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Russian Jewry’s revival evident at Olympics

Russian Jewry’s revival evident at Olympics

SOCHI, Russia — Soft sand and turquoise beaches make Sochi a lovely holiday destination — also, as the 2014 winter Olympic games opened, a city with five Jewish information centers, three synagogues and 13 rabbis.

The Jewish infrastructure in Sochi is aimed not only at serving Jewish visitors but also at advertising what the Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia calls a Jewish revival in the former Soviet Union.

Boruch Gorin, a senior Chabad rabbi in Moscow, told JTA the Jewish presence in Sochi is meant to function something like an embassy.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 February 2014 14:29 )

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Features

Anat Hoffman speaks

Anat Hoffman speaksWomen of the Wall head presents her philosophy and activism Make no mistake: Anat Hoffman is a firebrand. Her extensive resume as an activist backs that up — more than 20 years as the outspoken and seemingly omnipresent leader of Women of the Wall, the group that has fought long and hard for the right of women to pray, in the same ritual manner as men, at Jerusalem’s Western Wall; dozens of arrests for performing precisely those rituals at monthly Rosh Chodesh observances at the Wall; year...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 February 2014 14:39 )

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Features

Can the divine influence a Bronco win?

Can the divine influence a Bronco win?DENVER — Rabbi Daniel Alter expects some added fervency during daily prayer services at the Denver Academy of Torah in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Alter, the academy’s head of school, recalls that when the Colorado Rockies faced the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series, his students were more focused on prayer than ever before. “That created a conversation on the role of prayer,” Alter said. “It brought up questions: Does G-d care? We probably will be having some of tho...

Last Updated ( Friday, 31 January 2014 04:37 )

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Features

Making Judaism splashy in 2014

Making Judaism splashy in 2014NEW YORK — An Israel-based nonprofit boasts staff and board members from brand-name companies like Facebook and Disney. Its splashy fundraising video promises a customizable online platform for Jewish learning with a comprehensive digital library of Judaic texts featuring translations, links to related sources, maps and videos. But is Mercava the future of Jewish education or mere vaporware, the tech term for overly hyped software that never fully materializes? Founded with $1.5 million in p...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:27 )

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Features

Romania faces Holocaust history

Romania faces Holocaust historyBUCHAREST — Touring the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005, Romanian President Traian Basescu was unprepared to confront some painful truths. Facing a photograph showing pro-Nazi Romanian troops offloading their Jewish countrymen from cargo trains, Basescu was shocked and saddened. For decades, his country’s educational system had obscured the truth of Romanian complicity in the deaths of their Jewish countrymen. Now here he was in Washington seeing hard evidence to the contrary....

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:09 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Winehouse statue features Star of David

Ron Kampeas A statue of Amy Winehouse in London has the iconic blues singer wearing a Star of David. ... [Link]

5774: For Europe’s Jews, a year of upheaval and uncertainty

Cnaan Liphshiz In France, Belgium and across the European continent, Jews have encountered measurable increases in anti-Semitic activity over the past year, prompting both increased emigration and a creeping sense o... [Link]

Shofar so good: The Jews who inspired us in 5774

Uriel Heilman In a year with no shortage of bad news, these 10 Jewish individuals or groups inspired or impressed us in 5774. ... [Link]

5774: Top 10 viral videos

Anthony Weiss With JTA’s list of the videos that went viral this year, you’ll be hitting “share” again and again. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: The Jewish imperative to tackle climate change – and four ways to do it

Gabrielle Birkner Sorry, but you do not have permission to view this content. ... [Link]

For Israeli tennis ace Andy Ram and ‘home’ crowd in Fla., a finale to remember

mbrodsky In a match relocated from Tel Aviv because of the Gaza conflict, the sun sets on a smashing career with a grueling victory and chants of “Andyoni.” ... [Link]

IDF disciplines reservist for passing info to Bennett during Gaza op

Marcy Oster The Israel Defense Forces disciplined a senior reserves officer who reportedly passed classified information to a government minister during Operation Protective Edge. ... [Link]

Oops! Palestinian typo promotes ‘violent’ protest

Uriel Heilman Is Mahmoud Abbas planning to herald the coming of a new intifada during an upcoming speech in New York — or did organizers of the event badly mangle their press release? ... [Link]

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