Why Uzbekistan’s Jews Already Miss the Iron Fist of Their Late Ruler

Yossif Tilayev is caretaker of the 19th-century Bukharian synagogue in Samarkand, where there is a Jewish population of 200. (Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA)

BUKHARA, Uzbekistan — Driving through this dusty desert city of many ornate and ancient mosques, Shirin Yakubov recalls the ruthlessness of her country’s recently deceased president of 25 years. “He killed all of them, every last one,” she says of Islam  Karimov’s role in the 2005 police massacre of hundreds of suspected Islamists in the… Read More

Israelis Bring Art, Diplomacy to Balkan State

Siegel specializes in painting portraits on rocks. (Courtesy of Shirley Siegel)

Kotor, Montenegro, a town in on the Adriatic coast, was the scene this month of an effort to strengthen relations between the Balkan state and Israel. In an act of cultural diplomacy, Israel’s foreign ministry teamed up with a Montenegro-based American Jewish businessman to exhibit the work of two Israeli artists — one a Jew,… Read More

5 Feel-Good Stories from Israel That Will Echo into the Jewish New Year


The Jewish state has nearly made it through another Jewish year and, as always, there was plenty to kvetch about in 5776. But Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to take stock and celebrate. Before the shofar blowing begins, here are five Israeli stories from the past year worth trumpeting. Expect them… Read More

Netanyahu’s Friendship with Putin

Russia’s proximity to the Middle East and the presence in Israel of a million-plus Jews from the former Soviet Union, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, make the growing warm relations between Jerusalem and Moscow a welcome occurrence for many citizens of the Jewish state. One of those citizens is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — that… Read More

‘Welcome Home’ Now in Israel, former Baltimore-area residents are living their dream, thanks to Nefesh B’Nefesh


TEL AVIV — At just after 7 a.m. on Aug. 17, their 10-hour ordeal of a flight finally concluded, 233 weary soon-to-be new citizens of Israel staggered off the El Al charter. They couldn’t possibly have imagined what they were in for next. As they walked down the makeshift steps to the Ben Gurion Airport… Read More

UN Obsessed with Israel, MK Yair Lapid Says

Yair Lapid, pictured here in 2013, says he plans to meet with Jewish Democratic members of Congress. (File photo)

Yair Lapid, the Israeli newsman-turned-politician, says the United Nations has an obsession with Israel. “We tell them, you know what is going on in Israel. Israel is a democracy. We have human rights, we have women’s rights, we have gay rights, we are doing everything in our power to prevent the death of innocents in… Read More

How Paris Public Schools Became No-Go Zones for Jews

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 13:  Children look out from a doorway as armed soldiers patrol outside a School in the Jewish quarter of the Marais district on January 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Thousands of troops and police have been deployed to bolster security at 'sensitive' sites including Jewish schools. Millions of people converged in central Paris  for a Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of last week's terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande led the march and was joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

PARIS (JTA) — Twenty-five years after he graduated from a public high school in the French capital, Stephane Tayar recalls favorably his time in one of the world’s most thorough education systems. As for many other French Jews his age, the state-subsidized upbringing has worked out well for Tayar, a 43-year-old communications and computers specialist. Eloquent but… Read More

Ethiopians Press Their Case for Aliyah

Ethiopians Gezahegen Derebe (left) and Demoz Deboch, who have their hopes set on immigrating to Israel, speak in Washington. (photo by Jared Feldschreiber)

Gezahegen Derebe and Demoz Deboch, Ethiopian Jews in their 20s, came to Washington, D.C., earlier this month hoping to press the Israeli  government into action. They are among 9,000 Ethiopian Jews known as Falash Mura who are caught in what the Israeli government says is a budget crunch that is preventing them from making aliyah…. Read More