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Security guard prevented an attack in Synagogue Mariupol, Ukraine – The Times of Israel

Posted By on August 2, 2020

On 28th July an unknown man tried to commit a terrorist attack with an axe in the Synagogue of Mariupol in Ukraine. He hit and wounded the security guard, but fortunately the guard managed to neutralize the aggressor and to grab the axe.

There were unarmed people in the synagogue, but everyone survived. The guard is just a hero. Our community and I personally express our deepest gratitude to our guard for protecting all those inside the building, putting his life at risk, said Menachem Mendl Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Mariupol.

The guard is slightly injured in his neck and hand.Christians for Israel Ukraine supports this Jewish community in Mariupol with a food kitchen, food parcels and by paying this security guards salary already for 3 years.

Theology at the University of Utrecht in the NetherlandsReverend/Pastor in 5 Dutch Protestant ChurchesExecutive Director of Christians for Israel InternationalActive in over 42 countries worldwide

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Security guard prevented an attack in Synagogue Mariupol, Ukraine - The Times of Israel

LISTEN: Into Years of Fraud: A Wounded Rabbi Admits to Wrongdoing – NBC San Diego

Posted By on August 2, 2020

On April 27, 2019, a 19-year-old walked into the Chabad of Poway synagogue and opened fire; killing one woman and injuring others, including the synagogues Rabbi. Through the sorrow, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein had a message for San Diego and grew to become an international symbol of peace. But prosecutors say he had a dark secret.

Just weeks ago, Rabbi Goldstein pleaded guilty for his involvement in an elaborate scheme to steal thousands of dollars from taxpayers and his own synagogue.

In this weeks episode of Into San Diego, were breaking down how investigators say the scheme worked, the major players involved, and the response from the local community.

Click here to listen to the episode:

To read more about how the tax scheme worked, click here.

Do you have an idea for a future episode ofInto San Diego?Email us

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LISTEN: Into Years of Fraud: A Wounded Rabbi Admits to Wrongdoing - NBC San Diego

Florida man will be charged with vandalism of 2 Reform synagogues in Sarasota – St. Louis Jewish Light

Posted By on August 2, 2020

(JTA) A Florida man is being charged in connection with the vandalism of two Reform synagogues in Sarasota.

Victor Martinez, 21, was named by the Sarasota Country Sheriffs Office as the previously unidentified man whospray-painted swastikas and hate messageson Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El earlier this month. He also has been implicated in a vandalism attack on Temple Emanu-El in April, the Sheriffs Officesaid in a statement.

All of the incidents were captured on security footage and by security cameras at a nearby ATM.

Warrants for Martinezs arrest were issued Wednesday, according to the statement.

Martinez, who was placed at the scenes of the incidents using cellphone records, faces three counts of criminal mischief by defacing and damaging a synagogue, all classified as felony hate crimes. He is at a secure medical facility pending his arrest, according to the statement.

The Temple Sinai campus was extensively vandalized in the July 15 attack, including many walls made of porous Jerusalem stone, making the removal of the messages difficult. In April,swastikas were spray-paintedon the doors of Temple Emanu El, which was again vandalized on July 15.

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Florida man will be charged with vandalism of 2 Reform synagogues in Sarasota - St. Louis Jewish Light

When hippies invented their own Judaism – San Diego Jewish World

Posted By on August 2, 2020

Tales of the Havurah by David Kronfeld, self-published, ISBN 9781098-302412; 419 pages with afterword and glossary, available on Amazon.

By Donald H Harrison

SAN DIEGO Take yourself back to the 1960s and 1970s when Jewish hippies envisioned creating their own brand of Judaism. Kosher food mixed with marijuana. Come as you are davening with cushions in a circle, instead of chairs facing a bima. Potluck dinners, in both meanings of the word. Some traditional prayers in, others out. Fully egalitarian services long before more established movements recognized women as spiritual leaders. Men and a woman even going to an outdoor mikvah together (Okay, it was skinny-dipping mixed with traditional mikvah prayers.)

Author David Kronfeld says his account is a fictionalized version of the co-educational havurah with which he worshiped and lived in a rambling old house that easily accommodated 20 persons and occasionally was filled to bursting during special holidays such as Purim and Yom Kippur. His book is filled with stories about the relationships between members of the outside world (including parents), and relationships among the members, including sexual dalliances, theological disagreements, mutual support, and lots of teasing.

As Jewish hippies living together, they didnt have to explain their hippiedom to other Jews, nor their Judaism to other hippies. They were a mostly self-contained breed of their own, making up and breaking rules as they saw fit, but nevertheless hewing to a more observant form of Judaism than what is found today in many mainstream temples and synagogues.

Kronfeld is a marvelous writer, capable of bringing you into the moment. He tells of the difficulty and embarrassment members of the Havurah experienced when a homeless woman, who clearly was mentally ill, kept demanding admittance and eating prodigious amounts of food that others had paid for. He explains how difficult it was for them to finally turn away a fellow Jew, after she repeatedly refused their offers to find her professional help.

He also writes about members of the Havurah attending services at a nearby synagogue in a Boston suburb where the membership had been so diminished that only a few elderly Jews remained, worrying if they could somehow keep their doors open. It was clear that these elderly Jews wanted the young members of the Havurah who by and large were graduate students at various Boston-area universities to merge with their congregation, but the silent appeal went unheeded. It was hard enough for the Havurah to keep itself together, much less to take on the responsibilities of a formal synagogue building.

Nearly every chapter in this book revealed a deep knowledge of Jewish religion and tradition, mixed with an impatience for traditional religious formats. The Havurah was a glorious experiment, but like the old synagogue, the Havurah had difficulty replenishing its membership. Eventually, it faded away, except in the memories of its alumni.

I highly recommend reading this book for anyone who yearns for new ways to express their spirituality. One big difference between then and now: Smoking pot, or weed as it is more popularly called, is legal, at least in some states including right here in Califfffornia.

*Donald H. Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World. He may be contacted via

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When hippies invented their own Judaism - San Diego Jewish World

Religion events in the San Fernando Valley area, Aug. 1-8 – LA Daily News

Posted By on August 2, 2020

Most religious congregation continue to hold services and classes/lectures online only due to the coronavirus pandemic concerns and restrictions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered on July 13 that places of worship in counties such as Los Angeles and Ventura need to stop indoor services, once again, due to a surge in the number of people infected by the virus. Services and other religious gatherings may take place outdoors if social distancing and mask-wearing are observed.

Here is a sampling of upcoming services and events.

The Pasture Food Bank at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Tujunga: The parishs food bank has reopened. Needy families may use the drive-thru line, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month. The public may donate canned and boxed food. The food pantry is co-sponsored the Sunland-Tujunga Elks, Lodge 2098. For more information about the food bank, Jim Lank, 818-367-4757.

St. Innocent Orthodox Church: The Rev. Yousuf Rassam leads the Great Vespers service, 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1 (watch on Facebook The Divine Liturgy is outdoors and open to the public, 9:30 a.m. Aug. 2. 5657 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. 818-881-1123. Church website:

Shepherd Church: Worship services, 6 p.m. Aug. 1 and 9 and 11 a.m. Aug. 2 ( The church is in Porter Ranch. Email:

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church: Two services on Aug. 2: An out-door traditional service in the Serenity Garden, 8:30 a.m. (must make a phone reservation by noon Aug. 1 to attend; see website for rules to follow; bring your own Bible), and a contemporary and live stream service, 11 a.m. (call to register for this service; 8520 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka. 818-341-3460.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles: The daily Masses are live streamed from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, 7 a.m. (in Spanish) and 8 a.m. (in English); Sunday Masses are live streamed, 7 a.m. (in Spanish) and 10 a.m. (in English): For local parishes that live stream Mass: For more information:

A Life of Integrity: The Rev. Rob Denton delivers the message, part four of a five-part sermon series Live Life Beyond, based on the book A Life Beyond Amazing by David Jeremiah. Two services available on Aug. 2: Outdoor on the church lawn, 9 a.m. (bring your own blanket or chair, shade umbrella, wear a mask and practice social distancing); Online, 10:45 a.m. (go to website for link). Readings: James 4:10, 1; Luke 22:27; Peter 5:6; Romans 12:3. Also, an outdoor Saturday service, 6 p.m. Aug. 1. Register online for the 6 p.m. Aug. 1 and 9 a.m. Aug. 2 services ( West Valley Christian Church, 22450 Sherman Way, West Hills. 818-884-6480.;

First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hills: The Rev. Jourdan Turner leads the live stream Sunday service, 9 a.m. Aug. 2 ( See website for church bulletin for specifics on the service.;

The Church on the Way: The Revs. Deborah and Tim Clark lead the online Sunday services, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Aug. 2. The church is in Van Nuys. 818-779-8000. Email:;

Sunday with St. Luke Lutheran Church: The Rev. Janet Hansted leads the service with Holy Communion, 9:30 a.m. Aug. 2. Prepare in advance: bread, wine/juice for the Communion. Click on the Zoom link from the church website. The church is in Woodland Hills. 818-346-3070.

Christians for Jesus: The Rev. Bill Freeman explains the message, 10 a.m. Aug. 2. Find the Zoom link on the website. 616-796-5598. Email:

Sunday service with the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and St. Charles: The Rev. Canon Greg Frost leads the online service, 10 a.m. Aug. 2. Check the website for the YouTube link. The church is in Granada Hills. 818-366-7541. Email:;

Sunday with Northridge United Methodist Church: The Rev. Joseph Choi delivers the message, 10 a.m. (in English) and 11:30 a.m. (in Korean) on Aug. 2. Watch here: Northridge United Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd. 818-886-1555.

Reseda Church of Christ: Live stream Sunday service, 10 a.m. Aug. 2.;

Sunday service with Sherman Oaks United Methodist Church: The Rev. Garth C. Gilliam delivers the message, 10 a.m. Aug. 2. Check the website for the church bulletin for the service. Watch the service from the website or listen by phone, 669-900-6833 and use ID: 92413458020. Church, 818-789-0351. Email:;

Woodland Hills Community Church (United Church of Christ): The Rev. Craig Peterson leads the 10 a.m. Aug. 2 service. Piano prelude, 9:45 a.m. Watch on Facebook here:;

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost and Holy Communion with Prince of Peace Episcopal Church: Readings for the 10 a.m. Aug. 2 service include Psalm 119:1-8, James 1:26, Exodus 20:16 and Matthew 26:59-61. Prepare in advance: bread, wine/juice for the Communion. The church is in Woodland Hills. Find the Sunday bulletin and link to the service here: 818-346-6968.

Jah Love: The Rev. Stephen Rambo explains the message during the online service, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2. Center for Spiritual Living-Simi Valley. 805-527-0870.;

Lets Get Together and Feel Alright: The Rev. Michael McMorrow explains the message, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2 ( Center for Spiritual Living-Granada Hills. 818-363-8136. Watch the service here or here:

Take Care of Yourself Beyond What You Feel Is Acceptable: Barbara Calvi and Brian Nelson, worship associates, and Todd Covert, tech associate, lead the online service, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2. Check website for the link to join the online service or join by phone, 669-900-6833 and use ID: 8581092800. For upcoming services and church information contact Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church in Canoga Park. 818-887-6101.

Wrestling with God: The Rev. Steve Peralta explains the message, based on Genesis 32:22-31, during a Holy Communion service, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2. Prepare in advance: bread, wine/juice for the Communion. North Hollywood United Methodist Church. Click here to join the service on Zoom: 818-763-8231. Email: Facebook:

Sunday service with Congregational Church of the Chimes: The Revs. Beth Bingham and Curtis Peek lead the live stream service, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2. Click here for the service: The church is in Sherman Oaks. 818-789-7124. Email:

The Power of Acceptance: The Rev. Maria Felipe shares her thoughts on the centers August theme, 11 a.m. Aug. 2 ( Unity Burbank Center for Spiritual Awareness.;

Temple Beth Hillel online: Shabbat service, join at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 (watch online or call 669-900-6833 and use password shalom; The Reform Jewish congregation is in Valley Village. 818-763-9148.

Shomrei Torah Synagogue: Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. Aug. 7 and a Shabbat morning service, 10 a.m. Aug. 8. Click on the link to download the prayer book and to watch the Shabbat services and other programming, The synagogue is in West Hills. 818-854-7650.

Temple Judea: Shabbat live stream service, 6:15 p.m. Aug. 7. More online programming, see this page: The Reform Jewish congregation is in Tarzana. 818-758-3800. Email:

Temple Ahavat Shalom: Rabbi Becky Hoffman leads the 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7 (contact the temple in advance for a link to the Zoom service). The temple is in Northridge. 818-360-2258. Email:;

Temple Aliyah: Shabbat services, 7 p.m. Aug. 7 and a morning service, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 8 (check website for Zoom meeting information or, by phone, 669-900-9128 and use ID 114134 894). Check website for other services and educational programs from the Conservative Jewish congregation in Woodland Hills.;

Shabbat at Temple Beth Emet: The Burbank temple holds a service, 7 p.m. Aug. 7. Check here for Zoom instructions to join the service: 818-843-4787. Email:

Valley Beth Shalom: For Shabbat services, prerecorded lectures and classes, check the schedule here: The Conservative Jewish congregation is in Encino. 818-788-6000.

Communal Reflection American Jews, Civil Rights and Racial Justice: Adat Ari El presents a four-part lecture by Marc Dollinger, author and a professor at San Francisco State University, 10-11:30 a.m. Aug. 9, 16, 23 and 30. 818-766-9426. Click on the link to watch

Lets Get Uncomfortable A Conversation About Death and Jewish Ritual: Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills presents the talk with Rabbi Stewart Vogel, senior rabbi at the Conservative Jewish temple, and Kimber Sax, director of advance planning at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries, 7:30-9 p.m. Aug. 11. Free. Register in advance to receive the Zoom link: 818-346-3545.

Preparing Our Souls for the High Holy Days: Shomrei Torah Synagogue in West Hills co-presents an online six-part program with the Center for Contemporary Mussar in Philadelphia. First lecture On Elul: Introducing the Month of Preparation, with Rabbi Ira Stone, from Rosh Yesivah, the Center for Contemporary Mussar, 5-6 p.m. Aug. 12. Upcoming lectures, presented on Thursdays, include repentance, prayer, tzedakah, averting and preparing for Yom Kippur. Free. Register in advance 818-854-7650.

Mission San Buenaventura: Archbishop Jos H. Gomez, leader of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, announced on July 15 that the mission founded by St. Junpero Serra has been designated a minor basilica by Pope Francis. It is the first church in the archdiocese to be given the title. It is the 88th minor basilica in the United States. San Buenaventura was the ninth and last mission, on March 31, 1782, to be founded by Serra and also, the sixth to be personally consecrated by Serra. 211 E. Main St., Ventura. More on the newly-renamed Mission Basilica San Buenaventura here:

Send information at least two weeks ahead. 818-713-3708.

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Religion events in the San Fernando Valley area, Aug. 1-8 - LA Daily News

The disease: Raging COVID-19 pandemic. My prescription: One mask. Eight weeks. That’s it. – USA TODAY

Posted By on August 2, 2020

Dr. Daniel Horn, Opinion contributor Published 7:00 a.m. ET July 28, 2020 | Updated 4:42 p.m. ET July 28, 2020

In a time of lockdowns and social distancing, who and what do you miss? What if I told you how to get it back? The catch: We all need to opt in.

Every night as I put my 4-year-old to bed he tells me that his one wish during coronavirus would be to visit grandma Helene on the beach in Florida. We havent seen her since January and had planned to have her drive 18 hours (safer than flying) to visit us in Massachusetts this week.But with infection rates rising drastically in Florida and a greater than one-week delay to receive test results, there was no way the trip would be safe for our family. We decided to cancel.

I miss my community. We havent been to synagogue since March and I have lost the sanctity and serenity of communal worship.I am advising my synagogue on reopening and I cant in good conscience advise them to resume indoor services while infection rates soar across the country.

Who do you miss? What do you miss? Is it a best friend, church, your dad, your workplace?

Close your eyes, take a few breaths and count the number of people you love that arent in your life because of COVID-19. Keep your eyes closed, take a few more breaths and remember what community was like for you before COVID-19.Hold on to that. Dont you want it back? I do, and I know how to get there, but I need all of you.

You need to choose to wear a mask.

I am a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.I have access to the best medical minds, diagnostic testsand medical equipment in the country. My hospital has led many scientific advances during COVID-19. However, they all pale in comparison to my hospitals decision to lead the way on universal masking.

People wearing masks on July 18, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina.(Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Beginning on March 24, 2020, our entire hospital system began to place a clean, surgical mask on all health care workers and patients whether we thought they had coronavirus or not. The decision took vision, braveryand a major resource commitment at a time when we didnt know with certainty that we would have enough masks to keep up with the demand. The decision was made before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance came out that universal masking was important. At that time, no other health system I knew of was masking everyone whowalked through its doors. The policy made us all feel safer, but did it work?

Researchers from my hospital system just published a study in JAMA, one of medicines most prestigious journals, that convincingly demonstrates the impact of masking.

Put simply, before universal masking, the rate of health care worker infections went up and after universal masking the rate of health care worker infections went down. Also of note, before masking, the rate was increasing exponentially, doubling every three and a half days from 0% to 21.3% over a 24-day period. After universal masking, infection rates began a decline linearly, by an average of 0.5% per day over a 19-day period. The scale of the rate of infections changed from exponential up to linear down. Dont we want to change the scale of this disaster?

It is true that Massachusetts was implementing many other interventions at the time, including a statewide stay-at-home order. However, it was only after universal masking that the infection rate began to decline among our health care workers. While we socially distance whenever possible,hospital staff are often working elbow to elbow with one another as we care for patients. And still, our infection rate declined. Posters all over the hospital proclaim, we can work together if we mask together, and we believe it.

Universal masking is our greatest weapon in the fight against coronavirus today. Dr. Robert Redfield, who heads the CDC and was appointed by the Trump administration, responded to the recent study from my hospital system by saying that If we really embrace masking, if we really embrace the social distancing and hand washing, we could bring this outbreak to its knees. He estimated that the pandemic could be brought under control in four to eight weeks if we begin universally masking today.

Janice Dean: COVID-19 killed my in-laws after Cuomo's reckless New York nursing home policy

Masking works. It brings case rates down. Once case rates are down, people can carefully go about their work and lives and kids can go back to school. Our economy will be in much better shape if we do it. Goldman Sachs estimates that masking would save $1 trillion dollars because masking will prevent repeat lockdowns. Numerous analyses have demonstrated that countries that adopted universal masking have done better than countries that did not.

Despite this incredibly strong evidence, there is no national mask mandate forthcoming, in the name of preserving personal freedom.But none of us are free if we cant work or play, if our kids cant go to school, and if we cant spend time with people we love. We are more restricted today as a nation than we ever have been. If you somehow dont yet feel restricted, I promise you soon will.

Universal masking is how we can all feel less restricted, not more.

It is clear that none of the arguments I have made are enough to make universal masking happen. When your governor or your president are sending profoundly mixed messages, science just isnt enough.

Politics and commitment to freedom can cloud the science. But, in the absence of a national strategy on testing and contact-tracing (which we desperately need!), we literally have nothing else to offer aside from lockdowns or closure of bars and other indoor hot spots to change the trajectory of this pandemic.

While universal masking wont get us back to the way things were anytime soon, you would at least be able to see your inner circle again and give school reopening a chance to stick.

Maybe the reward of seeing your family is enough.Maybe going back to work safely is enough.

Teacher: I was a reluctant Trump voter. Coronavirus is the end of my Republican identity.

If everyone avoiding masks were my patients, here would be my prescription: For the next eight weeks, make an individual commitment to mask whenever you are within six feet of another person. If you are a Millennial in perfect health, mask. If you are a construction worker, mask. If you are eating and drinking, make sure you are six feet apart from anyone else. Explain your decision to the people around you.Your decision will have a domino effect, and you will save lives.

Give me eight weeks in a mask, and lets see what happens.Doctors order.

Dr. Daniel Horn is a primary care physician and director of population health for the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a public voices fellow with The OpEd Project. Follow him on Twitter:@danielmhorn


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The disease: Raging COVID-19 pandemic. My prescription: One mask. Eight weeks. That's it. - USA TODAY

Why is anti-Semitism in Germany on the rise? – Forward

Posted By on August 2, 2020

Read this article in Yiddish.

A year ago, I was waiting inside a crowded German bus station with my classmate from Trier University.

Dont talk to me in Hebrew here, she said. You never know wholl recognize that its a Jewish language.

I myself am not Jewish, so I often ask her questions about Jewish life, about Israel, her family roots and Hebrew. But in public places, she is afraid that someone might attack her if he or she discovers shes Jewish.

Just last week, on July 21, 2020, 69 prominent Germans received threats via fax, e-mail and text signed NSU 2.0. NSU is the German acronym for National Socialist Underground, a right-wing terror group that murdered at least ten people between 2000 and 2007 out of racist motives.

There is speculation that the suspected harassers probably found personal contact information about their victims through computers in police departments located in the central German state, Hessen. The fear that right-wingers may have access to weapons through the military or that some police officers might be part of right-wing networks is indeed terrifying and reveals that we do indeed have a problem with neo-Nazism thats been ignored far too long.

Anti-Semitism is once again a serious issue in Germany. The Research and Information Institute on Anti-Semitism (RIAS) registered 881 anti-Semitic incidents in the year 2019 for Berlin, including 38 cases of vandalism, 59 cases of harassment and 33 physical attacks.

The Bavarian branch registered 141 incidents against 62 Jewish people in Bavaria for the year 2019, and reported that many of the incidents took place near the victims schools or homes. But these are only the official statistics. Every day, people are menaced or threatened for being Jewish (or for being perceived as Jewish), and so some people, like my classmate, hide their Jewish identity.

Want more articles from the Yiddish Forward in English? Sign up for the Forvertss Yiddish in English newsletter here.

Three factors seem to have led to the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany.

In 2015 Germany began taking in many asylum seekers and migrants from Middle Eastern countries where anti-Jewish sentiments and hate against Israel are openly expressed. The Washington Post addressed this concern in an article in April 2018, mentioning Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan as examples. People who were educated this way since early childhood dont give up their anti-Semitism upon their arrival in their new country.

Image by Andreas Rentz/Getty Image...

Farid Bang and Kollegah perform at the Echo Awards on April 12, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

In a 2016 op-ed in the widely-read daily German newspaper Tagesspiegel, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Director of the Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, expressed concern that many Muslim migrants are openly anti-Semitic and urged Germany to adopt serious integration measures.

But he also made clear that anti-Jewish chants on Berlins streets had been taking place even before the 2015 refugee arrivals. He pointed out that in Frankfurt, some Muslim imams had made anti-Israel statements in interreligious dialogue, and that when a man set a synagogue on fire in Wuppertal in the summer of 2014, he only received a probational sentence at the trial in February 2015.

In 2018, a 19-year-old Syrian refugee with Palestinian roots physically attacked a kipa-wearing Israeli in Berlin. In the same year, a rap duo composed of a German Muslim and a German with Spanish-Moroccan descent caused a scandal, after winning the most prestigious German pop award Echo, in which the award-winning album contained a song which mocked Holocaust survivors, stating my body is more defined than an Auschwitz prisoners. Due to public outrage, the Echo award was abolished. The reason why the album was nominated at all was because of its commercial success. Theres obviously a broad audience willing to pay to hear this kind of music.

Blaming Muslims as the sole problem would not be fair, but the growing influence of foreign Muslim organizations in Germany is indeed alarming. Some of them do promote anti-Semitic or anti-liberal values a dangerous situation for a democratic society. Germanys Federal Agency for State Protection has mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Hizbollah as prime sources of concern regarding the spread of anti-Semitism in Germany.

A second factor is the growing popularity of the right-wing. In 2017, for the first time since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, a right-wing nationalist party made it into the Bundestag. Many neo-Nazis and right-wing sympathizers who had kept themselves under the radar in the past were encouraged by this development to express their views openly. Hate speech in social media in all of Europe fuel the tensions since they can now openly connect with others who share their ideology.

But the problem goes even deeper. According to a letter that a soldier from an elite group in the military sent to the Ministry of Defense this year, right-wing nationalists even exist within a military special unit. To her credit, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer immediately called for an investigation to find out who was involved and divided the elite group into two units based in two locations.

Image by YouTube

German vegan chef Attila Hildmann, seen here on an American morning show, has said Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is Protestant, is really part of a Jewish Zionist regime aimed at committing genocide.

Through hate speech on the Internet, some people even radicalize further, such as the gunman who, immediately after uploading a document on the Internet encouraging his readers to kill Jews, tried to forcefully enter a synagogue in the city of Halle on Yom Kippur last year. The only reason his plan didnt succeed was the stability of the locked entrance. The gunman streamed his rampage live on the Internet. After he failed to enter the synagogue, he killed a 40-year old female passer-by and a 20-year old diner at a fast-food restaurant. At the trial which began on July 21, 2020, the suspect was admonished several times for using racist language in court.

Image by Getty Images

Fighting the Trend: A rally against anti-Semitism in Berlin this past September.

But anti-Semitism is also flourishing in a third group: celebrities who advocate anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. These people have a wider influence on the public, due to their prominent status, and for this reason, they also reach people outside the right-wing milieu.

The most recent examples are vegan chef Attila Hildmann who posed with a flag of the former German Reich on a demonstration in Berlin, as well as seemingly pro-QAnon and anti-refugee social media statements made by soul singer Xavier Naidoo. Naidoo had already been criticized in 2017 for releasing a song that could spread anti-Semitism. But he managed to win a legal fight about this when the court ruled that he is not anti-Semitic, but rather that some lyrics might be understood as anti-Semitic. In 2020, videos made by him, which were posted on Telegram, included racist sentiments, and he also published statements containing conspiracy theories.

Image by Getty Images

Synagogue in Halle, Germany, the site of an anti-Semitic attack that left two dead.

What these two celebrities share in common is that they were both probably inspired by the Reichsbrger movement, which denies the existence or legitimacy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Some groups claim that Germany is only a limited company and that the German Reich, within the borders delineated in 1937, continues to exist. A further claim from this ideology is that Germans are brainwashed and controlled by so-called dark forces. In this context, names of Jewish personalities or families, such as George Soros or the Rothschilds are frequently mentioned, as is Zionism. Its believed that about 19,000 people belong to this movement.

Indeed, the word Jew has become a common swearword to denounce others on the schoolyards, and anti-Semitic sentiments appear frequently in the soccer fan scene. Hate speech is now very common in social media in general, including the posting of anti-Semitic codes and minimizing of the Holocaust. Some highly influential politicians of the right-wing party AfD used anti-Semitic wording and minimized (at least indirectly) the atrocities committed by the Nazis in World War II.

Such discourses, whether openly anti-Semitic or at least highly provocative, as well as the half-hearted integration of migrants raised in anti-Semitic environments in their homelands, is allowing people to show their hate more openly, and causes members of the Jewish community to worry more about their safety.

It would be unfair not to mention that a number of politicians are indeed battling the growing anti-Semitism, but in a digital era, its a difficult fight. Some people spreading hate speech on the Internet use pseudonyms, or post anonymously through servers in foreign countries on which the German authorities have no control or influence. Some social media platforms, most notably Telegram but also Facebook, are not effectively deleting posts containing hate speech, claiming that this would infringe on the posters freedom of speech.

Timo Schmitz is a journalist and poet born and raised in Germany with knowledge of seven languages, including Yiddish.

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Why is anti-Semitism in Germany on the rise? - Forward

In the 1920s, a Black cantor moved the world – Forward

Posted By on August 2, 2020

In June, Henry Sapoznik was scrolling through Facebook when he saw something hed been seeking for over 40 years: a 1923 recording of a man named Thomas LaRue, credited as Der Shvartze Khazn or, the Black Cantor.

I fell out of my chair, said Sapoznik, a music producer, performer and musicologist who first learned of the Okeh record in the mid-70s when he was working on a discography of Jewish music. The listing made him do a double take a Black cantor from the 1920s? Sapoznik, whose late father was a khazn of the old school, saw nothing else like this recording in his research and expended considerable energy trying to track it down. But since it was old and not a huge hit, the search soon proved to be close to impossible. Four decades later, Lorin Sklamberg, Sapozniks successor as sound archivist at YIVO, posted the record online. YIVO acquired the disc some time after Sapoznik left in 1997 and it sat unregarded in the collection for years. He had just missed it.

When he finally got the music, Sapoznik was excited and scared.

Without hearing the recording, all these years I kept saying what happens if this is a freak show? What happens if this is some joke?

The offensive novelty potential was certainly there. Acts like Peter Chan, aka Der Yiddishe Chinaman, had some currency during the heyday of Yiddish vaudeville. But La Rues Shvartze Khazn moniker also raised alarm bells. The word shvartze, which means black, is now acknowledged as a Yiddish slur for Black people. But Sapoznik says it was not being used pejoratively or derisively in this historical context. Quite the contrary.

The Yiddish press, quoted at some length on Sapozniks newly-launched blog, were floored by La Rues performances and not just because he was Black.

Image by Courtesy of Henry Sapozni...

A poster for Thomas LaRue (here styled as La-Rue), the Black Cantor.

In a November 4, 1921 article, critic Z. Karnblit of Der Morgn Zhurnal described LaRues stirring concert rendition of Eli, Eli a Yiddish song Karnblit typically despised.

This, however, was a new Eli, Eli by a Black cantor which was so very heartfelt, and which drew so deeply from Jewish martyrdom, the Jewish cry, begging God why he has forsaken him, and producing from this song what even the greatest opera singers could not. Every person in the theater was transfixed by the Black cantors powerful poetic harmony.

Yet while LaRue was celebrated in his time, he remains something of a cipher. Biographical details are scant, but he appears to have been born in Newark, N.J. to a non-Jewish mother.

She lived in Newark where she found race prejudice to be very strong, LaRue told The New York Age, a Black newspaper in 1922. She could make friends only with Jewish women preferring the company of Jews to Christians.

While it isnt clear if LaRues mother converted, the article contends that she insisted he have a Jewish primary school education, be able to pray from a siddur and have a bar mitzvah in his 13th year. LaRue appears to have been brought up in a white Jewish milieu, and his notices, mooning over his voice and its fidelity of sound, bear the proof of it.

He lived in a Jewish soundscape, Sapoznik said.

LaRue wasnt the only Black cantor of his day, but he is nonetheless anomalous not only was his voice immortalized on a 78 rpm record, he came from a wholly different tradition than his contemporaries.

As Sapoznik details in his first blog post, the early 20th Century and the Great Migration gave rise to a number of Black synagogues in Harlem, then also a heavily Jewish enclave.

Many of these shuls had a recognizable Jewish liturgy, with services in Hebrew, but the proceedings were also imbued with the Black experience. Many congregations derived Judaism from their Jewish neighbors whose Zionist ideals might have appealed to early notions of Black nationalism. Others, founded by West Indians, may have been formed by descendants of enslaved people whose slaveholders were Jews. Whatever their origins or customs, a cantorial culture emerged.

Image by Courtesy of Henry Sapozni...

A cantor named Mendel, fluent in both Hebrew and Yiddish, and specializing in Yiddish songs and cantorial prayers.

One of the cantors was a Barbados-born man named Mendel, who performed in the Yiddish theater and specialized in Yiddish songs and cantorial prayers. Yet another and certainly the most fascinating was an Ethiopian calligrapher named Dovid HaCohen who claimed to have known 29 languages, been educated in Paris and Palestine and apprenticed with a Russian cantor. According to a Variety article from the time, HaCohen made the vaudeville circuit in 1921 and, from what we can tell, he ended his career leading the congregation of the Universal Ancient Ethiopian Spiritual Church of Christ in Hebrew prayer.

But LaRue doesnt appear to have been affiliated with Black synagogues. In fact, he may not have been part of any congregation at all after childhood.

He invented himself it seems by not having a synagogue, by only existing in the popular world, said Sapoznik, noting that, as a Black man, hed never have a chance at the pulpit in a White temple. He existed on the periphery of immigrant Ashkenazic life immigrants for whom the language and the culture around the language was foremost.

Another musician, stride pianist Willie The Lion Smith, also from Newark and born to a white Jewish father and Christian mother of Black, Spanish and Native American heritage, had a similar experience to LaRue, attending synagogue with his white Jewish neighbors. But while he listed Hebrew cantor and Yiddisher khazn on his business card (and popularized the aforementioned Eli, Eli for Black singers), he was better known for tickling the ivories in a Jazz context. According to Sapoznik, LaRue appears to have only ever performed in the Jewish sphere, singing Jewish music.

He started early. One oft-circulated origin story states that LaRue was at a Shabbat service as a child when a cantor suddenly took ill. LaRue was said to have enveloped himself in his tallit and rushed to the bimah to replace him. So wonderful was his voice that the initially-angered congregants began praying along with him.

Image by Courtesy of Henry Sapozni...

A cantor named Dovid HaCohen, who went by many other names over his diverse career

LaRue signed on with a concert agent, and toured the vaudeville circuit with Yiddish songs before making his mark in New Yorks Yiddish theater in a number of new plays with famed producers Goldberg and Jacobs. He also played vaudeville houses before eventually embarking on a tour of Europe, causing a stir with the Yidden of Poland.

But none of Sapozniks research not the glowing reviews or the potentially apocryphal biography could prepare him for hearing LaRues voice for the first time.

I didnt realize that I was holding my breath, Sapoznik said. When the music started, it sounded so familiar. The acoustic nature of it. Even the sound of the ensemble was incredibly familiar. But then this voice comes out. I cant compare it to any other commercial singer you know, a Molly Picon or Aaron Lebedeff. It was this unique and present voice that now, all of the reviews that Ive read about these gobsmacked Yiddish newspapermen all of their high praise was not misplaced. It was reportage!

Sapoznik said LaRues phrasing and tonalities the hard parts of nailing the sound were immaculate.

I think thats what flipped the Jewish listeners out, Sapoznik said. He could say a chet with the best of them.

Image by Photo by William Gottlieb...

Willie The Lion Smith, a stride pianist, performer at Harlems Clef Club and, also, a cantor.

In one of LaRues cantorial offerings, Misratzeh Brachamim a horn-forward opening yields to an expansive tenor, masterfully maneuvering through precipitous key changes and dynamic melisma. Its good moving even but it sounds at home with other recordings of cantors.

On the flip side, though, LaRue sings an original Yiddish song, Yidele, Farlier Nit Dein Hoffnung. While the instrumental quality sounds comparable, the singing is something altogether different rich and remarkably expressive. The voice is at once twangy and powerful and, most remarkably, it cracks periodically. It would be a disservice to the recording, however, to call that crack a fault of the type one hears routinely during a bar mitzvah boys haftarah. The crack which is unmistakable in the final note is emotive, giving the impression that LaRue unloaded all of his energy and vigor into the take.

To hear Yosselle Rosenblatt coming out of Thomas La Rue didnt freak me out, Sapoznik said, referring to the famed cantor of the same era. But this Yiddish song on the other side I dont hear anyone but him and it is such a unique voice.

Since receiving the recording, Sapoznik has been revisiting research he hasnt looked at since the Carter presidency. Hes been flooded with messages from Black visitors to his blog, where he is still in the midst unfolding LaRues fascinating and ultimately bittersweet saga. Many reaching out are surprised by the level of cultural symbiosis between Black people newly-arrived in Harlem and their white Jewish neighbors in the early part of the 20th century.

At a moment when Sapoznik sees fissures between these communities, he finds the work of exploring their common past particularly meaningful.

The received history of this time has been so narrow that episodes like this, that talk about a grassroots level of interaction, are priceless, Sapoznik said.

Yet LaRue was just one piece of a larger musical tradition of his time, when Black men (and some women) moved multitudes with Hebrew prayers and songs in the mamaloshen. There were others.

I just wish they were recorded, Sapoznik said.

PJ Grisar is the Forwards culture reporter. He can be reached at

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In the 1920s, a Black cantor moved the world - Forward

Community connection 30 years in the making | Opinion – Yahoo News

Posted By on August 2, 2020

How do I follow up a tribute I wrote to honor my late mother in my previous column?

Write something upbeat as she would have wanted.

Among several meaningful sentiments I have received over the last couple of weeks from members of the South Florida Jewish community, including Holocaust survivors, rabbis and communal leaders offering encouraging words of comfort, one wrote me, You should only know from good tidings and happiness. No more sorrow.

My approaching 30-year anniversary with the Jewish Journal gives me something to celebrate at a time of great loss.

During those three decades, highlights have included traveling to Israel, Ukraine and Washington, D.C., where I attended a Jewish American Heritage Month reception at the White House hosted by then-President Barack Obama.

I have also met the likes of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, actor/singer Chaim Topol of Fiddler on the Roof fame and actor Charlton Heston, just to name a few.

Equally as important has been my connection with our community here at home. Through the years I have developed a very personal and professional relationship with the readers we serve.

From Holocaust survivors and retirees to second- and third-generation Jews raising their families, I feel privileged to live and work among them.

I count Boca Ratons Elaine Grossinger Etess, former owner of the famed Grossingers Catskill Resort Hotel, among area residents with whom I have developed a special bond.

May the future bring you and your dear ones only good health and happiness, she wrote after hearing of my loss.

Speaking of Shoah survivors, Im a huge advocate of their mission to educate the world about the horrors of the Holocaust.

I share a special relationship with Norman Frajman of Boynton Beach, president of the Child Survivors/Hidden Children of the Holocaust Palm Beach County.

You have always been on the front lines in bettering and showing the right way so we can help create a world without prejudice. May the Lord give you strength to continue with your important task, Frajman wrote me.

Story continues

As I look beyond my 30 years with the newspaper, my task is far from over.

Email your thoughts to Editor Alan Goch at

2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Community connection 30 years in the making | Opinion - Yahoo News

How to fight anti-semitism and be an ally to Jewish people – Dazed

Posted By on August 2, 2020

Its time to educate yourself and take action as anti-semitism continues to permeate pop culture, from British politics to Wileys troubling Twitter tirade

Last week, Wiley took to social media to go on a two-day anti-semitic tirade, in which he compared Jewish people to the Klu Klux Klan, called them snakes and cowards, and enforced the age-old, discriminatory trope that they control wealth. The British MC also claimed Jewish people were at war with Black people, that they were responsible for the slave trade, and suggested they should hold some corn an expression meaning to be shot.

On Saturday (July 25), as his rant came to an end, Wiley was dropped by his management, and received news that the Metropolitan Police were investigating his tweets. The grime artist has since had his Facebook and Instagram accounts deactivated, while yesterday (July 29), Twitter confirmed it hadpermanently suspended him after temporary action earlier this week.

Wiley has sincesaidin an interview with Sky News: I want to apologise for generalising and going outside of the people who I was talking to within the workspace and workplace I work in. My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as anti-semitic.

Wileys anti-semitism isnt an isolated case, though, particularly in the UK right now. The Labour Party iscontinuing to grapplewith its own internal discrimination, after a2016 inquiryfound an occasionally toxic atmosphere of anti-semitism within the party. Earlier this month, Keir Starmer fired Rebecca Long-Bailey from her position as shadow education secretary after she shared an interview that contained an anti-semitic conspiracy theoryabout the Israeli forces. The action waspraised by Jewish groups, butcriticised by the Labour left, who accused the leader of trying to rid the party of its left wingers.

TikTokhas also been criticised in recent weeks after its algorithm promotedanti-semitic memesabout death camps. The video sharing platform said in a statement: We do not tolerate any content that includes hate speech, and the sound in question, along with all associated videos, has now been removed.

The Jewish community has been circulating ways for people to fight anti-semitism, as well as useful information about how both insidious and overt it is in our society theres an insightful Instagraminfographiccreated by@ethnicjewess, and activists like queer Jewish author and campaigner Adam Eli. In light of Wileys statements, as well as ongoing discussions around anti-semitism in politics and culture,heres how you can act best as an ally right now.

The first thing to do in the face of any discrimination is to educate yourself about how it manifests, how youre complicit in it, and how it impacts those who suffer it. Theres a plethora of information online, in books and documentaries, and through fiction. One place to start is the Anti-Defamation Leagues website, which offers adetailed historyof anti-semitism, aguideto anti-semitic tropes, andclears up questionsabout anti-semitism, anti-zionism, and anti-Israel bias.

You can also findeasy-to-digest guideson social media, viainfographicson what anti-semitism is, and what you can do to tackle it. In aposton Instagram, BAME LDN pointed out that anti-semitism is often not taken seriously, which helps perpetuate it further and allows it to grow and manifest. Referencing the Holocaust, BAME LDN said: These climaxes of anti-semitism have led to some of the worst mass genocides in history, yet as a global society we seem to accept it as a normal, but distant and untouchable part of life. The account offers a list of websites, books, and films that you can use to educate yourself. Do not rely on your Jewish friends to explain anti-semitism to you.

Aninfographiccreated byWhat The F Magazineexplains what something called the model minority myth is. The phenomenon relies on good stereotypes of a community as a way of erasing the bigotry they face, and is common among groups deemed too good to be marginalised due to stereotypes regarding socioeconomic status. AsWhat The F Magazinepoints out, this myth stereotypes a very diverse community and provides people with reasons to not speak out against bigotry. It is vital for those who witness anti-semitism to raise their voice against it, and not let the person perpetuating hatred get away with their abuse.

In protest against Twitters inaction over Wileys tweets the platform suspended him for 12 hours then let him back on, before suspending him for just seven days a number of users engaged in a48-hour boycottof the platform, in an attempt to both raise awareness about the detrimental effects of anti-semitism on Jewish people, and force action. Though silence isnt the answer, the #NoSpaceForJewHate boycott received a huge amount of press attention, holding the social media giant accountable for its passivity.

You can be critical of the Israeli occupation of Palestine without being anti-semitic, and, despite what some people would have you believe, not all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. However, youcanbe ignorantly anti-semitic while attempting to legitimately criticise Israel. One way to avoid this, as actor David Schneider wrote forThe Independentlast year, is to be precise in your language. He explained: Avoid saying zionist or zionism when discussing contemporary Israel/Palestine. The terms are too loaded now, too coarse and broad in their application, and too often used by hardcore anti-semites to mean Jews.

As discussed in more detail below, Schneider urges those criticising Israel not to slide from anger at the actions of the state into asserting that Israel is controlling everything or paying money to MPs, celebrities, or the media to act as they do. Doing this only reinforces conspiracy theories about Jewish people. He also reminds people not to conflate Israel and Jewish people, avoid using the terms Israel lobby and Jewish lobby, not to compare Israeli actions to the Nazis, and stop asking Jewish people to condemn Israel at every turn.

In a thoroughTwitter thread, user@oofouchowwoutlined a handful of Jewish sterotypes used to perpetuate anti-semitism. These stereotypes do originate mainly from Europen culture, they wrote, which is a huge part of why Jews of colour tend to be told they dont look Jewish. Despite anti-semitic beliefs, theres no one way to be Jewish, its not a race but a religion. The offensive tropes listed by @oofouchoww include the Jew nose one of the most common sterotypes linked to Jewish people and claiming all Jewish people are greedy bankers or lawyers who lie, cheat, and steal for profit, and ultimately scapegoating them for all economic crises. @oofouchowws thread also addresses two stereotypes frequently seen in popular culture: the loud Jewish mother, and the Jewish American princess (which reflects the fear that Jewish women were assimilating into society). Its worth reading @oofouchowws entire thread, which you can findhere.

In his tirade, Wiley enforced the erroneous stereotype that all Jewish people are white by telling writer Nadine Batchelor-Hunt that shes not really Black after she challenged his comments on Twitter. In an article forGQ, Batchelor-Hunt revealed her distress at having her two identities pitted against each other in a grotesque way, and said: Education within the Black community on anti-semitism, and in the Jewish community on anti-Blackness must be a cornerstone of tackling racism.

In aposton Instagram, writer Hen Mazzig also addressed what its like to be a Jew of colour, writing: The term (Jew of colour) has been co-opted by anti-Israel advocates who associate Jews with whiteness to deny our historical connection to Israel. Given how anti-semites exploit the identification, I understand why some Jews reject whiteness. When people argue we must drop the term Jews of colour, theyre really asking us to disregard the diversity of the Jewish community. Jews must be able to define ourselves without others overriding us.

Follow Jewish organisations, figures, and publications online, and take their lead when sharing information about anti-semitism. Though you shouldnt rely on Jewish voices to educate you nor speak for you, its important to amplify them above yourself when it comes to questions of their identity and experience with anti-semitism. For example activist and author Adam Eli hascontinually asserted thathe can talk about my Jewishness, whenever I want, however I want.BAME LDN shared a list of Jewish Instagram accounts to follow, including@progressivejews run by two Jewish teenagers activistSefira Lightstone,@jewishlgbt, confession account@whatantisemitismlookslike, theJewish Journal,@blackandjewishunity, 19-year-old activist Theo (@that.jewish.activist), andmany more.

TheJewish Charity Guideoffers an extensive list of charities you can donate to that support the Jewish community. In the UK, these includeAish UK,The League of Jewish Women,Community Security Trust(CST),World Jewish Relief, theFoundation for Jewish Heritage,Holocaust Educational Trust, theJewish Museum London, and more. You can also donate toJewish Voice for Labour, a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party.

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How to fight anti-semitism and be an ally to Jewish people - Dazed

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