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Is the ban on Spinoza being lifted?

Is the ban on Spinoza being lifted?

AMSTERDAM — More than 350 years after this city’s Portuguese Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza and banned his writings for eternity, the philosopher’s books are for sale at the souvenir shop of the community’s synagogue.

Spinoza, a Dutch-born Jewish philosopher who laid the intellectual foundations of the Enlightenment and is sometimes referred to as history’s first secular Jew, was banished by Amsterdam’s Portuguese Jews in 1656 for heresy.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 December 2015 12:06 )

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Features

Autistic soldiers bring special skills to IDF

Autistic soldiers bring special skills to IDFTEL AVIV — Sitting in front of a computer at the center of Israel’s largest army base, a soldier stares at the screen, moving pixel by pixel over a satellite photograph, picking out details and finding patterns. A few years ago N.S., who has autism, thought the Israel Defense Forces wouldn’t take him. N.S., who like other soldiers could not give his name due to IDF protocol, spent his childhood in mainstream classroom settings, where he had focused on studying film and Arabic, but expect...
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Holiday Features

Gift Guide: Chanukah children's books

Gift Guide: Chanukah children's books CHANUKAH EDITION 5776SECTION D PAGE 4 NEW YORK — Sharing blessings, welcoming guests, and friendship are themes that illuminate a new crop of Chanukah books for children. The eight-day Festival of Lights begins this year with the first candle lighting on Sunday evening, Dec. 6 Children’s writers and illustrators serve up a sparkling array of lively and inspiring stories. They take readers from the streets of New York City to a moshav in Israel and even into the kitchen to cook up some Ch...

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 December 2015 08:48 )

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Features

Parisian dining, strictly kosher — with a Michelin starred chef

Parisian dining, strictly kosher — with a Michelin starred chefPARIS — With 84 Michelin-certified restaurants and a combined total of 115 stars, the French capital offers a dazzling gastronomic selection to anyone willing to stomach the bill. Anyone but observant Jews, that is. For years, the kosher-keeping community has been limited to budget pizzerias or moderately priced eateries offering couscous and grilled meat. While many of the restaurants serve good food, they’re a far cry from Paris’ culinary giants, with their daring interpretations of cl...
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Holiday Features

Gift Guide: Mensch on a Bench is toy and book combo

Gift Guide: Mensch on a Bench is toy and book comboLEADING UP to Chanukah, 2014, former Hasbro toy and game company employee Neal Hoffman conducted a successful Kickstarter online crowdfunding campaign to get out his new product, “Mensch on a Bench.” The Cincinnati resident was readying for an even bigger stage: national TV. Hoffman’s toy-and-book set based on the story of the character “Moshe the Mensch” sold more than 50,000 units, generating close to $1 million in revenue.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 November 2015 16:09 )

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University of Chile Law Faculty Student Union approves academic boycott of Israel

Marcy Oster (JTA) — The University of Chile’s Law Faculty Student Union voted to approve a boycott, divestment and sanctions resolution against Israel. The resolution approved a week ago prohibits an... [Link]

Former Auschwitz guard apologizes to victims in court

Marcy Oster (JTA) — A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard currently on trial in Germany apologized to his victims in court. Reinhold Hanning, a former Nazi SS officer on trial for being an accessory to the m... [Link]

Clemency requests for Katsav come amid reports of mental health deterioration

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two clemency requests reportedly will be submitted to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asking that he consider releasing former President Moshe Katsav, following a severe deteri... [Link]

Hungarian police hold 2 in death of Israeli tourist

Marcy Oster BUDAPEST (JTA) – Hungarian police have detained two people in connection with the death of an Israeli citizen, who went missing in the country several days earlier. Ofir Gross, 40, who traveled... [Link]

Montreal police seize 8,000 bottles of illegally imported kosher wine

Marcy Oster MONTREAL (JTA)—Police seized some 8,000 bottles of kosher wine in what appeared to be a Passover-related bootlegging bust at a Montreal synagogue. Two men were arrested at the Young Israel of Montre... [Link]

Israeli officials deny increased tensions with Germany following news report

Marcy Oster BERLIN (JTA) — Israeli government officials have denied Spiegel Online magazine’s recent report of increased tensions with Germany. Ties between German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the C... [Link]

Britain’s Labour launches investigation into party’s anti-Semitism

Marcy Oster (JTA) — Britain’s Labour Party has launched an investigation into anti-Semitism in the party. The inquiry announced on Friday comes a day after the party suspended former London Mayor Ken ... [Link]

K-tel founder Philip Kives, farm boy who pioneered the infomercial, dies at 87

Andrew Silow-Carroll NEW YORK (JTA) — Philip Kives, a Canadian marketing prodigy whose company K-tel International pioneered the business of “as-seen-on-TV” infomercials, died April 27 at age 87. The son of East... [Link]

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