World news

Asian Jewry undergoing renaissance

By Jeremy Gillick, June 24, 2010

Erica Lyons runs Asia's brand-new Jewish magazine, Asian Jewish Life, from a small office in central Hong Kong. It is the region's "Jewish cultural headquarters", she jokes with her office mate, a journalist who presides over Hong Kong's Jewish Film Festival.

But while they may poke fun at their fledgling project, the magazine's launch this January is a symptom of real change in Asian Jewry. Whereas far-flung communities in places like India and China are often regarded as exotic relics of the past, Jewish life in the region is undergoing a renaissance.

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Kosher meat boss is jailed for 27 years

By Paul Berger, June 24, 2010

The former manager of America's largest kosher slaughterhouse has been jailed for 27 years.

The sentencing of Sholom Rubashkin, a strictly Orthodox Jew, was always going to be controversial. But the severity of the prison term came as a shock to supporters.

Calling the sentence, "unfair, unjust, and excessive", Rubashkin's attorney Guy Cook said he would appeal.

"Twenty-seven years for a 51-year-old man is a life sentence," said Mr Cook. "A life sentence for a first time, white collar offender is beyond the pale."

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Anne Frank's cousin slams 'sexed up' novel

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

Jewish Holocaust charities and Anne Frank's only living relative have criticised a new novel which suggests that Anne had a sexual relationship with the boy who was in hiding with her.

But the book's publisher, Klaus Flugge, hit back at critics of Sharon Dogar's Annexed, an imaginary diary by Peter van Pels which relates some of Anne's reflections, but from the boy's point of view.

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Ex-Hasmo boy jailed for child sex assaults

June 24, 2010

Former Hasmonean pupil has been jailed in the US for five years after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting children.

Miles Esterson, 28, was arrested in July in Florida, along with convicted sex offender, 45-year-old Jerry Wiley.

Esterson, who worked at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls in Elstree until 2008 and lived in Finchley, north west London, was found guilty earlier this month of performing sex acts on three boys under the age of 12 over the past two years.

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Irish government rejects Israel boycott

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

There is "no possibility whatsoever" that Ireland will call for trade sanctions and boycotts against Israel, its Foreign Minister has announced.

Members of the Joint Committee on European Affairs met in Leinster House, Dublin, on Tuesday to discuss Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which states that relations should be based on respect for human rights.

Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said he was a "consistent critic" of the blockade against Gaza, but believed that boycotting Israel would be futile.

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The baby born on the Nazi camp train

June 24, 2010

Helga Weissova-Hoskova, a survivor from Prague, was recalling one of the Nazis' last acts. In April 1945, aged 14, she was being shunted on a train with several hundred women to the death camp of Mauthausen in Austria.

One woman tried to hide the child that had been born just before she boarded. Four others were close to giving birth. All knew that arriving in a camp with a baby almost certainly meant death.

But as Mrs Weissova-Hoskova retold those events in London's Wigmore Hall on Saturday, there was an interruption from the audience. A woman sprang out of her seat and announced, to

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German Jewish dance group attacked

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

A member of a Jewish dance group has been injured in Hanover, Germany, after the group was attacked with stones and antisemitic insults.

Hannover police spokesman Thorsten Schiewe said he believed a group of Muslim children and teenagers had used a megaphone to shout antisemitic jibes and then hurled stones at the group, who were performing at a street festival.

One of the dancers was injured in the attack and the group cancelled the rest of their performance.

Two immigrant teenagers are being questioned by Hanover police.

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Lloyd Webber charity sells 'Nazi' Picasso

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

The £34.7 million sale of a Picasso painting looted by the Nazis during the war is to be used to fund upcoming musical theatre stars.

Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, also known as The Absinthe Drinker became one of the most valuable paintings sold at auction in Europe after it was sold yesterday at Christie’s.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation purchased the painting for £18million in 1995 and decided to sell it to fund stage bursaries for underprivileged children.

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Indian Jews protest Bollywood Hitler film

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2010

Members of the Indian Jewish community have slammed plans to make a Bollywood film about Hitler’s final days.

Filming is set to start in two months time but Anupam Kher, the actor due to play the Nazi leader, has now dropped out after facing criticism.

At the beginning of June Indian producers announced they were making a film about the end of the Third Reich.

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Harry Potter star to play soldier

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2010

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is to be sent down into the trenches for his next film role.

The Jewish actor, 20, will attempt to shake off his teenage wizard image in a remake of First World War classic All Quiet On The Western Front.

The actor, who comes from London and is currently wowing audiences on a Broadway stage, will play a young German soldier in the film.

The original, based on a book, was released in 1930 and won an Oscar for the director.

Producer Ian Stokell said the actor would bring a vulnerability and innocence to the part.

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