6 Jewish Headlines from Around the World
Recent headlines tell of Jewish life in countries around the world; here are just a few that caught my eye as of late.
Have you read a story lately about global Judaism that didn't make it onto this list? Please leave a comment & let us know!
- Over the weekend, a Spanish synagogue unveiled the country's first Torah scroll written by women, Newsweek reports. Says Mario Stofenmacher, president of Masorti Spain, “This Torah is the first written with participation of women in Europe, but also is the first written in Spain from the start to the end in the last 500 years of the country.”
- Reform Rabbi Dow Marmur writes of his recent trip to Poland, where residents still grapple with a violent and devastating past (more than three million Polish Jews died in the Holocaust). "But things are changing for the better," he says. "We sensed it during this visit...The Jews who today live in Poland seem to be at home there."
- Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited Madrid to celebrate 100 years of resurgent Jewish life in Spain after the 1492 expulsion of Jews from the country. While there, he promised to support Spanish Jews in the ongoing fight against anti-Semitism. He told the crowd, "We must not surrender to anti-Semitism, we must fight it. I am pleased that the Spanish government is taking steps in legislation and enforcement against this ugly phenomenon. We must not be ashamed of or hide our identity."
- A new film called The Cooks will tell the story of British sisters Ida and Louise Cook, "two unassuming civil service secretaries whose passion for opera became their pretext for travelling repeatedly to Germany in the 1930s" to help dozens of Jews escape from sure death during the Holocaust. Their impossible-sounding story is being turned into a mystery/spy film produced by Donald Rosenfeld.
- Turkey's Jewish community, concentrated in the capital of Istanbul, recently celebrated the European Days of Jewish Culture, which featured photo exhibitions, dancing, Jewish food, and more. An estimated 18,000 Jews live in Istanbul.
- The Times of Israel published an essay title "In Ukraine, Jewish travelers mark a spiritual legacy… and horrific persecution," in which a couple tells of their recent visit to the Ukraine, birthplace of Hassidic Judaism and also the site of the slaughter of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Today, the country bears many memorials - but hardly any remaining Jews.