Month: August 2017

Lithuanian president ignores congressmen’s protest over planned project atop Jewish graves

(JTA) — The president of Lithuania dismissed concerns raised by 12 U.S. Congress members over the planned construction of a conference center atop what used to be a Jewish cemetery in Vilnius.

Responding to a letter sent last month by the lawmakers about the Piramont cemetery, Dalia Grybauskaitė on Monday told the BNS news agency that “decisions on Jewish cemeteries are taken together with the Lithuanian Jewish community and the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe.”

The congressmen, including Randy Weber, R-Texas, and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., wrote that the plans “conflict with the respect for human dignity.”

Lithuanian Jews…

Netanyahu plans to become first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu is planning trips to Argentina and Mexico in September that would make him the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the region before flying directly to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, according to The Jerusalem Post. He would return to Israel for Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 20.

“Latin America has always been friendly to Israel, but I think we’re at a position where these relationships can be far, far, far advanced,” Netanyahu told President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala last fall.

Swiss hotelier sorry for signs telling Jews to shower before entering pool

(JTA) — The manager of a hotel in Switzerland said she was wrong to post signs instructing “Jewish guests” to shower before entering the pool and to access the refrigerator at set times.

Ruth Thomann, who runs the Paradies Arosa hotel 80 miles southeast of Zurich, responded Monday to articles published in Israeli media outlets about the signs put up by hotel staff over the weekend.

“I have nothing against Jews, whom we regularly receive warmly here,” she told JTA on Monday. “I may have selected the wrong words; the signs should have been addressed to all the guests…

Knife-wielding motorist in France suspected of threatening to ‘kill the Jew’ in front of his family

(JTA) — A motorist with a knife threatened to “kill the Jew” after nearly hitting the man and his family in Cannes, according to a French anti-Semitism watchdog.

The victim, identified by the Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism as B. Olivier, said the suspect assaulted him on Thursday morning while he was trying to cross a road with his wife and baby in the southern French city, the watchdog known as BNVCA said in a report Monday on the incident. Olivier reportedly said the man, who appeared to be of European heritage, failed to stop his car at the pedestrian…

This Michelin star pastry chef started her own knish company

NEW YORK (JTA) — Larissa Raphael was sick of eating knishes that packed in plenty of potatoes but no punch.

“I was like, ‘why does the knish need to be bland?’” she said. “I want it to taste really good.”

As the former pastry chef of a late lamented restaurant that earned a Michelin star, she decided to take matters into her own hands. In February, Raphael, 47, launched her one-woman knish business, Riss’ Knishes.

Raphael started cooking up the idea last year when an acquaintance suggested she make the doughy pockets with roots in Jewish Eastern Europe. She…