First Read For April 20
News RoundupThe headlines American Jews are talking about today.

First Read For April 20

Neo-Nazi webside sued; Russia recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital; Warsaw uprising marked with Torah burial; Jewish museum opens in Montreal.

Museum visitors view the exhibit "Traces of the Past," a photos of Montreal's disappearing downtown synagogues. Nasuna Stuart-Ulin photo via Facebook
Museum visitors view the exhibit "Traces of the Past," a photos of Montreal's disappearing downtown synagogues. Nasuna Stuart-Ulin photo via Facebook

Russia to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Alexander Shein, Russia’s ambassador to Israel, is expected to meet this week with senior Foreign Ministry officials in Israel to discuss the significance of its recent announcement that it will recognize west Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Shein is expected to explain that Moscow now recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that it expects that mostly Arab east Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state in any future agreement. Though Russia is the first country in the world to recognize west Jerusalem as the capital, its decision does not mean that it will move its embassy from Tel Aviv, according to the Post.

Lawsuit filed against neo-Nazi website

The Southern Poverty Law Center is battling neo-Nazis by filing a suit that accuses an online publisher of urging anonymous Internet trolls to unleash “a torrent of anti-Semitic slurs and harassment against a Jewish real estate agent,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

The lawsuit against white nationalist Richard Spencer and his family alleges that Andrew Anglin, founder and publisher of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, carried on a “terror campaign” aimed at Tanya Gersh and her family, invading her privacy, intentionally inflicting emotional distress and violating the Montana Anti-Intimidation Act.

Warsaw Jews mark uprising anniversary

Warsaw’s Jewish community yesterday buried fragments of old and damaged Torah scrolls on the 74th anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Large clay vessels holding the tattered fragments of dozens of Torah scrolls were lowered into the ground at the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery, next to the remains of some of the fighters from the Uprising, Ynetnews reports.

The “symbolic celebration of life” for a Jewish community that was almost destroyed during the Holocaust marks “a return to a tradition that had been forgotten in our community for at least 70 years,” said Anna Chipczynska, head of the Warsaw Jewish community.

While Warsaw had some 330,000 Jews before the war, today’s community numbers some 1,000.

Jewish museum opens in Montreal

Canada’s oldest Jewish community, Montreal, is commemorating its heritage with a newly opened museum just outside the city’s historic Jewish Mile End neighborhood, the Canadian Jewish News reports. Housed in a former Jewish garment factory, the small Museum of Jewish Montreal distinguishes itself from other Jewish museums in Canada “by not focusing on the Holocaust but on local Jewish history,” according to the paper.

Visitors can find temporary exhibits and a cafe that serves such Jewish foods as gefilte fish sandwiches on challah bread. There is also a bookstore, with novels by Jewish authors set in Montreal, and works of nonfiction about the city’s oldest Yiddish newspaper or the smoked meat sandwiches from the famous Schwartz’s deli located just down the block.

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