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Wake-Up Call For Russia’s Jews, Nemtsov murder is reminder of their vulnerability

Thousands of demonstrators in Moscow protest the murder of Boris Nemtsov.
(Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

During the past two years, Dima Zicer has skipped several political rallies opposing the chauvinistic policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Jewish scholar of education from St. Petersburg, Zicer, 55, has limited hope for change in a country that is ranked 148th in the Press Freedom Index and where several of Putin’s critics have… Read More

Parakeet Wins Purim Pet Contest

Ike the Parakeet

Out of 18 submissions, Ike the Parakeet won the Jewish Times Purim Pet Contest. The parakeet, owned by Janet Ziffer of Columbia, was pictured on top of a mini-football with the Green Bay Packers logo, in a mini Green Bay Packers sweatshirt and sporting a cheese head hat. “I wouldn’t have thought in Maryland a… Read More

‘No One Stuck Up for Us’

LONDON — Nat and her husband have always talked about moving to Israel, but the time never seemed right. The London residents had good jobs, were surrounded by friends and family, and their three kids were happy in school. Then this past summer, during the conflict between Israel and Gaza, they decided it was definitely… Read More

Audacity

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By Melanie Crowder Philomel, 400 pages With an eye-catching title audacious in its simplicity, this beautifully written book succeeds in an equally audacious mission by pulling the reader into the world of Clara Lemlich. With each chapter of verse perfectly pieced together, the reader can truly feel the emotions Clara, a Russian Jewish immigrant who… Read More

Tech Firms Increasingly Toe Europe’s Line on Hate Speech

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A little over a year after a French court forced Twitter to remove some anti-Semitic content, experts say the ruling has had a ripple effect, leading other Internet companies to act more aggressively against hate speech in an effort to avoid lawsuits. The 2013 ruling by the Paris Court of Appeals settled a lawsuit brought… Read More

Experts for Hire

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Many think tanks, those collections of scholars who issue reams of reports and whose members help shape public opinion and government policy, take pride in being independent research organizations whose academics and former officials do rigorous, unbiased work. But thanks to revelations that some of the most widely known of such groups, including the Brookings… Read More

Count Your Blessings

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Based on a verse in the Book of Deuteronomy, the Talmud declares that a Jew should recite 100 blessings a day to adhere to God’s ways and to serve Him. Fortunately, reciting the blessings for prayer and meals, each three times a day, easily achieves the required number. But it becomes a challenge if meals… Read More

Putting the Puzzle Together

Dick Goldman, president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland, has been researching his family since age 11. (Photos by David Stuck)

For locals hoping to dig into their family’s roots, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland can help. The group teaches classes, holds talks with experts and tries to arm people with the tools they need to do effective research. “Now, because of the internet, there is significantly more material available from your home,” Dick Goldman,… Read More

The Lion’s Gate

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By Stephen Pressfield Sentinel, 430 pages Taken on its own terms, as “hybrid history,” “The Lion’s Gate” is an engaging immersion in the experiences and emotions of participants in Israel’s first three wars. Steven Pressfield, author of 12 previous books, interviewed 63 people over the course of 370 hours and sliced their recollections into chronological… Read More

Summertime Staycation

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Often the words “summer vacation” can conjure painful images of airport security crowds, delayed train schedules and high gas prices — even higher than normal this year according to AAA, due in part, the association speculates, to the unrest of the Iraq civil war. Sam Rogers, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Visit… Read More