$55,000 Trip to Israel Included in Oscar Swag Bag


A 10-day trip to Israel valued at $55,000 is among the gifts that will be offered in the swag bags given to some of this year’s Academy Awards nominees. Distinctive Assets, the company that assembled the bags, put the value on the first-class trip, the Daily Beast reported last week. In total, the luxurious gifts… Read More

Stat Whiz Nate Silver: Trump More Likely Nominee Than Sanders


Respected statistician Nate Silver said the chance of Jewish Sen. Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination are close to zero. Silver, the Jewish editor of the FiveThirtyEight blog who correctly predicted the election results of all 50 states in 2012, told Adweek on Jan. 4 that Hillary Clinton should win the Democratic nomination… Read More

Mohammed Most Popular Israeli Name


JERUSALEM — Mohammed was the most popular name in Israel in 2014. Some 2,650 Mohammeds were born in Israel in 2014, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics said in a report released last week. The second most popular name for a boy was Noam, with 1,600 baby boys, though, according to the report, some 400… Read More

Israel to Establish College in Arab Town


JERUSALEM — Israel’s Council of Higher Education will vote on a call for proposals to establish a college for Arab-Israelis in an Arab town, the nation’s education minister said. “For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, we will establish a general academic college in an Arab town,” Naftali Bennett, who… Read More

2,000 Jewish Dancers Meet in Brazil


RIO DE JANEIRO —Some 2,000 Jewish dancers from five countries attended Festival Carmel in Brazil, one of the largest annual Israeli folk dance events held outside Israel. Dancers of varying ages from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, the United States and Uruguay performed in shows and attended workshops, dance sessions, learning sessions and other activities held last… Read More

Bahrain’s king holds Chanukah candle-lighting


The director of an Orthodox European rabbinical association lit Chanukah candles in the palace of the king of Bahrain. The ceremony last week in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf nation’s palace since the establishment of Israel in 1948, according to a news release from the Conference of… Read More

PJ Library expanding to Russia

(Akmal Nagnagy/Harold Grinspoon Foundation))

PJ Library, a program providing free Jewish children’s books to families, is expanding to Russia. The monthly book club, founded by American Jewish philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, is launching a pilot effort distributing Russian-language books in Moscow, it announced in a news release  last week. The program, in partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group, will initially… Read More

Cache of Holocaust-Era Documents Found in Wall of Budapest Apartment


An “unprecedented” cache of documents on the Jewish population of Budapest in 1944 before its liquidation by the Nazis was found hidden in a wall during the renovation of a city apartment. The 6,300 documents that comprise a census of the Hungarian capital’s Jewish population that year were uncovered in August, the French news agency… Read More

MoMA to Return Nazi-Looted Painting to Heirs


The Museum of Modern Art in New York will return a painting to the heirs of a German-Jewish art collector. “Sand Hills,” a German Expressionist painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, will be returned to the heirs of Max Fischer, the museum announced last week. Fischer had inherited the painting, known at the museum as “Sand… Read More

Mexican President: Jews Give Their Best for Country


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto declared that the Jewish community gives its best for the development of Mexico. Peña Nieto was the keynote speaker at a dinner last week in Mexico City to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs of the American Jewish Committee. “I am pleased… Read More