U.S. Briefs 11-21-11

The latest news in the American Jewish community. 

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‘Al-Qaida sympathizer’ arrested for alleged bomb plot in New York

Manhattan resident Jose Pimintel, a “27-year-old al-Qaida sympathizer,” was arrested Sunday for allegedly plotting to bomb New York City police and post offices, the Associated Press reported.

Pimintel, who was also targeting U.S. troops, planned the bomb since August but “jacked up his speed” after the Sept. 30 killing of U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, said New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

“We had to act quickly yesterday because he was in fact putting this bomb together. He was drilling holes and it would have been not appropriate for us to let him walk out the door with that bomb,” Kelly said, according to the AP.

New York police have been the targets of 13 terrorist plots since 9/11—none successful—Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference.

—JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: Woody Allen. Credit: Colin Swan.)

PBS introduces Woody Allen documentary

A three-hour documentary about famed American-Jewish director Woody Allen aired its first part on the PBS network Nov. 20, Haaretz reported.

“The big thing with Woody was getting over the hump of him agreeing to do this in the first place … That hesitation was about him feeling that he wasn’t an interesting subject — that’s how out of touch he is,” said the film’s director, Robert Weide, who may also be familiar to viewers as the former director of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

“Woody Allen- A Documentary” will air in two parts and will include a rundown of Allen’s prolific directing careers, as well as interviews with other “big names” in the entertainment industry who worked with Allen, including Diane Keaton, Martin Scorsese and more. The second part of the film will air Monday, Nov. 21 at 9pm EST, the Sacramento Bee said.

—JointMedia News Service


Anti-Semitic vandalism gets residents to fight back

After vandals torched three cars and painted swastikas in an anti-Semitic attack in Brooklyn on Nov. 11, local residents have decided to stop being victims. The Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) and Bnai Elim are now offering self-defense and legal gun-firing classes to residents in the area, the New York Daily News reported.

The classes are being held at a secret location and more than 500 people have reportedly signed up, according to JDO spokesman Jeff Klein. He called the classes “a Jewish self-defense renaissance,” according to the Daily News.

In the meantime, police are still investigating the Nov. 11 vandalism. The reward amount offered by New York Police for information that would lead to the capture of the perpetrators has now risen to $56,000, said Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

—JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: Marc Chagall. Credit: Van Vechten.)

Sotheby’s to auction 3 Chagall paintings

Sotheby’s auction house in New York is selling three rare Marc Chagall paintings that depict Jewish synagogues, RT.com reported. Max Cottin originally bought the paintings at an exhibition of Jewish art in 1945, and the paintings are now being auctioned off by his descendant.

Originally from Russia, the famous Jewish painter is only known to have painted six pieces depicting synagogues. Chagall, who died in 1985, is known to have said, “If a painter is Jewish and paints life, how can he help having Jewish elements in his work? But if he is a good painter, there will be more than that. The Jewish element will be there, but his art will tend to approach the universal.”

Just one of the three auctioned pieces,“Interior of the Yemenite HaGoral Synagogue, Jerusalem,” is expected to sell for up to $600,000, the Associated Press reported. The sale is scheduled for Dec. 14.

—JointMedia News Service


FBI: 65% of 2010 religious hate crimes anti-Jewish

The FBI released new data summarizing hate crime statistics for 2010, according to the blog Religion Clause. Out of 1409 religion-based hate crimes, 65.4 percent were anti-Jewish according to the report.

6,224 total incidents were reported in 2010. The 1409 religious-bias cases constitute 20 percent from the total of incidents. 47.3 percent of the incidents were racially motivated and 19.3 percent were based on sexual orientation.

Within those incidents motivated by religion, 13.2 percent were anti-Islamic; 4.3 percent were anti-Catholic, and the rest targeted other religions, denominations and religious viewpoints. Visit the FBI website for the full statistics at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2010.

—JointMedia News Service


Student Remains ‘Thoroughly Sickened’ by Professor’s Anti-Israel Remarks

A Kent State University student is trying to make sure Professor Julio Pino’s recent anti-Israel remarks don’t fly under the radar.

Evan M. Gildenblatt lodged several grievances against Pino—who shouted “Death to Israel” during a lecture by Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi—with university Provost Robert Frank.

“I, as a student at this university and the primary organizer of this event, am still thoroughly sickened by Professor Pino's remarks and believe that he has shamed Kent State University in a most disgraceful fashion,” Gildenblatt wrote in a letter.

Gildenblatt says Pino violated university policy by failing to “maintain a professional demeanor,” “exhibit a high degree of maturity and self-respect and foster an appreciation for other cultures,” “respect the dignity and well being of others,” and “demonstrate respect for all campus and community members,” among other things.

—JointMedia News Service


Jewish Federations mourn Los Angeles executive Ted Kanner

Ted Kanner, the former executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, died this week at the age of 80, according to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

Kanner worked with the Jewish Federation since 1971. During his career he served as associate executive director, executive vice president and campaign director. He funded the Master’s Program in Communal Service at Hebrew Union College (HUC), opened a Federation office in Jerusalem and presided over Project Renewal, an initiative working to help disadvantaged neighborhoods in Israel.

“Ted was kind and smart—a visionary who was totally committed to the welfare of the Jewish people,” said Dr. Steven Nasatir, president of the Jewish United Fund/ Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. “He will be remembered with great fondness and respect, by all who knew and loved him,” he added.

Kanner’s funeral was held last week. He is survived by his wife, two sons and five grandchildren.

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on November 21, 2011 and filed under U.S..