World news

US creates $50m fund for peace

By Ben Hartman, March 26, 2015

Two US lawmakers from both sides of the aisle presented a bill late last week to launch a $50m fund to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The bill, called the International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Authorisation Act of 2015, was presented by Republican Jeff Fortenberry and Democrat Joe Crowley.

In a statement, Mr Crowley said: "The US has played a significant leadersh


World closes in on nuclear deal with Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 26, 2015

Negotiators gathered on Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland, for what could be a crucial round in the talks over the future of the Iranian nuclear programme.

The largest delegations, from the United States and Iran, were headed by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif.


New group to fight global poverty

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

A new organisation to promote Jewish volunteering abroad and international development has been launched with the backing of the Pears Foundation.

Olam will strengthen the work of some 40 Jewish agencies in Israel and diaspora that are currently involved in the fight against disease, poverty and hunger across the world.

Its Israel-based director, Dyonna Ginsburg, who was the Jewish Agency's


Vandals scatter body parts

March 26, 2015

A Jewish cemetery in the north-eastern Hungarian city of Gyongyos has been vandalised and human remains from the graves scattered in the area.

The leader of the local Jewish community, Peter Weisz, said that the attack was "unprecedented".

He told reporters that around 20 graves had been vandalised.

The office of Prime Minister Viktor Orban condemned the "barbaric deed" and pledged to ren


Seven siblings die in horror New York fire

By Sebastien Malo, March 26, 2015

A fire in which seven siblings died has left the Orthodox community of Brooklyn in shock.

It is believed that the blaze started after a food-warming plate used on Shabbat malfunctioned.

The fire was the deadliest in the New York area since 2007, fire department officials said.

Neighbours said they could hear the children, aged 5 to 16, calling for help and screaming in the early hours of


Some relief over French poll result

By Michel Gurfinkiel, March 26, 2015

There was a degree of relief for a majority of French Jews as the far-right National Front (NF) came second in local elections on Sunday.

There had been widespread fears that Marine Le Pen's party would beat the UMP, Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party, which came top with 29.5 per cent of the vote.


Yehuda Avner dies aged 86

By Charlotte Oliver, March 24, 2015

Yehuda Avner, a former ambassador to the UK and senior adviser to a succession of Israeli prime ministers, has died at the age of 86.

Born in Manchester in 1928, Mr Avner moved to Jerusalem in 1956, before joining the Israeli Foreign Service.


Seven siblings killed in New York fire

By Sebastien Malo, March 23, 2015

The Orthodox community in Brooklyn, New York, is in shock after seven siblings lost their lives in a fire.

Hundreds turned up to mourn at the funeral on Sunday.

It is believed that the fire started after a food-warming plate used for Shabbat malfunctioned.


Jewish MP walks out of Australian parliament over PM Tony Abbott's Nazi slur

By Naomi Firsht, March 20, 2015

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott caused uproar in the country's parliament when he compared the Labour party leader to Joseph Goebbels, prompting a Jewish MP to walk out.

Labour frontbencher and leading member of Melbourne’s Jewish community Michael Danby walked out of prime minister’s questions when Mr Abbot likened Labour leader Bill Shorten to the Nazi propaganda minister.


After the tragedy, a new simchah for Hannah

By Rosa Doherty, March 19, 2015

The batmitzvah girl whose simchah was called to an abrupt end after the shooting of a synagogue guard in Copenhagen last month has been given the chance to celebrate in peace.

Hannah Bentow and her family were holding a party at Denmark's central synagogue last month when Omar El-Hussein shot and killed volunteer security guard Dan Uzan, who was stationed at the entrance.