings said not to be constructed according to code or built “on private Palestinian land.”

Similar orders are rarely issued, let alone carried out against the thousands of illegally-constructed Bedouin and Arab structures dotting the Israeli landscape within the 1949 Armstice lines (known as the “pre-1967 lines,) let alone the hundreds of thousands carpeting the hillsides in those in the disputed territory of Area C.

All but three of the targeted Jewish structures have since been rebuilt to meet the demands of the state.

But authorities have been ordered to demolish those last three that have yet to meet the regulations. They include a synagogue and a mikvah and are to be destroyed by May 18, this Friday, Ynet reported Wednesday. Since the IDF allegedly does not carry out expulsions on Shabbat, it is expected the evictions will begin on Thursday.

It is expected that orders declaring the surrounding area a “closed military zone” will be issued within the next 24-48 hours in order to prevent interference from protesters.

Hundreds of IDF soldiers, Border Guard personnel and police officers are preparing for the operation along with the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT). Generally roadblocks leading into the affected areas are placed to prevent others from coming to the aid of those being evicted.

Synagogue Worshippers in London Save Family from Burning Car

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue.

The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified only as “Shlomo” and an IDF veteran, survived the intense heat from the burning car while unfastening the child’s seat belt and freeing him.

Two other passengers fled on their own before the Peugeot 307 exploded, the London Evening Standard reported.

The family was taken into the synagogue to recover as firefighters rushed to the scene and extinguished the fire, which destroyed the car.

Michael Block, who worships at the synagogue, told the Standard, “The people in the car realized there was going to be a problem and tried to get out, then fire started coming out. The family in the car was beside themselves and in shock. Shlomo is a lovely chap and he hasn’t been in this country for very long…. He was very brave…. He is a well-meaning guy who saw there was a problem and went to try and help. He is definitely a local hero.”

Tunisia Leader Facing Flack Over Jewish Pilgrimage to El Ghriba

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Just one day after Tunisia’s leader urged officials not to make a fuss over normalization of ties with Israel, the country’s parliament voted to “interview” its tourism minister for deciding to allow Israelis to participate in the annual Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba.

The elected National Constituent Assembly (NCA) has announced it will question Tourism Minister Amel Karboul over the decision to allow Israelis to enter Tunisia.  Also to be “interviewed” will be Security Minister Sefar Ridha, according to international media reports.

“Our problem is not with our Jewish brothers who come for the pilgrimage but with the Zionist entity that occupies Palestinian territories,” said leftist Democratic Alliance head Mohammed Hamdi.

Since the country’s Jasmine Revolution in January 2011, Tunisia has struggled with a massive economic crisis.  Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa warned the parliament Tuesday it was in Tunisia’s best interest to “make the tourist season a success, because tourism is one of the activities that brings immediate cash to the country.”

Of those activities, Jomaa noted, tourism professionals have determined “the pilgrimage to Ghriba must be successful for the tourist season to be successful.” He added, “This is a tradition known to us – the pilgrimage has been taking place for years.”

The tourism industry in Tunisia employs some 400,000 people and accounts for seven percent of the GDP.  Jomaa’s decision to create a policy of tourism “transparency” means that Israelis can for the first time use their official passports to enter the country for the pilgrimage, rather than a specific Tunisian embassy-issued document.

Tunisia had “offices of interest” in Tel Aviv in 1996, and Israel had one in Tunis as well. Those ties were established just two years after the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters which had existed in Tunisia for the twelve years prior.  But the fragile ties established between Tunisia and Israel were torn apart in October 2000 when the PLO succeeded in launching the second intifada in Israel – prompting Tunis to freeze ties in a protest against Israel’s efforts to quell the violence.

For years Jews have gone to Tunisia for the pilgrimage, with or without formal Israeli-Tunisian diplomatic ties. But an Al Qaeda terror attack on the synagogue in 2002 left 21 people dead, and killed the tourist event for the next decade. The Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Spring did the rest.

Jews Ordered to ‘Register’ in Donetsk, Ukraine

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  For some Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on this Passover holiday of “freedom,” concern and even fear is lurking in their thoughts, making them wonder about the lessons of the past.

On the first day of Passover this week, three armed men in the eastern Ukrainian province of Donetsk distributed flyers warning Jews to “register” themselves and their assets with the new pro-Russian government, according to the novosti.dn.ua website.

The flyers were handed out next to a synagogue as people were leaving following holiday prayers. They read as follows:

“Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,

Due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported (Stepan) Bendery Junta, and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk, [the interim government] has decided that all citizens of Jewish descent age 16 and older, residing within the territory of the republic, are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register by May 3.

(Ed. Note: Stepan Bander was a Ukrainian nationalist leader in Kiev who fought with Nazi Germany in the 1940s against Soviet troops before switching sides and taking up arms against the German occupation.)

“ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles. Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revocation and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property. A registration fee of $50 is required.”

Pro-Russian separatists are occupying the building where the Jews were told the register.

The flyer was written in the Russian language and bore the symbol of Mother Russia at the top of the page and that of the Donetsk People’s Republic at the bottom. It was allegedly signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of the Donetsk interim government but no ink signature is seen on the paper.

Donetsk was recently declared an independent “people’s republic” by pro-Russian activists. In response to a query by a Ukrainian Jewish website, Pushilin confirmed the flyers were indeed distributed by his organization. However, he was quoted by the tvrain.ru news site on Wednesday as denying any connection to the content, and called the flyers a ‘provocation.’

Nevertheless, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky told Voice of Israel government radio on Wednesday that aliyah from the Ukraine is likely to double by the end of 2014.

The flyer – authentic or not – constitutes the 17th anti-Semitic incident to have taken place in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014. Most were violent attacks. Several were aimed at Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and a few were life-threatening. Five took place in Kiev alone, according to statistics gleaned from the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism (CFCA) website.

A reader on the Israel Matzav blog warned in a number of posts that the situation in Ukraine is becoming extremely dangerous for Jews.

Wisely, a Jewish resident of Donetsk told Ynet that she does not intend to register, although she said that she had never encountered any form of anti-Semitism until she saw the flyer. “Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity,” she said.

NY Officials Shut Down Oldest Surviving Synagogue Building

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The oldest surviving synagogue building in the United States was evacuated Tuesday night after New York firefighters discovered cracks in columns supporting the second floor.

The structure was built in 1849 and was the home of Congregation Anshe Chesed before being bought in 1986 by the Spanish sculptor, Angel Orensanz.

The center is an art gallery and is used for weddings and fundraising events, such as last night’s celebrity gala for the theater company Soho Rep.

Firefighters arrived in the middle of the vent to investigate a smoke alarm and the discovered that the floor was shaking and the beams were cracked.

Engineers and architects are on the spot and working to make the necessary repairs that will allow the Environmental Control Board to cancel the vacate order.

East Ukraine Synagogue Hit by Firebombs

Monday, February 24th, 2014

A synagogue in eastern Ukraine sustained minor damage from firebombs hurled at it by unidentified individuals Saturday night.

The firebombs hit the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev, according to a report on the news site timenews.in.ua.

The website published photos that showed the traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony of the synagogue, which opened its doors in 2012.

A spokesperson for the Zhovtneviy District where the synagogue is located said no one was hurt in the attack and that police were searching for suspects. Officers found the neck of a glass bottle which was used as a Molotov cocktail, according to the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Several Ukrainian media reported erroneously that the attack happened in Kiev.

Ukraine has a Jewish population of 360,000–400,000 people, with roughly a quarter of all the country’s Jews residing in Kiev, according to the European Jewish Congress. The Jewish Agency put the figure at 200,000.

Hungarian Jews May Use Force to Stop Jobbik Protest

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) is considering sending people to physically prevent Hungary’s ultra-nationalist Jobbik party from holding a rally at a former synagogue on next Friday.

Jobbik, which holds 43 of 386 seats in the country’s parliament, is planning the rally in a building in the city of Esztergom which had once been a synagogue. The Jewish community in the city was killed during the Holocaust. The Jobbik party leader, Marton Gyongyosi, had demanded that the Hungarian government make a list of citizens with Jewish ancestry who might post a security risk to the country.

Holding the rally at the former synagogue would be an “unworthy, ugly, and cynical desecration of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the sentiments of the survivors,” Esztergom’s Socialist Party chairman Tamás Gál wrote in a letter to the town’s mayor.

Meanwhile, the Rabbinical Council of Europe (RCE) has announced its plans to hold a conference in March that will cooperate with the Hungarian government. “In the past few years, the voices of anti-Semitic ideology have become louder in the country. The conference is aimed at showing support to the Jewish community, and to the majority of Hungarians who experience with fear the negative developments,” RCE Director-General Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hungarian-jews-may-use-force-to-stop-jobbik-protest/2014/02/06/

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