Month: August 2017

Jewish leaders miffed after French cops warn farmers about animal thefts ahead of Jewish, Muslim holidays

(JTA) — A municipality in suburban Paris warned farmers of an elevated risk of theft of sheep and fowl ahead of the Muslim and Jewish holidays of Eid al-Adha and Yom Kippur, respectively.

The warning, which provoked angry reactions on the part of communal leaders who saw it as discriminatory, came in a letter sent earlier this month by a branch of the police department of Hauts-de-Seine, an area comprising several suburbs east of the French capital, the Le Parisien Weekly reported last week.

The letter instructed farmers to practice “the highest degree of alertness” ahead of Eid al-Adha, which…

San Francisco rabbis gather against bigotry after far-right rallies canceled

(JTA) — Rabbis from the San Francisco Bay area joined other faith leaders in gatherings against bigotry and racism a day after a two planned far-right rallies were canceled.

A planned Patriot Prayer gathering at San Francisco’s Crissy Field and a “No to Marxism” rally in nearby Berkeley were canceled by their organizers late Friday afternoon, but the Jewish community’s determination to come together in the face of divisive and hate-based ideologies also swelled attendance at many Shabbat services in the evening, J. The Jewish News of Northern California reported.

On Friday afternoon, the shofar was sounded on the steps…

Israel finalizes order of 17 more F-35 stealth fighter jets from US company

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel finalized a deal to order 17 more F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S. company Lockheed Martin.

The planes were originally authorized and ordered in November 2016, but the negotiations with the company were completed over the weekend, according to reports.

Each plane costs about $100 million. The money comes from the 10-year, $38 billion U.S. military aid package for Israel signed by President Barak Obama in September 2016. Most of the aid must be spent in the United States. The order brings to 50 the number of F-35s to be built for Israel.

Two of the…

Dozens of Houston Jewish community families displaced in ‘catastrophic’ flooding

(JTA) — Dozens of Jewish families in Houston were either evacuated or moved to the second floors of their homes due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the local Jewish Family Service said.

Some 150 neighborhood blocks in the city that are home to members of the Jewish community have been damaged in floods as part of the hurricane, the JFS said in a conference call with community leaders, the Texas Jewish Herald-Voice reported.

Many of the families affected by the floods also were flooded out in 2016 and 2015. Some of the families have flood insurance and others do not,…

Cue the camels! Israelis are throwing themselves one-of-a-kind outdoor weddings

TEL AVIV (JTA) – In this tiny country, there are only so many places to have a wedding. Or so you would think.

But a growing number of Israelis are creating one-of-a-kind outdoor weddings from the ground up. In some cases, they even start with the ground.

“We brought in bulldozers for one couple,” said Ori Fuks, an Israeli wedding producer. “They wanted to get married on an avocado farm, so we built them a parking lot.”

“Nature weddings,” as they are sometimes called, are an increasingly popular option for young Israeli couples seeking unique nuptials. In recent years, an industry has emerged…