World news round-up: Lithuanian spats and Chabad’s Aussie mess

World news round-up: Lithuanian spats and Chabad’s Aussie mess

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

by Stephen Oryszczuk

Down Under another top Chabad rabbi is dropped after urging leniency for paedophiles while in Europe, another Israeli envoy says ‘come hither’ to German Jews – it’s all here in this week’s world Jewish roundup (Dated 23 Feb)


Israel’s campaign to entice European Jews to the Middle East continued last week, after German Jews were told to ‘come any time’. Israeli Ambassador Yakov Hadas-Handelsman made the offer to Germany’s 240,000 Jews in an interview with a Berlin newspaper, saying: ‘Consider Israel your home.’


The grave of a daughter of Breslov movement founder Rabbi Nachman has been torched and daubed with a swastika, only weeks after renovation work. Nachman’s teachings have inspired hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide, who make the annual pilgrimage to his grave in the city of Uman.


An Australian Royal Commission is investigation allegations that senior Chabad leaders covered up allegations of child sex abuse

Jewish groups are trying to change Polish ministers’ minds after the government refused a request for £30,000 to renovate an historic synagogue in Przysucha, a vital centre for Chasidism from the end of the 18th century. The Culture Ministry has already spent thousands of pounds restoring the roof.


A power struggle between Lithuania’s chief rabbi and the leader of the country’s Jewish community was aired on Facebook last week. Rabbi Chaim Burshtein accused Faina Kukliansky of centralising power, a lack of transparency, conflicting interests and running her office like a Soviet police state.


A senior Chabad rabbi has been delisted after saying he thought paedophiles should be treated ‘leniently’. Rabbi Yosef Feldman, a former director of Sydney’s yeshivah, made the comments to Royal Commissioners investigating allegations that Orthodox leaders covered up child sex abuse claims.

Czech Republic

A man has been arrested for the murder of Jiří Fiedler, a prolific historian of Czech Jewry who was killed in a robbery last year. Fiedler, who was not Jewish, spent over 30 years documenting Jewish heritage sites in then-Czechoslovakia, often cycling to remote towns and villages to research derelict sites.


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