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May 1, 2016 / 23 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Lower East Side Liberal-Orthodox Synagogue Burglarized

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

(JNi.media) Rebecca Honig-Friedman, President of the Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, sent out an email Wednesday, telling congregates that the synagogue, one of the oldest in the area and the only one still operating between Houston and Fourteenth Streets, has been broken into.

Honig-Friedman’s email read: “Earlier today, when Rabbi [Aviad] Bodner entered the Shul, he discovered that we had been vandalized. Thank God, no one was hurt and the damage could have been much worse. Tallitot, papers and some knick-knacks were strewn about and the lectern had been overturned. More seriously, two of the lamps on the bima (Torah reading stand) corners were pulled off and broken. Nothing was stolen, and the Torahs and ark were not touched.

“The police came and did a thorough investigation, concluding that this does not appear to have been a hate crime but rather an attempted burglary. Most likely, these were low-level thieves who broke in through the fire escape door expecting to find a collection plate with cash or other valuables that could be easily sold. Not finding anything to steal, they lashed out and threw things around. The police pulled some fingerprints and will see if they can use them to find the perpetrators.

“The police confirmed there is no reason to think these thieves will return and that no one is in any imminent danger. Nevertheless, we are working with the police to enhance our security and will let you know if and when we have any updates on the situation.

“May we come together to support each other and to strengthen our community in the wake of this unfortunate incident. I look forward to seeing you all in Shul and spending a peaceful Shabbat together.”

Stanton Street Shul is one of the last surviving tenement-style synagogues on the Lower East Side. The long and narrow, three-story building, constructed of stone and brick, is situated on a standard tenement lot, preserving the spirit of the working class Jews who prayed there for more than a century. Located in today’s decidedly non-Jewish East Village, well north of the religious Jewish community of the co-ops south of the Delancey Street Bridge, the Stanton Street Shul has been catering to a unique and colorful congregation, carrying the torch of liberal Orthodoxy and growing strong in a declining Jewish neighborhood.

JNi.Media

Court Orders Demolition of Givat Ze’ev Synagogue by Next Week

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

A seven-year legal battle ended in the High Court of Justice on Monday night with an order to demolish a synagogue in Givat Ze’ev within one week.

Givat Ze’ev, located close to Jerusalem, is home to nearly 15,000 Jews and is the fifth-largest community in Judea and Samaria.

The appeal to save the Ayelet Hashachar Synagogue where worshipers have prayed for more than 20 years was rejected.

The building is located on property owned by Amana, the construction arm of the settlement movement.

In 2014, the court ordered the government to raze the synagogue in response to a petition by the far-right NGO Yesh Din claiming the purchase documents for the property were forged.

The court ruled in a 12-page decision on Monday that the synagogue was built on “occupied territory” and on private Palestinian Arab property, and thus not protected under international law under such circumstances.

This same problem takes place in numerous other locations where land has been purchased from Palestinian Arab owners as well, particularly in third-party transactions that are designed to protect the life of the seller.

Palestinian Authority Arab citizens risk their lives to sell their property: the PA imposes a death sentence upon any Arab who sells land to Jews or Israelis, regardless of location.

Hana Levi Julian

Friday Night Terror Attack at Givat Sorek

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Palestinian Arab terrorists sneaked into Givat Soorek (Shorek) on Friday night, an outpost located about 100 meters south of the Judean Jewish community of Karmei Tzur, in Gush Etzion.

The terrorists attacked the synagogue at the outpost, setting it afire, but apparently God had other plans.

The arson caused a water pipe to burst in the building, preventing the holy books from being destroyed.

There was, however, some damage to the furniture and the building, according to Rotter.net.

Hana Levi Julian

Can Peres and Abbas Save ‘Settlers’ Synagogue from Destruction by Israel?

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

A Jerusalem area community in Samaria is hoping former president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas can help them stop the planned government destruction of a 20-year-old synagogue allegedly built on Arab land.

The Supreme Court, which previously accepted leftists’ claims that the synagogue was built on private Arab land, received on Friday a last-ditch petition to stop the destruction, based on arguments that the court and the government did not take into consideration international law concerning the  protection of Holy Sites.

The appeal, filed by attorney Gilad Korinaldy on behalf of Givat Ze’ev regional council rabbi Yosef Toledano, also asked the court to consider aspects of Jewish law, the Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported.

The court has ordered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to answer the petition by next Monday night, the end of Simchat Torah in Israel.

The Netanyahu administration has ordered that the 2-year-old Ayelet HaShachar synagogue, where several hundred congregants have prayed, be demolished immediately after the Sukkot-Simchat Torah holiday.

The petition to the court also explained that the community has appealed to Peres and Abbas to “think outside the legal box” and find a political-diplomatic solution.

Korinaldy, who also represented Gush Katif in efforts to save Gush Katif synagogues from destruction in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in 2005, said, according to Kikar Shabbat:

Synagogues are the voice of the existence of Judaism for generations. All possibilities must be examined to protect the holiness of Israel and respect for God. There is no greater disgrace than Jews destroying a synagogue.

TheJewishPress.com reported here last month that Givat Ze’ev worshippers already have taken holy books out of the synagogue in preparation for the demolition, which Prime Minister Netanyahu postponed from August until immediately after the holidays.

The  suit against the synagogue followed the pattern of several previous appeals by the left-wing Yesh Din and Peace Now grows, arguing that Jews did not legally buy the land on which they built.

It usually is difficult to prove the legal purchase because it is always done through a third-party. Otherwise, the Arab seller would face death, either by an angry mob or by the Palestinian Authority policy that follows the Jordanian law that selling land to a Jew is punishable by execution.

If the petition is successful, it would prove the seeming impossibilities of life in Israel.

Who would dream that Peres and Abbas would be the intermediaries to stop the destruction of a Jewish place of worship in the “occupied territories?”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

European Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to ‘Fight Anti-Semitism’

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

European leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to fight anti-Semitism, according to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), who received greetings from the heads of most countries in the EU.

Margolin was the recipient of holiday greetings from Europe’s leadership ahead of the upcoming Jewish high holy days, particularly Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which begins next Sunday night.

The continent’s leaders are seeking to “reinforce with Europe’s historic Jewish communities and reaffirm their commitment to fighting the wave of anti-Semitic acts that have blighted cities across the European Union,” Margolin said.

Messages of support and solidarity were led by France’s Francois Hollande, who departed from the secular protocol of the French Republic to send his new year wishes to European Jewry. The French president offered a firm commitment to fight “against all words and acts of an anti-Semitic nature, and to allow everyone to live together, without exception, with the same values of freedom, tolerance and community”.

French Premier Manuels Valls added his “readiness to fight against anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism and intolerance, and to tirelessly support European initiatives designed to defend the values which shape our democracies”.

Austrian President Heinz K. Fischer spoke out in support of “the common interest of Jews in Europe.” Fischer said he sought to renew Austria’s ties with the Jewish State by way of its commitment to “the safeguarding of Israel.”

He added that Austria remains committed to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Europe and the world, and to the “safeguarding of minorities including the Jewish community in Austria, which has always strongly influenced our country’s culture,” he added.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also reaffirmed his “excellent relationship with the Jewish community in Belgium.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recalled his country’s endorsement of a joint statement on anti-Semitism at an informal meeting of the United Nations General Assembly last January.

“I share your concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe,” he said in his message to European Jewry. “This scourge affects Jewish communities first, but in essence it is a threat to society as a whole,” he added.

EJA General Director, Rabbi Margolin thanked the European leaders for their wishes and commitments.

“Rabbis and community leaders across Europe report that in light of the growing anti-Semitism and nationalist atmosphere there has been a significant decline in the number of Jews who take part in community activities,” he said.

“However, Jewish communities are working hard to help Jews attend Rosh Hashanah services. Major security measures are being taken and we can report that there is a relative increase in the number of Jews who have expressed their intention to attend synagogues over Rosh Hashanah with their families, compared to last year. “

In Manchester, England alone, anti-Semitic incidents rose by nearly 80 percent in 12 months, according to a report issued by the Community Security Trust earlier this year.

A 17-year-old boy was beaten unconscious in an attack by three men who attacked him and three other Jews this past Saturday night. The boy remains hospitalized with a suspected brain bleed. The three other victims, ages 17, 18 and 20, were also verbally and physically assaulted but did not require admission to hospital.

Hana Levi Julian

Biden Tells Atlanta Jews ‘Honest to God, I Don’t Know If I Will Run’ [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden told a packed Conservative synagogue in Atlanta Thursday night that the biggest factor that will determine if runs for the White House is whether his family can handle it.

His speech was part an Obama-Biden blitz to convince Jews to back the nuclear deal with Iran, which now has enough backing in the Senate to defeat an opposition attempt to override a presidential veto if Congress rejects the deal.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was not what Biden had to say about “ObamaDeal” but rather if he will run. He answered questions from the audience, including one about putting his hat in the ring, and said:

Honest to God answer is I just don’t know

The most relevant factor in my decision is whether I and my family have the emotional energy to run.

Some people might think that is not appropriate. But unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.

And everybody talks about the other factors — the other people in the race, whether I can raise the money and whether I can put together an organization. That’s not the factor. The factor is, ‘Can I do it? Can my family undertake an arduous commitment that I would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances?’

His circumstances are far from ordinary. His son Beau Biden, who was considering running for governor of Delaware, died of brain cancer last May.

The Vice President mentioned a previous tragedy, the death of his first wife and daughter in an auto accident in 1972, in his speech at the Ahavat Achim synagogue. Biden said:

I know from previous experience after my wife and daughter … there’s no way to put a timetable to it.

“If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it. But I have to be honest with you and everyone who’s come to me, I can’t look you straight in the eye and tell you I can do it. That’s as honest as I can be.

Considering unfavorable polls of Hillary Clinton when it comes to honesty, Biden is an appealing alternative to the former Secretary of State and to Bernie Sanders, whose popularity has soared in the polls.

Sanders’ success reflects a large sector of the population that is fed up with “establishment political,” but as the Democratic nominee for president. he would leave the Democratic party more vulnerable to a loss to the Republican candidate, assuming the GOP nominee will be someone other than Donald Trump.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Historic French Synagogue Burns Down in Maizières-lès-Vic

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A quaint little stucco synagogue in the small French town of Maizières-lès-Vic burned to the ground last week. Jews have lived in the remote area for nearly a thousand years.

It is not clear the flames started, since there were no electrical wires in the building, which had not been used as a synagogue in decades.

In fact, the building was being used by a local poultry farmer, according to the French news website republicain-lorrain.fr .

The structure was utterly consumed by the flames, said police, who have launched an investigation into the fire.

Arson is not being ruled out. “The synagogue had no electrical feed and it didn’t burn itself down,” Mayor Alain Guise was quoted as saying.

The central French union of Jewish students, UEJF, also published a statement condemning the anonymous arsonist, if he or she exists.

“UEJF deplores the destruction of a synagogue that, even though it no longer welcomes worshipers, was a symbol of Jewish presence of almost a thousand years,” the group said.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/historic-french-synagogue-burns-down-in-maizieres-les-vic/2015/08/11/

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