World Briefs: Citing Stolen Antiquities Scandal, Michael Steinhardt Resigns From NYU Board and more

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Citing Stolen Antiquities Scandal, Michael Steinhardt Resigns From NYU Board

Michael Steinhardt
Michael Steinhardt (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images via JTA.org)

After 27 years in leadership roles at New York University, Michael Steinhardt, the Wall Street businessman and megadonor to Jewish causes accused of trafficking in stolen antiquities and sexual harassment, has stepped down from the university’s board of trustees, JTA reported.


“I regret that my antiquities collecting has impacted the university and distracted from the important work of the faculty and global community,” Steinhardt wrote in a letter to the board. “As a result, I have decided to step down as a Life Trustee.”

His wife, Judy Steinhardt, remains listed as a life trustee, which is a non-voting member of the board governing the university, and NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development continues to carry the family name.

In a deal to avoid prosecution, Steinhardt agreed to surrender $70 million worth of ancient artifacts that were looted from 11 countries, including Israel. Steinhardt has not admitted to any wrongdoing and his lawyers have suggested he was fooled into buying the stolen relics.

Spanish Town Previously Named Fort Kill the Jews Vandalized Again With Antisemitic Graffiti

A tiny village in northern Spain that from 1627 until 2015 was named Fort Kill the Jews was hit with antisemitic graffiti on Aug. 3, and its mayor said he believes neo-Nazi groups carried out the vandalism because they had heard a Jewish family was moving back into the town, JTA reported.

As reported by the El País daily, the family will soon join another Jewish one that moved to the town earlier this year — the first to do so since medieval times.

Originally named Castrillo Motajudíos, or Jew’s Hill Fort, in 1035 when Jews fleeing from a neighboring pogrom settled there, the town was renamed Castrillo Matajudíos — Fort Kill The Jews — in 1627, during a period of extreme religious persecution carried out by the Inquisition.

Vandals spray painted the word Auschwitz, the name of the infamous former Nazi camp, onto one of the village’s signs with its restored current name. They also wrote the Fort Kill the Jews name onto a signpost that leads into the town.

Canada Says Jews Were Most-Targeted Religious Minority for Hate Crimes Last Year

Canada’s 380,000 Jews were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes reported to police in 2021, the country’s official numbers keeper reported, according to JTA.

Statistics Canada said that the Jewish community, comprising about 1% of the population, were victims of 14% of reported hate crimes. Jews saw a 47% rise in reported hate crimes compared to 2020, according to the bureau.

Only Black Canadians, who make up about 3.5% of the country’s population, reported more hate crimes. Overall, 1.3 Canadian Jews in every 1,000 reported being victims of hate crime in 2021.

“Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of hate crime,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This is alarming.”

World-Class Tennis Returns to Israel After 26 Years

The Association of Tennis Professionals announced its new tournament in the ATP 250 category: The Tel Aviv Watergen Open 2022, featuring some of the world’s top-20 ranked male pro players, jns.org reported.

More than 26 years after Israel last hosted a major tennis competition, the tourney will begin at Expo Tel Aviv on Sept. 25. Singles and doubles finals are scheduled for Oct. 2, with players such as Rafael Nadal vying for nearly $1.2 million in prize money.

The top-tier ATP 250 tournament is coming to Israel because of a joint effort by the Israel Tennis Association and water-from-air technology company Watergen, the competition’s sponsor.

Average Israeli Salary Falls

The average gross monthly salary in Israel fell from $3,593 in April to $3,512 in May Globes reported, citing Central Bureau of Statistics reports.

The bureau said the decline may be the result of lower-salaried people who were furloughed during the pandemic returning to the workforce.

The average gross salary in Israel in April was 4.2% more than in the same month a year earlier when it was $3,371.

There were 3.94 million salaried employees in Israel in May. That’s up 10.1% from 3.58 million in the same month in 2021.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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