jewish

npr.org

Broward County has the largest Jewish community in Florida and the eighth largest in the country.

But a new demographic study shows a decline in that community in the last 20 years. 

And other findings suggest that Broward's Jewish leaders need to reach out to more Jews from Spanish-speaking countries --  if they want their synagogues to survive.

 

President Trump pledged to "confront anti-Semitism" at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony on Tuesday. His remarks at the U.S. Capitol follow a number of controversies relating to anti-Semitism and his administration.

A Jewish advocacy organization expects a staggering increase in anti-Semitic incidents by the end of 2017. That projection comes after the Anti-Defamation League counted an 86 percent spike in attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions so far this year, according to a report released Monday.

WILFREDO LEE / Associated Press

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Miami-Dade County's new policy to help the Federal government detain undocumented immigrants faced its first legal challenge. The practice was adopted in late January by Mayor Carlos Gimenez following President Donald Trump's executive order threatening "sanctuary cities" with funding cuts.

The Department of Homeland Security is stepping up its support for Jewish institutions across the nation who've received more than 120 bomb threats in the past two months. Jewish Community Centers have been pressing for help as they've been targeted by waves of threatening calls as well as vandalism.

Since January, the calls coming in to JCCs have been both vivid and unnerving. Betzy Lynch, executive director of the JCC in Birmingham, Ala., got three of the threatening calls, all very similar.

Peter Haden / WLRN

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz scheduled a press conference at her office in Sunrise Monday morning to address a wave of anti-Semitic acts in South Florida and across the country.

But shortly before it began, the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, 10 miles away in Davie, was evacuated following a bomb threat.

“I’m incredibly angry,” Wasserman Schultz said. “But I’m here today to channel my anger, so we can make sure…we find these bastards.”

News of recent anti-Semitic acts in the U.S. — like the toppling of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and bomb threats against Jewish community centers — is being followed closely in Israel. So is the Israeli government's response to these incidents.

Some Israelis are questioning whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has played down the incidents to keep pressure off his political ally, President Trump.

Asked — again — about anti-Semitism, Trump condemns it as ‘horrible’

Feb 21, 2017
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Tom Gannam/Reuters 

Monday was a banner day for anti-Semitic hate.

Bomb threats were phoned into at least 11 Jewish community centers around the United States. Then, in a Jewish cemetery outside of St. Louis, dozens of gravestones were vandalized.

Given these recent examples of what observers describe as a rising tide of anti-Jewish bigotry in the US, would President Donald Trump condemn anti-Semitism, “once and for all?”

Several Jewish community centers across the U.S. were targeted by bomb threats on Monday, according to the JCC Association of North America, in the fourth wave of such threats in the past two months.

In total, there have been 69 threats at 54 JCCs, in 27 states and a Canadian province, the organization reports — including previous threats on Jan. 9, 18 and 31, as well as 11 threats by telephone on Monday.

More than two dozen Jewish community centers across the U.S. reported receiving false bomb threats on Wednesday. It's the second wave of bomb threats in two weeks: On Jan. 9, 16 community centers received threats in a single day.

No actual bombs have been found, according to the JCC Association of North America, and many centers have already reopened and resumed regular operations.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – began the evening of Oct. 2. And for the more than half a million Jews living in South Florida, the holiday is brought in with a familiar sound: the shofar.

 

The shofar is an ancient musical instrument made from a hollowed-out ram's horn. The rabbi blows it at the end of the Rosh Hashanah service, after Yom Kippur and at other times during the High Holidays.

Southern Poverty Law Center / http://www.splcenter.org/Year-in-Hate-and-Extremism

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are currently 784 hate groups nationwide. Those groups can be anything from Ku Klux Klan to neo-Nazis to black separatists and anti-LGBT groups. All of them are listed in the SPLC's The Year In Hate and Extremism report.

Matzofilm.com

Jewish families celebrating Passover this year might want to take a good look at that box of matzoh in the kitchen. If it says "Streit's" on it, they're looking at the end of an era.

For almost a century, the Streit's company has been making 40 percent of the country's matzoh out of a factory on New York's Lower East Side.  Now, after 90 years, the factory is shutting down, and Streit's is moving to New Jersey.  But not without a cinematic send-off.

“You think kids want to come with their parents, take foxtrot lessons? Trips to Europe, that’s what the kids want! Twenty-two countries in three days.  Feels like it’s all slipping away...”

So laments resort owner Max Kellerman, in the film “Dirty Dancing.”

John Walther / Miami Herald staff

Much has been written about the close bonds forged between Jews and African-Americans in Miami in the 1950s at the start of the civil rights movement.  But a more complex, conflicted side of that relationship has fired the imagination of local novelist Joan Lipinsky Cochran.  

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