World briefs: Menorah from iconic 1931 photograph returns to Germany

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Menorah from iconic 1931 photograph returns to Germany
A brass menorah from a famous photo taken during the rise of the Nazis made its way back to Germany for a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony in Berlin, attended by the country’s president, reported JNS.

The Posner family’s menorah in 1931

“This light is a strong societal symbol against hatred,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “Each of us must stand up against every form of antisemitism.”
During Chanukah in 1931, Rachel Posner, wife of Rabbi Akiva Posner, photographed the family menorah on the window ledge of their home in the north German port city of Kiel. In the background, the Nazi Party’s regional headquarters, with a large swastika flag, can be seen.

On the back of the photo, which came to stand for the looming threat to European Jewry, Rachel Posner wrote: “‘Death to Judah.’ So the flag says. ‘Judah will live forever.’ So the light answers.”

On Dec. 19, the second night of Chanukah, the Posners’ grandson, Yehuda Mansbach, “wept openly” after lighting the candles at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the president of Germany. The Posners’ granddaughter, Nava Gilo, 68, also attended the menorah-lighting.

Police recover ancient Torah scrolls stolen from Israeli synagogue
On Dec. 20, Israel Police said three ancient Torah scrolls stolen in November from a synagogue in Rishon Letzion, Israel, were recovered, wrote The Jerusalem Post.
Two brothers in their 30s possessed the scrolls, leading to their arrests.
Police said the suspects broke into the Beit Eliyahu Tunisian Synagogue after Friday-night prayers. Worshippers arrived the next morning to find the synagogue’s interior in ruins.
The scrolls, one of which is 180 years old, came to Israel from Djerba, Tunisia.

Detroit Pistons wish Kyrie Irving a ‘Happy Chanukah!’
The Detroit Pistons wished Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving a “Happy Chanukah” on Dec. 18, the first night of the holiday, reported JTA.

The Pistons appeared to be trolling Irving, who recently shared an antisemitic film on Twitter and initially refused to apologize. The scoreboard displayed a spinning globe as well as a Chanukah graphic with a menorah while he was at the free-throw line.

The former image references previous comments that the controversial All-Star has made about the earth being flat. The latter appeared to be a pointed reference to the recent antisemitism scandal.

Irving was suspended for eight games in November after he tweeted an Amazon link to “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” a documentary that promotes the false idea that Jews were heavily involved in the Atlantic slave trade, denies the Holocaust and says that Black people are the real Jews.

Irving initially refused to apologize but ultimately did so multiple times.

German woman, 97, convicted of complicity in 10,500 Nazi death-camp murders
A 97-year-old German woman was convicted of complicity in 10,500 concentration-camp murders, reported JTA.

Irmgard Furchner was 95 when she was arrested and charged with crimes related to her work as a secretary at the Stutthof concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Tried in juvenile court because she was under 21 at the time, she was sentenced on Dec. 20 to two years of probation in what is likely to be one of the final convictions related to crimes committed during the Nazi regime.

Furchner initially resisted prosecution, fleeing by a taxi from her old-age home on the first day of her trial; she was soon apprehended. She also had not commented on the charges against her until recently, when she spoke briefly during her final court appearance earlier this month.

“I am sorry for everything that happened,” she said in a statement that local German news reports said had been a surprise. “I regret that I was in Stutthof at that time. That’s all I can say.”

Unilever ‘resolves’ protracted legal battle with Ben & Jerry’s board over Israel sales
An extended legal battle over ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s operations in Israel appears to have come to a close after its parent company announced that it has reached an agreement with the company’s independent board of directors, reported JTA.

Unilever was embroiled in months-long litigation with the Ben & Jerry’s board over Unilever’s sale of the brand’s Hebrew and Arabic licenses to an Israeli company that would sell the products in both Israel, and the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, against the board’s wishes.

Those sales will now continue uninterrupted.

The terms of the agreement are confidential, stated a Unilever representative.
Parent company Unilever had sold off the brand’s Israel license to dodge the Ben & Jerry’s board’s attempts, dating back to July 2021, to prevent its ice-cream and other frozen desserts from being sold the areas that Ben & Jerry’s labeled in a press release “occupied Palestinian territories” — a move that was met with severe backlash from many Jewish and pro-Israel groups around the world.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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