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Jewish News Roundup - Monday, December 26, 2011

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Anti-Semitic harassment suit at UC Berkeley is dismissed

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Jewish students against the University of California, Berkeley, alleging that the school did not protect them from anti-Semitic attacks.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled late last week that there was no evidence that university officials violated the Jewish students' rights, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The plaintiffs said that they and other Jews were harassed during the annual Apartheid Week event at the university held by Muslim student groups to protest Israeli policies. Seeborg ruled that the conduct of the Muslim students fell under the category of "pure political speech," which is constitutionally protected, according to the newspaper. Read More.

IDF opposes plan to try Jewish extremists in military courts

The military prosecution opposes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to try violent right-wing activists in military tribunals, partly because it wouldn't be an effective way of convicting Jewish extremists and partly because it would further politicize the army, sources said.

They said military prosecution officials made the comments in closed meetings last week.

Cabinet officials have authorized the IDF to further examine the option of using the military tribunals.

The military tribunal suggestion was one of several steps Netanyahu approved earlier this month, after dozens of right-wing activists clashed with police officers in Jerusalem and about 50 assaulted a top Israel Defense Forces officer and vandalized military vehicles on a West Bank base. ReadMore.

Nazi Stag Party Celebrant had Visited Yad VaShem

The British Member of Parliament who posed next to a friend dressed in a Nazi uniform visited Yad VaShem earlier this year,” the London-based TotallyJewish.com reported.

Aidan Burley was photographed next to a Nazi-uniformed bachelor at a stag party at a French ski resort. Embarrassed by the incident, he profusely apologized but not before being fired as a government aide. He also faces possible criminal charges by French authorities, who are investigating whether he is guilty of a pro-Nazi crime.

A French police spokesman said an investigation could be launched into the incident. "Anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi crimes are taken seriously. Anyone suspected of breaking the law can and will be prosecuted," he said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry hosted Burley this year at the Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, a site that is a must-go for virtually every visiting political leader from around the world. The formality of the visits recently has been criticized in some quarters as being perfunctory if not hypocritical by allowing visitors, not always the greatest friends of Israel, to express sorrow for the Holocaust while ignoring growing anti-Semitism in their countries. Read More.

Injured Bochur Out of Hospital

The Satmar Bochur critically injured in the Williamsburg Armory in Brooklyn a week ago was released from the hospital Monday evening.

17-year-old Yaakov Meir Stein was injured last Sunday after he crashed a forklift while helping to dismantle a stage used in a Satmar event on Motzei Shabbos.

The teen was taken to Bellevue hospital in Manhattan, and Jews around the world said Tehillim and prayed on his behalf.

He has been released this evening, thank G-d, after a miraculous recovery. Read More.

50,773 Coins Fill Up 'Charity Box Menorah'

The Chabad Lubavitch Centre of Buckhurst Hill, UK has done it again with another amazing Menorah to feature at their Chanukah party this year. A Coin Menorah containing 50,773 coins totalling £2,009.95!

Built by Paul Benham-Whyte with the help of Desmond Solomon, the Menorah was highly anticipated by the community who over the last few years have seen a Whisky Menorah, Can Menorah, Recycled phones Menorah...

Rabbi Odom Brandman, director of the Chabad Centre, said “think of it as a massive Tzedokoh box, it was a great way to allow lots of people to participate and be doing a Mitzvah at the same time by donating to Charity! The money will be used to support the Centres outreach and educational activities throughout the year.”

A campaign was launched a few months ago to collect in the many Tzedokoh boxes that had been handed out by Chabad of Buckhurst Hill to the wider community over the last few years, many of which had not be emptied for a long time. A number of volunteers went around the community collecting the boxes. As always a great team effort was needed to reach the huge target set and each box collected was carefully counted and a thank you note sent by Yoninah Shaw who works at the Chabad Centre. Read More.

From Olympic Torch to Menorah

A beautiful Chanukah celebration was held last week in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland for the entire community with a record large crowd of local and visiting participants.

The event included the lighting of the first ever Surfboard menorah by Shliach Rabbi Nir Gurevitch, built by Mark Foster of a row of colorful surfboards.

The event also included a spectacular fire show, many rides for the children and adults, barbeque, fresh doughnuts, music and dancing, a raffle and more.

Current mayor of the Gold Coast Ron Clarke-former Olympic champion runner and torch lighter of the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, in transformation, lit the menorah symbolizing the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks. Read More.


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