International News


Limmud at 30: How a Tiny U.K. Conference Became a Worldwide Movement

By Paul Berger

When Réka Bodó was 13, she presented her mother with a choice. A rabbi had offered Bodó a bat mitzvah at a Jewish summer camp in Hungary. She told her mother that she could either have the ceremony there or in the city of Budapest, where her mother would be able to attend. Although Bodó’s mother, a non-practicing Jew, disapproved of her daughter’s interest in religion, she was a proud guest at the ceremony in the city’s Frankel Leo Street Synagogue.Read More


HRW Targets Businesses on the West Bank

By Gal Beckerman

For the first time, a Human Rights Watch report on the West Bank is calling on businesses to withdraw from there if they find themselves part of what the study describes as a “two-tier system of laws, rules and services” that favors Jewish settlers at the expense of Palestinians. This is a new move for the organization, whose officials acknowledged that the recommendation shared some unintentional “overlap” with the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, or BDS, as the campaign is known.Read More


The Name of Pétain, Hero and Villain, Is Cleansed From the Streets of France

By Peter Hellman

Renaming a street in a tiny French village should have been of no consequence to anyone other than its inhabitants. But when the municipal council of Tremblois-lès-Carignan (population 115) in the Ardennes region voted to change the name of Rue Pétain to Rue de Belle-Croix, it marked the end of an era. Theirs was the last street in France named for the white-mustachioed Marshal Philippe Pétain, hero of Verdun in the Great War.Read More


Progress Seen in P.A. Crackdown On Incitement by West Bank Imams

By Nathan Jeffay and Nathan Guttman

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has seen its ups and downs, but one issue has remained constant: the crusade by Israel and American Jewish groups against incitement to violence. Israelis raise the issue time and again when negotiating with Palestinians, and American Jewry has adopted the struggle against incitement as a key item on its advocacy agenda.Read More


A Year of Captivity in a Cuban Jail

By Gal Beckerman

Every Friday night, Alan Gross pulls out a photograph of a group of friends enjoying Sabbath dinner. Isolated in a Cuban prison cell, he intones the blessing over the bread and wine and stares at the photo of the people, a few families in Maryland that he and his wife used to gather with every week.Read More


Leaks Hint at Chance, Risk of Coalition Against Iran

By Gal Beckerman

It has always been safe to assume that the leaders of Arab nations within firing range of Iran view that country with suspicion and fear. It has been an open secret that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are perceived with as much dread in Riyadh and Bahrain as they are in Jerusalem. But who would have imagined that behind closed doors, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi would be saying, “Ahmadinejad is Hitler” — a line that could have been uttered by Benjamin Netanyahu himself?Read More


Senate Fight Over Arms Reduction Treaty Puts AIPAC in the Hot Seat

By Nathan Guttman

With ratification of the Russian–American nuclear arms-reduction treaty becoming a political football, pro-Israel groups are caught in the middle of a congressional showdown.Read More


Polish Jews Embrace Job of Cleanup and Restoration

By Josh Tapper

During a 1988 visit to Nowy Dwór Mazowieck, the town in central Poland where his Holocaust survivor father grew up, David Wluka found a child’s skull lying, unearthed, at the site of what was once the town’s Jewish cemetery. He picked up the skull and smuggled it into the United States.Read More


With Student Help, Belarus Rescues Its Shtetl Graves

By Judith Matloff

Somewhere beneath the birch trees lies the Jewish cemetery of Senno. The graves have been there for 350 years, but the markers are so sunken into the earth that they look like random stones. Moss covers the Hebrew letters, and few people know about the site, which is hidden from the road by the foliage. The only visitors are mosquitoes.Read More


Survivors Feel Fresh Trauma After Claims Conference Fraud

By Paul Berger and Maia Efrem

After Fira Stukelman lost her family during the Holocaust, the only document to her name was a letter from the orphanage for children of victims where she lived.Read More





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  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
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