Robert Kraft and Meek Mill Walk March of Living Together
An unusual duo made the two-mile-plus walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau last week during the annual March of the Living in Poland: Robert Kraft, Jewish billionaire New England Patriots owner and philanthropist who launched a campaign last month opposing antisemitism, and Meek Mill, a prominent rapper from Philadelphia, JNS.org reported.
“It’s important for me to learn humanity’s history,” Mill said. “It’s also important for me to support Robert, all my Jewish friends, everyone that always supported me.”
Mill credited Kraft with learning about his culture and background, as well as supporting him “at a very high level” when he was jailed on gun and drug charges at age 19.
“He’s a man who’s very caring, and it’s very important to him to build bridges between people of the Jewish faith and people of color in America,” said Kraft about Mill.
“I always stand on anything that condemns racism,” Mill told CNN. “Now that I had an education, I’ll definitely spread the word to people in my culture about what I’ve seen and what I felt at that concentration camp.”
Yeshiva U Restores Women’s Talmud Classes Whose Cancellation Incited an Uproar
Beginner and intermediate Talmud courses are back on the course schedule for undergraduate students at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, after an uproar over their cancellation, JTA.org reported.
Stern College administrators had said the school would not offer beginning and intermediate Talmud — courses about a foundational Jewish text for women at the country’s flagship Modern Orthodox university — because of low enrollment in those classes. That prompted more than 1,400 students, graduates and others to sign a petition urging the school to reinstate the classes and to endow a full-time chair of Talmud studies.
Now, Stern College says it is adding several Talmud classes to next semester’s schedule, citing increased interest among students.
“It was heartwarming to see the outpouring of interest revolving around women’s Talmud learning on the Beren campus,” Shoshana Schechter, Stern’s associate dean of Torah and spiritual life, and Deena Rabinovich, chair of the Jewish studies department, said in a letter distributed to students by email and WhatsApp.
Frankfurt Can’t Cancel Roger Waters Concert Over His Antisemitism Record, Court Rules
Frankfurt’s administrative court ruled that the city can’t cancel a Roger Waters concert after calling him “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world,” JTA.org reported.
Waters, the former frontman of the band Pink Floyd, took legal action and prevailed on April 25 after Frankfurt officials said in February they would cancel his concert in May. The city can appeal the ruling.
The Frankfurt court ruled that because Rogers “did not glorify or relativise the crimes of the Nazis or identify with Nazi racist ideology” in past concerts, it was not appropriate to cancel the upcoming one.
Waters’ full-throated anti-Israel activism has frequently been accused of veering into antisemitism. In addition to being a leader of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, Waters’ has flown a pig-shaped balloon bearing a Star of David at his concerts, spoken about the alleged power of a nefarious Jewish lobby in the United States and compared Israeli actions in the West Bank to South Africa under apartheid and Nazi Germany.
Barcelona Shul Vandalized a Second Time in as Many Weeks
Vandals defaced a Jewish house of worship in Barcelona on April 26, in the second such incident in the city in less than 10 days, JNS.org reported.
Graffiti reading “Why do you kill in Palestine” was spray-painted outside a Chabad synagogue in the city.
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain condemned the act, saying in a statement that “attacking places of worship of Jewish men and women in Barcelona is a clear demonstration of antisemitism.”
The incident came nine days after the Great Synagogue of Barcelona was defaced with graffiti reading, “Free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, blamed that desecration on Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau’s decision to sever the city’s twinning agreement with Tel Aviv.
Germany to Fine Twitter for Ignoring Antisemitic Content
Germany’s Federal Justice Office began in April the process of fining Twitter, under the country’s Network Enforcement Act, for failing to remove hate speech, JNS.org reported.
The German law requires social media sites to remove illegal content within seven days and, for the most egregious material, within 24 hours. The German office stated publicly that hateful material was published on Twitter, “which the authority considers illegal and, despite user complaints, was not deleted or blocked by the provider within the legally stipulated periods.”
Reportedly, Twitter faces a fine as high as nearly $55 million in Germany. An email to a Twitter press account auto-replied with an excrement emoji, as Twitter owner Elon Musk has tweeted it would, and it wasn’t immediately clear how to otherwise reach a spokesperson.
In January, a German activist group sued Twitter for hosting content denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany.
One of Musk’s first publicized decisions after buying the company was to decrease the content moderation division. Many saw that as welcoming hateful speech, while others had long believed that division was driven by partisan politics.
— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb