World news

George Bush' niece Lauren to marry Jewish

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

Six months after Chelsea Clinton married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, the granddaughter of President’s George HW Bush has announced she is to marry another New Yorker of Jewish descent.

Lauren Bush, niece of George W Bush, is engaged to the son of Jewish fashion designer Ralph Lauren.

At 39 David Lauren, the executive vice-president at Polo Ralph Lauren, is 13 years older than his future bride. The couple met in 2004.

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Golden Globes: Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network up for awards

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

Jewish screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his film about the creation of Facebook.

The Social Network, which stars Jewish actors Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, is up for best screenplay at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

It has also been placed in the category for Best Film, while its stars have been nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively.

To take the prize The Social Network will have to beat the forthcoming drama about rivalry in the ballet world, Black Swan.

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Catholic sues Jewish store in crucifix row

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

A Catholic woman has begun legal action against a Jewish-owned business because she claims she was banned from wearing a crucifix at work.

Jamie Errico was fired from her sales job at watch store Concepts in Time in Manhattan last year.

However the 41-year-old is now alleging that she was discriminated against by the Orthodox owner Saul Jemal, because other staff members were permitted to wear kippot or necklaces with the star of David on.

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US diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

The US diplomat credited with bringing peace to the Balkans has died at the age of 69.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was of Jewish descent, was serving as the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was admitted to hospital on Friday for a torn aorta, but died after unsuccessful surgery.

A diplomat since the 1960s, Mr Holbrooke worked for every Democrat president since John F Kennedy. He served in Vietnam in the 1960s, and later as ambassador to Germany. Most notoriously he was Assistant Secretary of State for Europe under President Bill Clinton.

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Diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

December 14, 2010

The US diplomat credited with bringing peace to the Balkans has died at the age of 69.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was of Jewish descent, was serving as the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was admitted to hospital on Friday for a torn aorta, but died after unsuccessful surgery.

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The 'tefillin terrorist' and a scare on a New Zealand ferry

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

Armed police forced a religious Israeli man to his knees and took him away for questioning after passengers on a New Zealand ferry mistook his tefillin boxes for an explosive device.

The man and a friend were later freed without charge, after police realised that they were not a terrorist threat and were merely observing Jewish practice.

An elite police unit was called in when another passenger saw the man strapping the leather boxes to his arm and alerted crewmembers.

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Jewish voices join call for for Ashtiani release

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

Jewish politicians, comedians and writers are among those who have signed a letter demanding that Iran release Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the widowed mother-of-two sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and murder.

The letter, published in The Times, comes just days after the Iranian regime appeared to have freed her, only for it to be revealed as a stunt to get her to re-enact the murder in her former home. The “documentary” was broadcast on the Iranian-backed channel Press TV.

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Board backs Netanyahu's condemnation of anti-Arab rentals

By Simon Rocker, December 9, 2010

The Board of Deputies has welcomed Israeli President Shimon Peres’s condemnation of rabbis who have told Jews they should not rent home to Arabs in Israel.

A number of prominent rabbis backed Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu’s declaration that it was forbidden to rent or sell land in Israel to non-Jews.

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Antisemitic theories on the rise in Germany

By Toby Axelrod, December 9, 2010

Higher-earners are more xenophobic than the average German, and resentment of Jews and Muslims is on the rise, according to an annual study of social trends released last week.

The 9th annual "German Situation" study, from the University of Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, suggests a clear "cooling of the social climate" as a result of tougher economic times.

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'Politics' destroying top leadership body

December 9, 2010

Canada's top communal organisation, the 91-year-old Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), looks set to be dismantled to make way for what organisers say will be a more streamlined yet more widely representative body.

Rumours of a consolidation of some Jewish advocacy agencies have circulated for years. They first took form in 2004 with the creation of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), which many saw as a hostile takeover of the community's leadership by about a dozen of the country's top donor families.

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