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Whither European cemeteries?

Whither European cemeteries?
YOM HASHOAH 5773/2013

PRAGUE — Every month or so, a highly emotional email lands in the inbox of Martin Kornfeld, CEO of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia.

The authors invariably are Western tourists appalled by the neglect they witnessed during visits to one of the hundreds of Jewish cemeteries scattered across the country. Often their emails concern the final resting place of their relatives amid overgrown grasses and overturned tombstones.

“They want us to fix it,” Kornfeld told JTA. “But ours is a small and not wealthy community that prioritizes the living.”

Across Eastern Europe, hundreds of Jewish cemeteries are disintegrating as the small communities entrusted with their care focus their limited resources on reestablishing a living presence after long years of communist suppression and the near annihilation of the Holocaust.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 April 2013 10:54 )

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Features

Canadians treated Nazis better than the refugees

Canadians treated Nazis better than the refugeesYOM HASHOAH 5773/2013 VANCOUVER — When Austrian and German Jews escaped Nazism by fleeing to Britain during the 1930s, the last thing they expected was to find themselves prisoners in Canada, interred in camps with some of the same Nazis they had tried to escape back home. But that’s what happened to some 7,000 European Jews and “Category A” prisoners — the most dangerous prisoners of war — who arrived on Canadian shores in 1940. Fearing a German invasion, Britain had asked its co...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 April 2013 10:34 )

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Features

Venezuelan Jews ponder their exile

Venezuelan Jews ponder their exileSUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. — Sitting outside a Starbucks coffee shop in this small city north of Miami Beach, Paul Hariton recalls the dramatic night in 2002 when he and his wife decided to leave their native Venezuela. Leftist leader Hugo Chavez had just returned to power following a failed coup and the Haritons feared the political fallout. “We thought he was gone already,” said Hariton, 56. “We came back from a big opposition demonstration in the city center where several people were s...

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2013 09:14 )

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Holiday Features

Following the ancient Egyptian signs to the Red Sea

Following the ancient Egyptian signs to the Red Sea PASSOVER EDITION SECTION C PAGE 10 LOS ANGELES — If the Passover Haggadah seems like hieroglyphics to you, it could be a good thing. Though the Israelites left Egypt presumably to escape the ankhs and eyes of Horus of the ancient written language, recently I discovered that hieroglyphics — a system of pictorial characters — had a way of writing me into the Haggadah. Considering that on Passover we are commanded to re-enact an event of which we have no memory, perhaps adding some detai...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:32 )

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Holiday Features

How Meir Panim helps the poor on Pesach

How Meir Panim helps the poor on Pesach PASSOVER EDITION SECTION B PAGE 4 WHILE the ancient Israelites were miraculously able to rid themselves of back-breaking bondage and enter the Promised Land with the riches taken from their Egyptian taskmasters, hundreds of thousands of less fortunate Jews in modern day Israel have had to rely upon different miracles performed by volunteers in order to celebrate Pesach without being enslaved to soaring prices in the consumer marketplace. Statistics don’t lie. Though Israel never officially...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:26 )

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Amid complicity debate, Polish clergy to attend 70th anniversary of post-Holocaust pogrom

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Netanyahu calls for ‘direct, bilateral negotiations’ with Palestinians

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready to start “direct, bilateral negotiations” with the Palestinians. The invitation, which Netanyahu has repeated... [Link]

Palestinians riot as Jewish worshippers visit Joseph’s Tomb

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Sides swap character attacks in trial over Bay Area’s Koret Foundation

Andrew Silow-Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California via JTA) — A civil trial focused on control of the $500 million Koret Foundation is pitting its founder’s widow, Susan Koret, a... [Link]

As Jews flee Belgium, a seder marks a family exodus

Cnaan Liphshiz BRUSSELS (JTA) — I was feeling nervous about coming to Brussels for seder with my family. Making the 130-mile trip there from my home in Amsterdam meant taking my 5-month-old son on a train that... [Link]

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