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July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

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 .

1,000 Danes Form ‘Ring of Peace’ Around Copenhagen Synagogue on Sabbath

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

A ring of peace encircled Jewish worshipers at a synagogue on the Sabbath this weekend for the second time in as many months.

On Saturday February 21, some 1,300 Muslims in Norway encircled the sole functioning synagogue in Oslo as Jews prayed within, showing their solidarity and protesting terrorist violence.

More than 1,000 Muslim and Christian Danes clasped hands to form a human chain around the Copenhagen Great Synagogue. It was the site where 37-year-old Dan Uzan, a volunteer security guard was murdered by a radical Islamic terrorist Feb. 14.

Organizer Niddal el-Jabr, a Muslim Copenhagen resident, told The Local newspaper on March 14, “We want to send a clear signal that we want a peaceful society in Denmark…

“Jews should be able to have their religion in peace,” he said.

Uzan’s father, Sergeot Uzan, told DR that he saw the move as an expression of “hope for humanity and democracy.”

It wasn’t the first.

On February 27, some 300 people held a peace vigil at the Copenhagen City Hall Square as well, organized by a separate Danish Muslim group.

Danish Muslims – who number some 200,000 – now comprise three percent of Denmark’s 5.4 million residents, according to the On Islam media outlet, and Islam is the country’s second largest faith group after the Lutheran Protestant Church.

Israel Ambassador to Germany Politely Urges Jews to Leave on Aliyah

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Israel Ambassador to Germany, Yaakov Hadas-Handelsman, has joined Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in politely urging European Jews to “consider Israel your home.”

Speaking in an interview published Sunday in the Tagesspiegel daily, published in Berlin, the ambassador said he “does not envy any Jew living in Europe today.”

He said that those who feel unsafe in light of the recent deadly attacks aimed against Jews in various countries should feel welcome to come to Israel “at any time.”

Hadas-Handelsman had especially high praise for Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel for making it clear that “it is not normal for synagogues and Jewish schools to need police protection.”

Last July, a synagogue in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia which originally was burned down during Kristallnacht but was subsequently rebuilt was firebombed.

Anti-Semitism in the country in general is on the rise, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, as it is in other countries across Europe.

In October 2014, the ‘Die Rechte’ political faction wrote to Mayor Ullrich Sierau in the city of Dortmund, demanding to know the exact number and addresses of all the Jews, saying the information was “relevant for our political work.”

The demand was refused and the letter was passed to the Interior Ministry of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia, which is “looking at ways to legally ban the party,” whose numbers are growing, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA).

Norway’s Muslims Protect Oslo Synagogue in Sabbath ‘Peace Ring’

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

A group of young Muslims organized a symbolic “ring of peace” to encircle the sole functioning synagogue in Oslo as Jew prayed within on Saturday.

At least 1,300 were inspired to join them in the initiative, which came in solidarity with Jews who were targeted last weekend by a radical Islamist terrorist in Denmark.

“This shows there are many more peacemakers than warmakers,” 37-year-old Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the organizers, told the crowd.

“There is still hope for humanity, for peace and love across religious differences and background,” he said.

Still, Norwegian sharp shooters were deployed on buildings around the synagogue. Police superintendent Steiner Hausvik told reporters, “It has been calm as we expected. We had no reason to expect any trouble but we were prepared.”

Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn expressed gratitude and said it was “unique” that Muslims stood up “to this degree against anti-Semitism,” adding that “this fills us with hope, particularly as it’s a grassroots movement of young Muslims.”

Kohn advised the rest of the world to “look to Norway.”

There are only approximately 1,000 Jews left in Norway’s population of 5.3 million, while immigration of Muslims, about 3 percent of the population, continues to grow.

Last weekend two people died and five police officers were wounded in two attacks several hours apart by the same radical Islamist terrorist. The suspect, 22-year-old Omar el-Hussein, targeted a free speech event at a cafe and then a Bat Mitzvah at the Copenhagen Great Synagogue in Denmark.

Hussein, born in Denmark to Palestinian parents, had reportedly been released from jail only two weeks earlier after serving a two-year prison term for “grievous bodily harm.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/norways-muslims-protect-oslo-synagogue-in-sabbath-peace-ring/2015/02/22/

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