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At Trial of Former Nazi, a Tough Embrace

Eva Kor, who survived Mengele’s experiments, forgives Oskar Groening, the ‘Accountant of Auschwitz’

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Eva Kor at trial of Oskar Groening on April 21, 2015 in Lueneburg, Germany. (Ronny Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images)

Last Thursday, 81-year-old Holocaust survivor Eva Kor approached Oskar Groening, a former member of the SS at Auschwitz-Birkenau who is on trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, and offered her hand.

Groening took it, brought her in close, and kissed her on the cheek.  (more…)

Nicki Minaj’s Bar Mitzvah Advice

Don’t be slouches, tweens!

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Nicki Minaj (Instagram )

When Nicki Minaj does bar mitzvahs, she not only performs but offers sage-like wisdom to the formative tweens in the crowd. (more…)

The New York Times is So Hot Right Now

Gray Lady cuts bridge column with ‘sadness'; nixed chess column 6 mos. ago

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(shutterstock)

On Sunday, The New York Times, a 52-floor-high bastion of hard-hitting journalism, (kind of officially) announced that it will be cancelling its bridge column after 80 years. The decision, I imagine, is a cost-cutting move that probably came after bean counters crunched the paper’s numbers and provided higher-ups with bulletproof evidence that commentary about the ancient game—and the space that holds it—is no longer read widely enough by bubbes and zaydes from their terraces in Florida, and therefore should be snipped in favor of advertisements about, say, some totally hashtagable tech conference.  (more…)

Amnesty Int’l Rejects Motion to Combat Record-High Anti-Semitism in UK

Resolution defeated in tight vote at annual conference; criticisms mount

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(shutterstock)

Amnesty International is under fire after rejecting a resolution that called on it to campaign against anti-Semitism in Britain. The motion, which failed by a vote of 468-461, was the only resolution rejected at the organization’s entire annual conference this past week.

“Our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus,” Amnesty UK press officer Neil Durkin told the Jewish Chronicle. But it quickly emerged that the organization had devoted an extensive report exclusively to anti-Muslim discrimination in Britain as recently as 2012, raising the question of why the same could not be done for Jews.  (more…)

Blatt’s Cavs Play Dirty, Move On Marred

JR Smith delivers roundabout sockdolager in ugly, series-clinching win

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Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt during Game Four against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2015. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Last May, David Blatt led Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, a Israeli professional basketball team, to an overtime victory over Real Madrid to take the Euroleague Championship. Shortly thereafter, Blatt was swooped up by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, whose management outfitted his roster with otherworldly players, including LeBron James, who came back home from Miami (vomit; brought to you by Sprite), to play alongside guard Kyrie Irving, who’s handles are just downright sick, if not illegal (he travels with the best of them). (more…)

Help Arrives in Nepal As Death Toll Surges

Israeli aid among outpour of support for earthquake victims; Chabad House of Kathmandu in need

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Volunteers and emergency workers search for bodies buried under debris on April 27, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)

The death toll resulting from Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, including a 6.7-magnitude aftershock a day later, is climbing towards the 4,000 victim mark. Nearly 7,000 injuries have also been reported, including in neighboring India and the Tibetan regions of China and Bangladesh.

“The most worrying thing to me is the aftereffect,” Samaj Gautam, a doctor in Kathmandu, told The New York Times. “Sanitation, disease, these are also serious worries.”  (more…)

Władysław Bartoszewski Dies at 93

Former Polish foreign minister, an Auschwitz survivor, masterminded Poland’s relations with Germany and the Jews

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Former Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski on December 11, 2007, in Berlin. (Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images)

Władysław Bartoszewski, the preeminent Polish statesman credited with restoring post-war relations between Germany and Poland, as well as Poland and Israel, died today at 93. Bartoszewski survived Auschwitz, where he was held as a political prisoner, and devoted his career to mending his beloved country’s wounds not only through smart diplomacy but also through the dogged preservation of the memory of Nazi atrocities.

Tablet’s literary editor David Samuels spoke to Bartoszewski in 2013, when Tablet staffers traveled to Warsaw for the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in which Bartoszewski took part. The two-time foreign minister, honored with various prizes and knighthoods, was throughout his life a journalist, scholar, and activist. (more…)

Masha Gessen Named Carnegie Fellow

Organization honors author of ‘The Brothers,’ a book about Boston Marathon bombers

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(OR books )

On Wednesday the Carnegie Corporation of New York announced it will award up to $200,000 to 32 scholars in the organization’s inaugural class of fellows in the social sciences and humanities. Among them is Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, who recently released ‘The Brothers,’ a book about Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Gessen, “a lesbian mother who is abandoning her home in Russia because of the anti-gay laws,” her bio reads, is working on a book about Birobidzhan, a Jewish autonomous region 50 miles short of the Chinese border, for Nextbook Press’ Jewish Encounter Series.

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Daughter of an Iranian Ayatollah Fights for Peace

Maryam Faghihimani shares how she learned to look past ‘black holes of pasts,’ befriend Jews

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(Image courtesy of Maryam Faghihimani)

Maryam Faghihimani’s childhood was spent in the living room of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, where she played with the children of other prominent Iranian ayatollahs. Her father, Faghih Imani, is still a senior ayatollah in Iran and was personally responsible for spreading Khomeini’s message of revolution to mosques and Muslim gatherings around Iran before 1979.

Faghihimani was educated in a religious school that served her a steady diet of hatred of Jews—Israel was erased from maps and the Holocaust from all history books. But in her earlier twenties, Faghihimani had an epiphany that radically changed the course of her life, which she’ll share Sunday as keynote speaker at Harvard Business School’s Economic Prosperity for Peace Conference.  (more…)

Arab-Israeli TV anchor Lucy Aharish Calls for ‘Peace’

Presenter makes tearful appeal for tolerance, coexistence on Israeli Independence Day

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Arab-Israeli TV anchor Lucy Aharish lights a torch at Israel's Independence Day ceremony on April 23, 2015(YouTube)

Of the 14 Israelis chosen to light the country’s Independence Day torches yesterday, only one delivered part of her speech in Arabic: Lucy Aharish, an Arab Muslim TV anchor on i24news and frequent face on Israeli television. In her brief remarks, which Aharish delivered while visibly holding back tears, she issued a plea for tolerance among all Israeli citizens, “for Sephardim and Ashkenazim, religious and secular, Arabs and Jews.”  (more…)

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