The latest and greatest Jewish news from around the globe:
Europe’s top court has sided with Reform Judaism over the Hungarian government after the state stripped it of recognition and funding. The country introduced a new law that only recognised religious institutions that were at least 100 years old, but the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg were unimpressed.
An American-Israeli journalist was quickly released after being taken hostage by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The self-appointed ‘mayor’ of the city of Sloviansk said Simon Ostrovsky, who works for Vice News, has been detained for reporting false information. He was one of five journalists kidnapped then freed.
A Venezuelan Jewish man in prison in Alabama is suing the US state for not serving him kosher food. Rafael Alberto Lloveras Linares also wants to observe the Sabbath and meet monthly with a rabbi. He was arrested by immigration officials in 2010 but says that, as a Jew, it is not safe for him to live in Venezuela.
The next chief rabbi of Greece has thanked ‘Rabbi Google’ for his selection. Gabriel Negrin, who is only 25, said the internet was a major contributor to his learning. Former musician Negrin hopes to revamp Jewish education for his country’s 5,000 Jews and wants young people to be ‘freaking proud’ to be Jewish.
A senior US politician has urged China to allow Jews access to synagogue services on a trip to the Far East. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a top opposition lawmaker and the highest ranking Jewish member of Congress, urged China to ensure religious freedoms, as President Barack Obama visits the region.
German-Jewish writer Stefanie Zweig has died aged 81 years. Her family fled from the Nazis in 1938 and moved to Kenya, where she attended a British school. She wrote more than two dozen books but is best known for her autobiographical novel ‘Nowhere in Africa,’ the movie adaptation of which won an Oscar in 2003.