In Germany, where coronavirus is at bay, synagogues prepare to reopen with precautions


(JTA) – When synagogues reopen in Germany in the coming weeks, there will be no handshakes, no hugs and no parading with the Torah, a mainstay of Shabbat services.

That’s according to rules released Friday by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the umbrella group for...
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London’s Jewish Chronicle saved from extinction

(JTA) – The Jewish Chronicle of London, the world’s longest running Jewish publication, has been saved from liquidation and transferred to new owners.

A consortium from the Jewish community and beyond has reached an agreement with the paper’s former owners, the Kessler Foundation, to take over The Chronicle “with the...
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In Austria under COVID, the Jewish community is thriving — and the gay community is struggling


VIENNA (JTA)  — It takes a crisis to show that not all communities are hewn from the same clay. Death, Saul Bellow wrote in “Humboldt’s Gift,” “is the dark backing that a mirror needs if we are to see anything.” 

I have spent the last few years...
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Undying resiliency: ‘The survivors are giving us strength’

 Each year, Yom Hashoah brings with it memorial gatherings across the world, candle-lighting ceremonies with elderly survivors and speeches by dignitaries.

Across Israel, the children and grandchildren of survivors publicly read of the names of those who perished. Not to mention the siren that wails for two solid...
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‘The Prince of Egypt’ composer on the musical theater adaptation, his career and his family’s Passover tradition

(JTA) — “The Prince of Egypt” is having another moment in the desert sun.

The 1998 animated film on Moses and the Exodus story has been turned into a recent musical in London. It’s streaming on Hulu. And in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the original movie’s music is...
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Jews make up 5% of coronavirus deaths in the UK. They are just 0.3% of the population.

(JTA) — Nearly 5% of all coronavirus-related deaths in the United Kingdom are of Jewish people, who make up just 0.3% of the country’s population, The Jewish News of London reported.

According to the paper’s report Thursday, at least 22 Jewish families have lost loved ones to the disease, which...
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For Italian Jews, the ‘smell of death’ is all around


(JTA) — At least twice a day, Micol Naccache breaks down in tears over what the coronavirus is doing to her city of Milan and its Jewish community.

A high school teacher and mother of two, Naccache describes herself as “an optimistic person.” But she is struggling...
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In Memorium: COVID-19 victims listed

At a time when Jewish mourning practices are nearly impossible to observe, the CCJN and JTA are creating space to mourn Jews who have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 disease.

OBIE-Award winning film (“Desperately Seeking Susan”) and stage actor Mark Blum died today, March 26.

Maurice Berger,...
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Last surviving German recognized by Yad Vashem as righteous gentile for Holocaust heroism dies

(JTA) — The last surviving German recognized as a righteous gentile for saving Jews during the Holocaust died on Monday.

Gertrud Steinl, who was recognized by Yad Vashem in 1979 as a Righteous Among the Nations, died a day before her 98th birthday.

Steinl’s death was confirmed to the German news...
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In Paris, a pillar of Jewish education dies from the coronavirus


(JTA) — Andre Touboul, a rabbi affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement who led one of France’s most prestigious high schools, has died of the coronavirus in Paris. He was 64.

Touboul led Beth Hanna, a Jewish institution of some 1,500 students whose high school was ranked the...
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