First Read For April 25
News RoundupThe headlines American Jews are talking about today.

First Read For April 25

Students picket at home of Nazi guard in Queens; Anti-Semitic graffiti increasing in subway system; Trump may increase aid to Palestinians; Orthodox prayer book published in German.

Commuters removing swastikas from a New York City subway, Feb. 4, 2017. JTA
Commuters removing swastikas from a New York City subway, Feb. 4, 2017. JTA

Anti-Semitic graffiti tops subway list

Anti-Semitic graffiti is the “top subway hate crime” investigated this year, the Daily News reports, citing the Police Department’s NYPD Transit Bureau. In a report to the MTA board, Transit Bureau Assistant Chief Vincent Coogan said 22 of 31 hate crimes that took place in the subway targeted Jews, mainly through graffiti.

Last year, over the same period, only seven bias crimes total in the subway were reported. “But this year,” the paper stated,  “a rash of swastikas and comments that advocate the killing of Jews have been spotted on train cars and in stations.”

Yeshiva students hold rally at Queens home

The Queens home of Jakiw Palij — the last known Nazi concentration camp guard still living in the United States — was the site yesterday of a massive demonstration by yeshiva students commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The New York Daily News reports that students from the Rambam Mesivta, a day school in Lawrence, L.I., protested in front of Palij’s two-story, brick Jackson Heights home.

“It is outrageous that a Nazi who is involved in killing thousands of innocent men, women and children should be able to walk the same streets that we do,” said Rambam Mesivta senior Benjamin Kattan, 17, who helped organize the protest.

Demonstrators called Palij a cog in the Nazis’ Final Solution, serving as a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland.

A federal judge in 2004 ordered Palij deported, but none of the three European countries to which he could be sent — Germany, Poland and Ukraine — agreed to take him.

Administration may increase aid to Palestinian territories

Internal State Department documents indicate that while the Trump administration that is preparing major foreign aid cuts in the budget it is preparing, “one of the few areas where the administration actually wants to increase spending is the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza,” according to Haaretz.

Citing a report published yesterday by Foreign Policy magazine, the proposed budget will include “a small rise of 4.6% in foreign aid to the West Bank and Gaza, which would go up to $215 million for the 2018 fiscal year,” the Israeli paper reported, bot specifying what aid for Israel is proposed.

German-language siddur appears

For the first time in more than a century, a one-volume contemporary Orthodox prayer book has been published in German, JTA reports. “This prayer book has all the prayers a person needs for the entire year, including the holidays, except for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur,” said Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, president of the Chabad Jewish Educational Centre in Berlin.

Germany has become the site of Europe’s fastest-growing Jewish community, fueled mostly by immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

The publication of the new prayer book, which was printed in Israel, coincided with Yom HaShoah.

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