World news

Oy gevalt! Yiddish comes from Turkey, say academics

By Simon Rocker, April 27, 2016

Yiddish began as a secret language invented by Iranian Jewish traders who travelled the Silk Road, a group of researchers has claimed.

According to their analysis of the genetic ancestry of Yiddish-speakers, Ashkenazi Jewry originated in a group of north-eastern Turkish villages rather than in Germany as often thought.


Austria far-right surge sparks deep concern

April 27, 2016

Jewish leaders and activists have spoken of their concern over the victory of a far-right presidential candidate in the first round of Austria's presidential election last Sunday.

If the candidate standing for the anti-immigrant Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer, wins the run-off on May 22, he will be the first far-right leader of Austria since the Second World War.

Moshe Kantor, president of the


Shoah educator to help Yazidis document their own tragedy

By Toby Axelrod, April 27, 2016

They have been persecuted, enslaved, raped and killed by Daesh terrorists.


Interview: Ira Forman

By Toby Axelrod, April 27, 2016

How do you solve a problem like antisemitism? The answer is, you can't. But you have to try, says a US diplomat on the front lines, because the stability of Jewish life in Europe is at stake.

It is not that the 1930s are repeating themselves. But fear itself has an undermining effect.


'Daesh threat to Euro Jews very high'

By Josh Jackman, April 27, 2016

A counter-terrorism expert has warned European Jews that they will be increasingly targeted by Daesh as the terrorist group loses ground in the Middle East.

Professor Boaz Ganor, who founded the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism think-tank, pointed to last year's deadly attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris as an example of what to expect.

Speaking during a briefing organised b


Shoah educator to help Yazidis document their own tragedy

By Toby Axelrod, April 26, 2016

They have been persecuted, enslaved, raped and killed by Daesh terrorists. Now, the traumatic stories of survivors from the Iraqi-Syrian Yazidi community who made it to Germany are being recorded for posterity, thanks to the Israeli humanitarian organisation IsraAID.


The picture that sparked a disaster

By Sandy Rashty, April 21, 2016

When almost 20 Yemeni Jews fled the town of Raydah in a covert operation, few people thought of the handful of members of the 3,000 year-old Jewish community who had been left behind in the nearby city of Sana'a.


Female singing ban leads to legal action

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2016

A long-running controversy over a ban on women singing at communal Jewish events in South Africa because of religious sensitivities has resulted in legal action.

Two orthodox Jews, along with the South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (Sacred), have lodged a complaint of unfair discrimination against the South African Jewish Board of Deputies' Cape Council.


Chabad helping Ecuador quake victims

By Rosa Doherty, April 21, 2016

Members of a small Jewish community sent aid to victims of the earthquake which killed more than 300 people in Ecuador.

The 7.8-magnitude quake shook the country's Pacific coast last Saturday.

The 1,000-strong community of Guayaquil, which is hundreds of miles inland from the epicentre, organised trucks of food to be sent to families who had lost their homes and belongings.


Man arrested 'after kiddush herring row ended in stabbing'

By Henry Benjamin, April 19, 2016

One man has been charged by police and another is recovering in hospital following an alleged stabbing attack - after a disagreement over herring at a synagogue kiddush.

The incident took place last Shabbat at a shul in Melbourne, Australia.

The JC understands there was an argument between two men over either cake or herring.