Tag: World War II

For Israelis in Japan, the North Korea nuclear threat is business as usual

TOKYO (JTA) — Outside this city’s largest synagogue, a wailing siren drowns out the sounds of traffic.

The cacophony alarms a boisterous group of students headed to the nearby United Nations University. Fearing an earthquake, they instinctively run into the middle of the small street in the busy, upscale neighborhood of Shibuya.

But they relax and giggle nervously when they realize that the siren emanating from the Shiritsutokyojogakkan Elementary School, opposite the synagogue, has nothing to do with seismic activity. Rather it is part of a nationwide series of drills designed to ready the population of this island nation…

One of Brazil’s oldest synagogues to be rededicated 100 years after it opened

SÃO PAULO, Brazil (JTA) — The second oldest congregation in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most Jewish-populated city, will dedicate a new synagogue next year, a century after it was opened.

Knesset Israel was founded in Sao Paulo in 1916. Usually referred to by its nickname, Groisse Shil, Yiddish for “big synagogue,” it was completed in the central Bom Retiro district in 1918.

The new state-of-the-art building located in Higienopolis, a heavily Jewish neighborhood a few miles away, will feature two sanctuaries, ritual baths, a library, a ballroom and classrooms.

“We have invested time, emotion, and resources to keep the flame of…

Supreme Court approval of travel ban is disappointing, some Jewish groups say

(JTA) — Jewish groups expressed disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld, for now, President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from six countries with Muslim majorities and two others.

On Monday, the court issued an unsigned order to lower courts to rehear arguments on the ban, and said the ban may be fully enforced until the courts issue new opinions.

The ban announced in September, the third issued by Trump, includes travel restrictions on eight countries: Muslim-majority nations Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad, as well as citizens of North Korea and some government officials of Venezuela.

The…

Romania institutes National Day of the Yiddish Language and Theater

(JTA) — Romania’s parliament established a national day celebrating the Yiddish language and theater.

The day, which was declared last week following a unanimous vote, sets aside May 30 as the National Day of the Yiddish Language and Theater in Romania, whose Jewish State Theater is one of Europe’s leading institutions of its kind.

According to the provisions of the new law, each year authorities may organize and take part in cultural, educational, artistic or scientific programs and events dedicated to the promotion of the Yiddish language and theater.

“Yiddish is a living tradition that has transformed over centuries…

Is Auschwitz ready for a peace center? A Vermont woman thinks so.

(JTA) — A Vermont educator whose grandparents perished in Auschwitz is working to create a humanitarian institute next to the infamous concentration camp, and some Jewish observers aren’t happy.

Nina Meyerhof, 75, sees what she is calling the “City of Hope” as a counterbalance to the grim experience of visiting the Nazi concentration camp, which includes one of the most visited museums in Europe.

“You can imagine that walking through that horror show, where you’re going through gas chambers, etc., and then coming to a place that’s really calm and beautiful and a little cafe and being able to…