Dafna Wu, a 48-year-old San Francisco nurse, was born to a Jewish mother and Chinese father. She was raised Jewish but looks Asian, as does her daughter, nine-year-old Amalia, whose father was also Chinese.
The Hebrew School Amalia attends is filled with mixed-race children, but the parents in the congregation are all white, as is the majority of American Jewry. That concerns her mother.
The community in Zimbabwe is still in dire need of financial help because of the erosion of the value of their currency, says the South African rabbi in charge of aid efforts.
Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft will be awarded the 2009 Commonwealth Jewish Council and Trust Anniversary Award by London Mayor Boris Johnson on Tuesday.
One of three recipients, he was selected for his “dedication and service to the Jewish people of sub-Saharan Africa and in particular for his brave support and crucial visits with supplies for the remaining Jewish community in Zimbabwe.”
In Washington, the main Jewish communal body, the Federation, suffered two financial hits in recent years: once through the economic downturn and another through Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. But despite a 15 per cent drop in income, the community hardly felt a decline in services. The organisation cut salaries by 10 per cent and switched to a four-day work week.
“It’s a very challenging time, but we are finding creative ways to cope,” said the Federation’s CEO, Misha Galperin.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) has been deluged with requests from foreign heads of state to reconsider his decision not to seek another term in his office, while his own people seem indifferent.
Mr Abbas said last week that he “does not wish” to run in the January 24 elections, blaming Israel’s expansion of settlements, the US “favouring” the Israeli position and Hamas foiling national reconciliation efforts.
It was not immediately clear if the step was anything more than a ploy to muster American pressure on Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to put on a brave face following the demonstrably low-key fashion in which he was received on Monday at the White House. However, Israeli officials have admitted that the nature of the meeting was “a reprimand” to the prime minister and that Mr Netanyahu conceded on a number of issues, including the settlement freeze and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
A $30,000 Hebrew bible which was stolen from a library in Vienna during Kristallnacht has been returned to Austria.
It was due to be auctioned by the New York-based Kestenbaum & Company, which is owned by former Londoner Daniel Kestanbaum.
The black, leather-bound bible, which was printed in 1516 in Venice, vanished 71 years ago.
It had been donated to the library of the Jewish community of Vienna in 1908, before being looted by the Nazis on November 9, 1938.