World Roundup: Bel Kaufman bows out aged 103

World Roundup: Bel Kaufman bows out aged 103

From Israeli terrorists in Sweden to naughty rabbis in New York, it’s all here in our world Jewish news roundup – dated 28 July.

United States

Writer Bel Kaufman, who has died aged 103

Bel Kaufman, author of the 1960s hit novel ‘Up the Down Staircase,’ has died in New York aged 103. The German-born granddaughter of Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, whose short stories inspired ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ Kaufman (pictured, right) was active throughout her old age, even teaching a course on Jewish humour at the age of 99.


An Israeli who threatened to commit terrorism in Sweden when he was denied asylum has been jailed for two years and fined $14,000. Amram Ivri, 43, took a hostage and threatened to bomb government and buildings. Sentencing, Judge Tomas Zander said: “Displaying a bomb belt was particularly reckless.”

Czech Republic

Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi, has been honoured with a memorial plaque to at the former Nazi concentration camp Terezin in the Czech Republic. Female rabbis from across the world attended the ceremony. Berlin-born Jonas was ordained in 1935 but deported to Terezin in 1942 and later died at Auschwitz.


An influential Islamic organisation in Malaysia has warned of the “global Zionist agenda,” naming legal and human-rights groups as “agents”. ISMA, which has also attacked Chinese Malays, said: “Jewish capitalists’ goal is to make Malaysia faithless, using slogans of freedom, human rights, justice and equality.”


A Canadian-Jewish philanthropist has bought two hotels outside the Bulgarian capital Sofia and is using them to house and care for 780 refugees from the Middle East, including Syrians and Christian Iranians. Yank Barry has been dubbed the Jewish Schindler after he said he also wanted to save 1,200 people.

United States

A Brooklyn rabbi has been found guilty of fraud after soliciting money from thousands of donors for Israeli charities that didn’t exist. Rabbi Yaakov Weingarten, together with his wife and two associates, Simon Weiss and David Yifat, were ordered to repay over $500,000 and barred from fundraising in New York.

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