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2018-05-04 digital edition
TODAY in the Jewish World:

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May 4, 2018  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

Text: T T T

Just a nosh..

Complied from news wires

Reform seminary’s president piloting small plane killed in crash

Rabbi Aaron Panken, the president of Hebrew Union College, was killed Saturday, May 5, piloting a small aircraft in the Hudson Valley area of New York state.

MidHudson News reported that the yellow 1946 Aeronca plane crashed in a wooded area in the Town of Wawayanda, near the New Jersey border, about a mile from the private airport where it took off. A passenger, Frank Reiss, a flight instructor, was injured.

A HUC release announcing Panken’s death said he was 53. Panken was a licensed commercial pilot.

Panken had led the Reform movement’s flagship seminary since 2014. Prior to serving as the chief executive officer of HUC’s four campuses — in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York — the native New Yorker held senior positions at the school, including vice president for strategic initiatives, dean of the New York campus and dean of students. He was ordained in 1991.

Panken was to have presided over the ordination of rabbis and cantors at ceremonies in New York on Sunday, May 6. This year the seminary will ordain 28 rabbis at three campuses, and six cantors.

At separate graduation ceremonies in New York on May 3, Panken told students: “For years, the Reform movement has stood for what is right and good, and I challenge our graduates today to do the same.”

Towson U frat members targeted in possible anti-Semitic attack

Two members of the historically Jewish Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Towson University were victims of a possible anti-Semitic attack.

The fraternity members were walking near the campus when the two assailants began shouting “F*** the Jews” and called them by an ethnic slur, the Baltimore Sun reported. The assailants then began punching one of the fraternity members in the face. One of the victims recognized the assailants as Towson students.

The police report said that the victim “believes the assault was motivated by his religious beliefs,” according to the newspaper. The assault reportedly is being investigated as a hate-bias incident. The victims have a year to press charges.

Towson is a public university with some 22,000 students located less than 10 miles from Baltimore.

Explosives-laden kite sent from Gaza ignites Israeli forest and fields

JERUSALEM — A fire burned dozens of acres of forest and agricultural fields in southern Israel after a kite carrying a firebomb crossed the border from Gaza.

It was the largest fire triggered by the kites sent from Gaza since their first use by Gaza Palestinians in late March, at the start of weekly protests at the Gaza-Israel border. Israel has experienced hot and dry conditions and high winds over the past few days.

The explosives-laden kites are an escalation of the weekly protests called the March of Return, which are scheduled to end on May 14, the 70th anniversary, according to the Gregorian calendar, of the birth of the modern State of Israel. Officials in southern Israel have told the Israeli media that the explosives-laden kites are now a daily occurrence.

Israel’s population hits 8.8 million

The population of Israel now numbers 8.842 million people, a tenfold increase since the state’s establishment, according to a special report published by the Central Bureau of Statistics for the Jewish state’s 70th Anniversary.

According to the report, 805,000 people lived in Israel in 1948.

The data showed that Israel’s population comprises 6.589 million Jews residents (74.5 percent of the total), 1.849 million Arabs (20.9 percent) and 404,000 (4.6 percent) others: non-Arab Christians, people of other religions and people unaffiliated with any religion.

Over the past year, the population has grown by 163,000, or 1.9 percent, the report said.

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