Tag: Judaism

Circumcision ban will prevent Jewish community life in Iceland, Scandinavian Jews warn

(JTA) — The leaders of the Jewish communities of four Nordic countries said that a bill proposing to ban nonmedical circumcision in Iceland “will guarantee” that no Jewish community is established there.

The presidents of the umbrella groups of Jewish communities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland issued the unusual warning Tuesday in an open letter to all Icelandic lawmakers in reaction to the submission last month of a bill proposing to ban all nonmedical circumcision of boys younger than 18 in Iceland, a Scandinavian island nation of some 300,000 people with a few hundred Jews and Muslims.

Lawmakers from…

Jews from all over Russia win trips to Paris — by studying Judaism

MOSCOW (JTA) — Growing up in a working-class family in Russia’s Far East, Sergei Aryeh Zolotov knew the French Riviera only from what he’d seen in James Bond movies.

A student in his 20s from the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles east of Moscow, Zolotov had neither the means to travel to the sunny beaches of southern France nor to obtain the visa that Russian citizens need to enter the European Union.

Luckily for Zolotov, he didn’t need to worry about any of that. All he had to do to visit the famed beaches of Cote d’Azur was to…

Reconstructionist rabbinical school changes name to Reconstructing Judaism

(JTA) — The rabbinical school and umbrella organization for Reconstructionist Judaism has a new name: Reconstructing Judaism.

The name, announced Monday, comes along with a new logo of a sprouting tree as well as a new slogan, “Deeply rooted. Boldly relevant.” The rabbinical school in suburban Philadelphia, which serves 39 students, will be called the College for Reconstructing Judaism.

The name of the movement, however, will remain Reconstructionist Judaism.

“This new name reflects to the world that we always have been and continue to be engaged in creating active Jewish life,” said Rabbi Deborah Waxman, the school’s president, in a…

Will Abbas’ explosive comments kill the peace process?

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Oslo Accords? “Killed,” the Palestinian Authority president says, blaming Israel.

The Israeli prime minister says the Palestinians are now “unmasked” — but naturally he blames the Palestinians.

Notably, the United States is silent.

The P.A. president, Mahmoud Abbas, delivered a rambling address of more than two hours this weekend to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council.

“Today is the day that the Oslo Accords end,” he said. “Israel killed them.”

Abbas blamed the restrictions under which his Palestinian Authority operates and what he regards as Israel’s unrestrained occupation activity.

“We are an authority without any…

Trump officials advised Israel to expand Jewish prayer at Western Wall, prevent it at Temple Mount

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The annual State Department report on religious freedoms emphasizes Trump administration efforts to maintain the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and encourage religious pluralism in Israel.

In the report released Thursday, the Israel section reflects the importance that the Trump administration attached to tamping down tensions that exploded in July after terrorists killed two Israeli policemen on the Temple Mount and Israel installed new security measures there. It also casts the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, whose nomination came under criticism from Jewish groups because of his previous lacerating attacks on liberal…