Month: January 2018

Israeli defense minister bans army’s chief rabbi from military ceremonies

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A meeting between Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi and the Israeli army’s chief rabbi was canceled after the defense minister banned the chief rabbi from military ceremonies.

On Saturday, Avigdor Liberman banned Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and two other rabbis from the military events after they criticized the Israel Defense Forces mixed-gender units. The meeting scheduled for Monday was canceled a day earlier.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed and a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council, said in an interview last week with Army Radio that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should fire IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.…

Two Berlin museums return works to heirs of Jewish collector

(JTA) — Two Berlin museums have returned works to the heirs of a Jewish collector who liquidated them during World War II, according to the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage.

The foundation returned 11 works from the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Skulpturensammlung that had belonged to Margarete Oppenheim, whose family was forced to sell them at a deflated price to the National Socialists in 1936.

Margarete Oppenheim, widow of the chemist and industrialist Franz Oppenheim, died in 1935, six years after her husband. Her collection has been described as one of Germany’s largest and most valuable, containing works…

Mike Pence says US Embassy will move to Jerusalem by end of next year

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. Embassy would move to Jerusalem by no later than the end of next year during an address to Israel’s parliament.

In his address Monday, the first by a U.S. vice president to the Knesset, Pence also called the Iran nuclear deal a “disaster” and said “the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement.”

As he began to speak, Arab-Israeli lawmakers from the Joint Arab List party began waving signs protesting the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leading to their expulsion from the Knesset…

Jewish leaders call for removal of London coroner over delayed Jewish burials

(JTA) — Jewish leaders called for the removal of a London coroner over delayed Jewish burials following a private meeting with her.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews met with Mary Hassell, the senior coroner at the St. Pancras Coroner’s Office in central London, after she told Jewish leaders in a letter that “no death will be prioritized in any way over any other because of the religion of the deceased or family.”

Hassell’s jurisdiction covers the largest concentration of haredi Orthodox Jews in Europe and the United Kingdom’s biggest Muslim community, according to the London-based daily The Guardian.

According…

Israeli team to compete in the Giro d’Italia cycling race

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has been named one of four wild card teams to participate in the prestigious Giro d’Italia cycling race.

The first three stages of the three-week bike race will be held in Israel starting in Jerusalem on May 4.

The four wild card teams were announced Monday. Thirty teams will participate in the race.

The wild card invitations are offered to teams that do not generally race at the Grand Tour level. This is Israel’s first professional cycling team, though only five of the 24 riders are Israeli.

This year’s race is the first time that any…