First Read For March 27
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News RoundupThe headlines American Jews are talking about today.

First Read For March 27

Dallas JCC evacuated after threatening phone call; Egypt’s Jewish community is elderly, dwindling; NJ man changes his name to ‘Hitler’; More

A general view shows the Prophet Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue also known as the Temple of the Eliyahu Hanabi of Alexandria in Nabi Daniel Street in the northern Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria on November 14, 2016. Once a flourishing community, only a handful of Egyptian Jews, mostly elderly women, is all that remains in the Arab world's most populous country, aiming at least to preserve their heritage. Egypt still has about a dozen synagogues, but like many of the country's monuments they need restoration. Getty Images
A general view shows the Prophet Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue also known as the Temple of the Eliyahu Hanabi of Alexandria in Nabi Daniel Street in the northern Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria on November 14, 2016. Once a flourishing community, only a handful of Egyptian Jews, mostly elderly women, is all that remains in the Arab world's most populous country, aiming at least to preserve their heritage. Egypt still has about a dozen synagogues, but like many of the country's monuments they need restoration. Getty Images

Dallas JCC evacuated over threatening phone call

A Jewish Community Center in Dallas, Texas, was evacuated on Thursday due to a threatening call hours after an arrest was made in Israel in connection with dozens of other such threats around the country.

The Aaron Family JCC in North Dallas received the threatening phone call and evacuated the building shortly before 5 p.m. on March 23. The building remained evacuated for a short time before regular activity there resumed.

The JCC posted a message on its website that the building was evacuated, as well as a post on its Facebook page which said the center was “temporarily closed to access.”

Dallas Skyline. Wikimedia Commons

The Dallas JCC released a statement Friday confirming that a threatening phone call had been received, and that an arrest had been made on Thursday in connection with threats against JCCs and other Jewish institutions since the beginning of the year, the Dallas News reported.

“Within hours of the announcement of the arrest, we received yet another threatening call,” the statement said. “In accordance with our procedures, staff worked with law enforcement to secure the campus, evacuate the facility and evaluate the situation.”

The Dallas JCC previously was evacuated in January over a bomb threat, and in early March discovered that an e-mailed threat went to the center’s spam folder and was only located days later.

Anti-Semites who have been presidential advisers

With controversy surrounding Steve Bannon, an adviser of President Trump who was a leader of the alt-right political movement and has been accused of having anti-Semitic sentiments, and Sebastian Gorka, a White House foreign policy adviser, Salon reports on past presidential advisers who were known to be anti-Semitic.

“What makes their actions particularly tragic,” the article states, “is that they didn’t simply hold bigoted views, but succeeded in allowing those bigotries to impact real-world policy.”

The Salon story cites Breckinridge Long (who served Franklin Roosevelt), Charles Colson and H.R. Haldeman (Richard Nixon), and Pat Buchanan (Ronald Reagan). “What makes their actions particularly tragic,” the article states, “is that they didn’t simply hold bigoted views, but succeeded in allowing those bigotries to impact real-world policy.”

 

Egypt’s Jewish community is elderly, dwindling

Once a flourishing community, only a handful of Egyptian Jews, mostly elderly women, remain in the Arab world’s most populous country, aiming at least to preserve their heritage, London’s Daily Mail reports. The article, appearing a few weeks before Passover, which commemorates the Israelite slaves’ exodus from ancient Egypt, reports that Egypt still has about a dozen synagogues, “but like many of the country’s monuments they need restoration.”

There were between 80,000 and 120,000 Jews in Egypt up until the mid-20th century. “But the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 led to the disintegration of the community, with many leaving Egypt or being forced out under the regime of president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Today, the Jews of Egypt are estimated to number 18, with 12 of them in the coastal city of Alexandria.”

The president of the Egyptian Jewish Community Magda Shehata Haroun (L) and her mother Marcelle Haroun pose for a picture during an interview at their home in Cairo on February 11, 2017. Once a flourishing community, only a handful of Egyptian Jews, mostly elderly women, is all that remains in the Arab world’s most populous country, aiming at least to preserve their heritage. Getty Images

Magen David replaces cross on veteran’s grave

The grave of a British Jewish WWII soldier who died in action and was buried in a Christian cemetery northeast of London has been marked with a Star of David, according to the London Jewish Chronicle. The Church of England has allowed the crucifix on the grave of Pilot Officer Harold Rosofsky, who was buried in an Anglican churchyard, to be removed and replaced with the Jewish symbol.

Mr. Rosofsky, then 26, was one of the first British airmen to be killed in the war, when his plane came down over Suffolk on September 8, 1939.

His sister’s niece Jennifer Hoffmann contacted the War Graves Commission to ask for a Star of David to be installed, after the family learned of the existence of the grave in 2012.

N.J. Man changes his name to ‘Hitler’

A New Jersey white supremacist who gave his four children Nazi-linked names has reportedly changed his own last name to Hitler. The Times of Israel reports that Isidore Heath Campbell was granted the official name change by the Hunterdon County Superior Court.

In 2013, Campbell wore full Nazi regalia to a court appearance to request visitation rights for his children, who had been taken into state custody.

 

 

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