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Cuba: 50 painful years vs. a better future

Cuba: 50 painful years vs. a better future

NEW YORK — For many Cuban Jews — the majority of whom now live in the US — it has been a bittersweet week.

Like countless Jews around the world, they cheered the release last week of Alan Gross, the American Jewish telecommunications contractor who had been held in a Cuban prison for the last five years.

But then there’s the matter of reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.

For those old enough to remember the most brutal years of the Castro regime, the idea of rapprochement with a country still ruled by the Castro family (Fidel’s brother, Raul, is now president) is more cause for concern than celebration.

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International

Hardships for Lugansk Jews

Hardships for Lugansk JewsLUGANSK, UKRAINE — In an unheated synagogue with no running water, a dozen Jews are trying to keep warm as temperatures here veer toward the single digits. Not moving too much helps keep the warmth under their thick coats, they say, a technique developed as the group gathered at least once a week to maintain a sense of community in a city torn by conflict between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army. “We usually stay for about two hours,” says Igor Leonidovich, the synagogue’s gab...
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International

Auschwitz survivors to mark the anniversary of their liberation

Auschwitz survivors to mark the anniversary of their liberationMore than 100 Auschwitz survivors from at least 17 countries will travel to Poland to participate in the observance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, 2015. The official event is organized by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the International Auschwitz Council. The World Jewish Congress and the USC Shoah Foundation’s Institute for Visual History and Education will be among the organizations supporting this event....

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 December 2014 13:21 )

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Local

Chanukah on a note of hope

Chanukah on a note of hopeSMALL POCKETS of people arrived at the corner of Alameda and Dahlia several minutes before JEWISHcolorado’s annual Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 16. Rush hour traffic streamed up and down the noisy thoroughfare. Four-year-olds from the JCC ECE Center and their teachers  flanked the menorah and sang traditional melodies. The mood was ebullient. No one complained about the chill in the air. Jews joined with non-Jews. Studious rabbis mingled with the curious....

Last Updated ( Friday, 19 December 2014 10:11 )

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International

Alan Gross freed

Alan Gross freedWASHINGTON — Alan Gross was imprisoned while trying to connect Cuba’s isolated Jewish community to the wider world. The deal that got him released five years later may do just that and much more. Gross’ flight home to suburban Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 17, with his wife Judy, was part of a historic deal that overturns over five decades of US policy isolating the Communist island nation headed by the Castro brothers. “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to a...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Woman arrested for sexual abuse of teenagers at a bar mitzvah

Gabe Friedman A 32-year-old woman reportedly exposed her breasts to several guests at a bar mitzvah party before performing oral sex on a 15-year-old boy. ... [Link]

ADL slams Lena Dunham’s New Yorker piece

Gabe Friedman The Anti-Defamation League has called Lena Dunham’s recent controversial piece in the New Yorker “tasteless” and “offensive.” ... [Link]

Is U.S.-Israel crisis a speed bump or sign of a long-term conflict?

Ron Kampeas President Obama’s comments this week suggest he has not heeded the calls of leading pro-Israel lawmakers and Jewish organizational leaders to tone down his disagreement with Israel. ... [Link]

Y.U. medical school staff receives employment warning

Gabe Friedman Over 2,500 employees at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine could be laid off as a result of Montefiore Health System’s takeover of the medical school’s operations. ... [Link]

Reid endorses Schumer for minority leader

Ben Harris The retiring Senate minority leader predicted that Sen. Charles Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate and a leading pro-Israel voice in Congress, would win the post without opposition. ... [Link]

France to work on UN draft resolution on Israel

Cnaan Liphshiz Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters he plans to move forward with drafting a Security Council resolution on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. ... [Link]

Toulouse rabbi told to remove kippah at voting station

Cnaan Liphshiz Rabbi Avraham Weill complained to police of the alleged discrimination. ... [Link]

WATCH: Check out this year’s leading Passover parody videos

Julie Wiener If there had been just one “Uptown Funk” parody for Passover, Dayenu. But there are two. ... [Link]

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