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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

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.

Dallas Rabbi Sued for Running Home-Based Synagogue

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

A Dallas-area rabbi who uses his home as a synagogue is being sued by a neighbor who says it has lowered his property values.

Rabbi Yaakov Rich told the local Fox affiliate Fox4 in a video posted Wednesday that his 3,700-square-foot home is a synagogue with about 25 members. A website identifies his synagogue as Congregation Toras Chaim, with the tag line, “An intimate space … Grow at your pace.”

The website also announces that the Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian advocacy and legal defense organization, has agreed to represent the congregation in the current lawsuit.

“We just want to have our religious freedom to be able to pray and to study in this house,” Rich told Fox.

David Schneider, who lives across the street from the home-based synagogue, is seeking $50,000 in compensatory damages from Rich, saying that the synagogue has caused a decline in the value of his home.

Rich asserts that property values rise around Orthodox synagogues because adherents have to be able to walk to their places of worship and will pay more to buy a home in the area.

Rich recently filed with the city for a certificate stating that he runs a congregation in the home at the request of the city, which can then ask him to adhere to city and state building codes.

Italian Police Find Pig Culprit

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Italian police have identified the man who sent the pig heads to Rome’s main shul, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

The man was identified as Ernosto Morosini, and he wanted to create an Antisemitic movement, and sent them to build a following.

King of Morocco Asking Local Jews to Pray for Rain

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Jews throughout Morocco this past Sabbath responded to a plea by King Mohammed VI and prayed for rain. Muslims did the same in Friday prayers at their mosques.

“In conformity with the high instructions of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, commander of the faithful, these prayers will be called for in all the synagogues to implore the Almighty to spread ample rain throughout the territory of the Kingdom,” the Council of the Jewish community stated.

The Morocco World News reported, “Moroccan Jews performed prayers in all the synagogues in the country, imploring God to spread bountiful rain on the entire territory of the Kingdom.”

The lack of rain this year has threatened the agricultural sector of Morocco, and the economy will be severely damaged if crop production drops because of the drought.

The King’s plea is not unprecedented. In 2007, nearly all of Morocco’s Jewish population of 5,000 turned out en masses on a Sabbath to pray for rain,

Morocco is one of the more enlightened Muslim countries, everything being relative, of course. John Kerry notwithstanding, there is a less than zero chance that the Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah would ask the Jews to pray for rain – for the simple reason that Jews are no Jews living in Saudi Arabia. Okay, there always is one. You just can’t get away from the Jews, but he probably is not orthodox.

But what happens if Mahmoud Abbas gets its Palestinian Authority state? He won’t, but just for the fun of it, let’s say he does. And then comes a drought and there are no Jews living in the Palestinian Authority, because the United Nations has made an exception that a Jew-free country is essential for peace.

Abbas would have several options: One, he could ask Jews in Israel to pray for the Arabs in the PA. Chances are that he would rather die.

But he also could demand that all of the Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries move to Judea and Samaria. That way, he would not suffer the embarrassment of inviting expelled Jews back to their homes but could welcome Jews from the Arab world to fill the gap.

The big question is what happens when the rain comes, whether in the imaginary Palestinian Authority or the real Morocco?

Who gets the credit, God or Allah?

The request of King Mohammed VI sounds great for peaceful co-existence until the arguments over who gets credit turns into war.

There is one other possibility.

Let’s say the rain falls only in the Jewish neighborhoods, or only in the Arab neighborhoods. Get out your Bibles and consult past history for the results in Egypt, when Jews lived in the Goshen neighborhood, and in ancient Samaria, where Elijah made fools out of idol worshippers.

Of course, Islam is not a religion of idol worshippers, even if radicla Islam has corrupted it into a religion of evil.

But since rain always seem to fall on the Jewish Sabbath, just when the non-observant were planning a picnic, it would be best to stick with the Jews.

Vandals Desecrate Russian Synagogue with Pig’s Head

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Unidentified Russian vandals  used a pig’s head to desecrate a synagogue in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, according to representatives of the Jewish community of the city, located 600 miles west of Baku, Azerbaijan.

They found the pig’s head at the entrance to their synagogue  and  believe the perpetrators are also responsible for English-language graffiti on the building’s external wall, which read, “Happy Tu B’Shvat, Jewish Pigs,” although the Jewish holiday does not occur Jan 15.

Shneor Segal, a Chabad rabbi who used to work in Krasnodar and now serves as the chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Baku, said the community has contacted police with the intention of filing criminal charges against the unidentified perpetrators.

Last month, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of a synagogue being built in Sevastopol, a Ukrainian port city located 270 miles west of Krasnodar.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/vandals-desecrate-russian-synagogue-with-pigs-head/2013/12/23/

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