Roman Abramovich and a Record Donation for the Fight Against Antisemitism Worldwide

Roman Abramovich,  the Russian billionaire businessman and owner of the soccer team Chelsea FC.


Russian oligarch and philanthropist Roman Abramovich has given $5m. to the Jewish Agency for Israel to assist in its efforts to combat antisemitism around the world.

Abramovich, who also has Israeli citizenship, gave his donation due to rising antisemitism in Europe, the US, and beyond and will be used by JAFI’s “International Unit,” which engages in various operations and activities to combat antisemitism.

Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise in the UK, France, the rest of  Europe and in the US in recent years, including increasing numbers of violent attacks, which has heightened the need for better monitoring, intelligence and security measures for Jewish communities across the globe.

Abramovich himself has not commented on his gift, but JAFI chairman Isaac Herzog praised him for his financial assistance.

“Jewish communities around the world are coping with record numbers of dangerous, antisemitic attacks. I applaud Roman Abramovich for taking strong initiative to combat antisemitism and am grateful for his contribution to the Jewish Agency’s efforts to ensure Jews are safe in their communities around the world” said Herzog.

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Handler Should be Defrocked – Measles and The Vaccine Conspiracy, The Gospels According to Luke and the Nazi Ties to Medicine –

I attended an Orthodox anti-vaccine rally. Here’s what I saw.

NEW YORK (JTA) — The weirdest part of an Orthodox anti-vaccine conference here was probably when the emcee, a rabbi wearing a black hat and white beard, quoted the Gospel of Luke.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” he cried, reciting the Gospels nearly verbatim.

Rabbi Hillel Handler wasn’t referring to the 200 people gathered in the basement of a haredi Orthodox wedding hall in Brooklyn to hear about the alleged dangers of vaccines. Rather, he was talking about the doctors, rabbis and politicians who he says are all hoodwinked by a massive conspiracy orchestrated by drug companies and the Centers for Disease Control to make money off of vaccines.

While the scientific consensus supports vaccination and regards it as a historic boon to public health, the crowd, like the emcee, do not put much stock in that science. Handler and the other speakers charged the CDC and its purported stooges with hiding the dangers of vaccines and destroying evidence that they are harmful. They cited no credible evidence.

“This is all being orchestrated by the drug companies, which are very close to the CDC,” Handler told the crowd in a gender-segregated room at a catering hall in the Midwood neighborhood. “The doctors all march in lockstep with the CDC. The doctors don’t think they’re marching in lockstep. They don’t understand that the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, is a totally corrupt swamp. … They are criminals.”

The rally comes amid an ongoing measles outbreak sparked by low vaccination rates, particularly in the Orthodox community. According to the CDC, there have been 981 confirmed cases of measles in the United States this year. In New York City, according to the city’s Department of Health, there have been 566 confirmed measles cases since September, the highest totals since 1992. The city says most of the cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.

The city required immunization in heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods earlier this year. Large Orthodox organizations have encouraged their communities to vaccinate.

“[C]ountless rabbinical figures and leaders, including leading rabbis in the Agudath Israel movement and doctors serving these communities, have repeatedly encouraged vaccination in the strongest possible terms,” reads an April statement by Agudath Israel of America, a leading haredi group. “Indeed, the overwhelming majority of children enrolled in Jewish schools are vaccinated.”

But there are some vocal holdouts.

At the rally held late Tuesday night, organized by an anti-vaccine group calling itself the United Jewish Community Council, speakers cast doubt on established medical opinion and the CDC. The crowd, which appeared to be mostly but not entirely haredi, was receptive to the message and applauded.

One attendee told another that large pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and Merck, which now produce vaccines, had collaborated with Nazi Germany. (Bayer was a division of a larger company that did collaborate with the Nazis, though now it is under different ownership. Merck, originally connected to a German company of the same name, split off into an independent American firm in 1917, before the Nazis came to power.)

“If you had bought a mutual fund in the ’30s, back in Nazi Germany, you would have done phenomenally,” the attendee remarked.

After Handler, speakers included Dr. Daniel Neides, a former vice chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute who resigned last year after writing a column questioning vaccines. (He later apologized, saying he “fully supports vaccination” and was trying to open a conversation about their safety, not question their use.)

But the bulk of the program was led by Del Bigtree, a Hollywood producer without medical qualifications who styles himself as an expert on vaccines. He directed the documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe.” Last month Bigtree spoke to a similar rally in Monsey, New York, also the home of a large haredi community.

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Rabbi Attacked in Buenos Aires from Group Should anti-Semitic Slurs

Libertador Avenue in North Palermo, Buenos Aires.(Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

Rabbi attacked on Buenos Aires street by group shouting anti-Semitic slurs


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A man wearing a kippah was beaten and subject to anti-Semitic epithets on a street in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The attack took place on Saturday night following services at Mikdash Yosef, an Orthodox synagogue in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Eli Chamen, 34, was violently beaten in the face and heard shouts of “f***ing jews” and other anti-Semitic invective against “the Jews.”

Chamen told local media that other people who witnessed the attack laughed or continued to walk by on the streets in the crowded, upper middle class area near the synagogue.

Chamen, a businessman and father of six, fell to the ground from the force of the attack and broke his hand. He received treatment at a local hospital and later filed a report with the local police and also at the Jewish political umbrella, DAIA.

Nearly two months ago, a homeless couple entered the same synagogueand threatened the worshipers. The synagogue’s rabbi was injured scuffling with the homeless man following Shabbat services.

In February Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich was beaten and seriously injured by a group of up to seven assailants who broke into his Buenos Aires home in the middle of the night. The attackers stole some 200,000 Argentine pesos (roughly $5,000) in cash, as well as valuable jewelry and a Haredi-style black hat.

Davidovich was hospitalized with serious injuries, including nine broken ribs and a punctured lung. The intruders reportedly shouted: “We know you are the rabbi of the Jewish community” during the attack.


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When Auschwitz Memorial Questions Your Use of an Emblem of Jewish Genocide “No Vax”…. the Anti-Vaxxers Have Gone Off the Rails…

no vax blur

Anti-Vaccine Protesters Misappropriate Holocaust-Era Symbol to Promote Their Cause

  • April 5, 2019
no vax star

In recent months, some anti-vaccine activists (known as anti-vaxxers) have appropriated the yellow Star of David badge, which some European Jews were required to wear during the Holocaust, to symbolize their “persecution” at the hands of government vaccine rules.

The stars, emblazoned with the stylized words “No Vax,” are showing up on social media, especially on Facebook, and at anti-vaccine events. This is a hugely inappropriate use of this enduring symbol of the persecution of Jews by the Nazis during World War II and minimizes and trivializes the experiences of the survivors and victims of the Holocaust.

“The Holocaust was a unique event in human history. European Jews were forced to wear yellow Stars of David by the Nazis as a kind of scarlet letter, a form of persecution and forced exclusion from society,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Washington Post. “It is simply wrong to compare the plight of Jews during the Holocaust to that of anti-vaxxers. Groups advancing a political or social agenda should be able to assert their ideas without trivializing the memory of the six million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust.”

The anti-vaccine movement has been gaining momentum in communities across the country, and recent measles outbreaks have moved their campaign back into the spotlight, with some local governments responding by enforcing stricter vaccine requirements.

In Arizona and New York, new vaccine rules have been met with protests, some of which lean heavily on Holocaust analogies. On Facebook, the Star of David imagery is commonly used by anti-vaxxers, who also draw comparisons between vaccine rules and state-sponsored genocide. Facebook recently announced they will no longer support or promote anti-vaccination “news” stories or ads; the crackdown will be carried out in partnership with the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Star of David trend gathered additional momentum in late March, when anti-vaccine activist Del Bigtree took the stage at a “Parents Call the Shots” event in Austin, Texas, to rail against vaccines.

Bigtree, the chief executive of ICAN (Informed Consent Action Network), quoted from Rev. Martin Niemoller’s Holocaust-era poem “First They Came,” then referred to the Hasidic community in Rockland County, NY, where many parents have refused to vaccinate their children, and which is currently experiencing a measles outbreak. “How will we know if you’re not vaccinated?” Bigtree shouted in a mocking tone, referring to measures the local government is taking to bar unvaccinated children from public spaces. “How will we know to arrest you? Maybe we’ll do it the same way we did the last time. So for you, for all the Hasidic Jews in New York, who never thought this moment would come, I stand with you! I stand for your religious convictions. We will let you believe in your God.” As the crowd cheered, Bigtree pinned a yellow “No Vax” Star of David to his lapel.

Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial and Museum quickly rebuked Bigtree’s theatrics: “Instrumentalizing the fate of Jews who were persecuted by hateful anti-Semitic ideology and murdered in extermination camps like #Auschwitz with poisonous gas in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a symptom of intellectual and moral degeneration.” Other organizations, including ADL, weighed in with similar condemnations.

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The Rise of Anti-Semitism in the US – Brighton Beach, New York and $20,000 Reward for Information

Anti-Semitic Hate Strikes Children’s Playground in Brooklyn, NY

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is once again investigating anti-Semitic vandalism, this time in the borough of Brooklyn. For the second time in three days, swastikas were scrawled where Jewish children play.

Read: Anti-Semitic Hate at a Queens, NY Schoolyard

Two swastikas were discovered overnight between Sunday and Monday morning, scrawled in black marker underneath a children’s slide at Brighton playground in the Brighton Beach neighborhood.

The neighborhood is an area with a large Jewish community, and a large population of Holocaust survivors.

New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, a former member of Flatbush Shomrim and a long-time community activist, wrote in a tweet, “Community leaders, constituents & local organizations have teamed up with me to offer a $20K reward for information leading to the arrest & conviction of the perpetrator.” He also thanked the local civil patrol in Flatbush (Flatbush Shomrim) and ERG Safety Patrol for distributing the reward notices at the local parks.

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Councilman Deutsch


Community leaders, constituents, & local organizations have teamed up with me to offer a $20K reward for information leading to the arrest & conviction of the perpetrator.

TY @FlatbushShomrim & @ERGSafetyPatrol for distributing these notices at the park today.

“Are swastikas in playgrounds the new normal?,” Deutsch

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