Syrian Refugee Crisis Safety concerns, Jewish ethics guide attitudes toward helping those in need

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Saturday morning, a few days after the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg of Beth Am used his Shabbat sermon time to invite an open discussion about the brutal and tragic incidents that occurred throughout the city and their aftermath. Several people expressed their anger and concern about the way Syrian… Read More

‘Regrettable’ Why U.S. lawmakers want Germany to take another look in its museums

Visitors look at Max Beckmann's “Portrait Quappi Beckmann” from 1925 at the Hypo-Kunsthalle in Munich.

In a letter emblazoned with the insignia of the U.S. House of Representatives, 29 members of Congress reprimanded the German state of Bavaria for neglecting its historical responsibility to victims of the Nazis. “The Free State of Bavaria has yet to fully honor its pledge regarding restitution or compensation for Holocaust-related confiscations of property, including… Read More

A Sense of Pride In an ultra-wealthy Moscow suburb, a luxurious JCC opens its doors

An exterior view shows the grandeur of the Zhokuvka Jewish Community Center.

ZHUKOVKA, Russia — On the only road connecting this affluent village on Moscow’s western outskirts, Russian secret service agents are blocking all inbound traffic. Drivers bound for Zhukovka pull over and step out to smoke while chatting with other motorists as a line of luxury cars grows on the shoulder of a two-lane road. The… Read More

Counterattack Influential academics tackle boycott movement on college campuses

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Alarmed by what they called “Orwellian efforts” by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement to link Israel with a multitude of free-speech issues roiling college campuses across the United States, a group of influential academics launched the Academic Engagement Network. Led by Mark G. Yudof, president emeritus of the University of California System, and… Read More

‘Scandalous’ Climate activists welcome deal but rap Israel for ‘minimalist’ commitments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, joins his French 
counterpart, Manuel Valls, at the United Nations Climate Change 
Conference in Le Bourget, France.

TEL AVIV — During last week’s climate summit outside Paris, the 195 delegate countries — including Israel — committed to implementing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improving their goals every five years. The aim: Keep Earth from warming more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century. “This demands international… Read More

Keeping a Low Profile How the world’s longest-running Chabad house survives in Morocco

Rabbi Shalom Edelman has served as a Chabad emissary in Morocco 
for the past 57 years.

CASABLANCA, Morocco — Raizel Raskin’s office feels like a cluttered museum of Moroccan Jewish heritage. A photo from an old Jewish summer camp lies on the table. Another, of a rabbi meeting Moroccan dignitaries, hangs on the wall. Outside the door is a bookshelf filled with Hasidic tracts translated into Arabic. But the rest of… Read More

Let ’Em In Jewish agencies roll out welcome mat for Syrian refugees

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Last Friday, Corine Dehabey, resettlement officer with Us Together, welcomed the 11th Syrian refugee family to arrive in Toledo, Ohio, through her HIAS-affiliated agency this year. When Us Together receives a call, Dehabey springs into action. In as little as 24 to 48 hours, Dehabey has to find refugees a place to live, furniture and… Read More

Two-State Solution: Not Going to Happen Now White House recalibrates Middle East peace push

President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office in November 2015.

Though he came into the presidency with great optimism of brokering Middle East peace, President Barack Obama’s time in office will not conclude with a two-state solution. In a phone call last week with reporters ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House on Monday, administration official Rob Malley, the National… Read More