Jews

9:58am

Fri January 25, 2013
Europe

Honoring 'Our Will To Live': The Lost Music Of The Holocaust

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:56 am

The Nazis imprisoned Czech composer Rudolf Karel (shown here in a sketch from 1945) for helping the resistance in Prague. He wrote his compositions down on toilet paper.
Courtesy of Francesco Lotoro

For the past two decades, in a small town in southern Italy, a pianist and music teacher has been hunting for and resurrecting the music of the dead.

Francesco Lotoro has found thousands of songs, symphonies and operas written in concentration, labor and POW camps in Germany and elsewhere before and during World War II.

By rescuing compositions written in imprisonment, Lotoro wants to fill the hole left in Europe's musical history and show how even the horrors of the Holocaust could not suppress artistic inspiration.

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1:46am

Thu January 17, 2013
Losing Our Religion

On Religion, Some Young People Show Both Doubt And Respect

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:11 am

NPR's David Greene leads a discussion about religion with a group of young adults at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

This is the second of a two-part discussion. Read Part 1.

A third of young adults in this country say they don't identify with any organized religion. NPR's David Greene wanted to understand why, so he met with a group of men and women in their 20s and 30s, all of whom have struggled with the role of faith and religion in their lives.

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1:58pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Middle East

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:54 am

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

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2:20pm

Tue December 25, 2012
Middle East

'Prophet School' Trains A New Generation In Israel

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:34 am

Hear the word "prophet" and the names Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus or Mohammed may come to mind. While these are figures from the distant past, Rabbi Shmuel Fortman Hapartzi is training a new generation of prophets for a new age.

Fortman runs the Cain and Abel School for Prophets in Tel Aviv. It's named for the sons of Adam and Eve who, in the Bible, were the first human beings born of woman to speak directly to God and therefore, Fortman says, the first prophets.

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3:24pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Latin America

'Lost Jews' Of Colombia Say They've Found Their Roots

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 10:38 am

Baruj Cano, 4, watches as his father and other men from Bello's Jewish community read from the Torah.
Paul Smith for NPR

They are called "crypto-Jews" or "lost Jews," and in recent years they have emerged in remote places as scattered as India, Brazil, the American Southwest and here in Colombia.

They were raised as Christians but believe they have discovered hidden Jewish roots, prompting many to return to Judaism. Many say their ancestors were Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain more than 500 years ago, as the Spanish crown embarked on a systematic persecution of Jews.

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