Menu JTA Search

Toby Axelrod RSS

is JTA's correspondent for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. A former assistant director of the American Jewish Committee's Berlin office, she has also worked as staff writer and editor at the New York Jewish Week. She has won numerous awards from the New York Press Association and the American Jewish Press Association. She has published books on Holocaust history for teen-agers.

Latest

  • These young Jews are optimistic about their future in Europe

    BERLIN (JTA) — It’s a drizzly Saturday morning in May. Some 160 young Jews, mostly European and ranging from Orthodox to secular, have come to the Hotel Berlin to talk about everything under the sun. Well, almost. The upbeat, weekend-long event did not focus on anti-Semitism, the Holocaust or Israel, and thus the gathering reflected a…

  • Amos Oz honored by Germany’s Reform rabbinical school

    BERLIN (JTA) — Israeli novelist Amos Oz was honored by Germany’s Reform rabbinical school with its annual Abraham Geiger Award. The 78-year-old writer, described as an “eloquent spokesperson of the Zionist left,” was honored Thursday as “a firm believer in human beings and their ability to change the world for the better,” Rabbi Walter Homolka, rector of the…

  • 6 charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse on Munich bus

    BERLIN (JTA) — Six people have been charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse at passengers on a Munich city bus. Only an unmarried couple from Munich attempted to intervene in the weekend incident on a bus reportedly packed with some 40 passengers. According to news reports, the alleged perpetrators are all from Munich and…

  • German Holocaust denier who fled jail term arrested in Hungary

    BERLIN (JTA) — German right-wing extremist Horst Mahler has been arrested in Hungary, where he had gone into hiding to avoid serving out the rest of a sentence in Germany for Holocaust denial and incitement to anti-Semitism. Mahler, 81, reportedly asked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for political asylum in a letter he published May 12 on the internet….

  • Far-right party’s leader claims it is best hope for German Jewry

    (JTA) — A far-right populist party in Germany claimed it is the last best hope for Jewish life in the country, spurring outrage from Jewish leaders there. Frauke Petry, co-chair of the anti-immigrant Alternative Party for Germany, or AfD, told the Die Welt newspaper on Thursday that her party is “one of the few political…

  • Jewish parents pull son from Berlin school over anti-Semitic harassment

    (JTA) — Allegations of anti-Semitic harassment of a Jewish student in Germany that forced him to leave his school has spurred demands for a federal investigation by Germany’s top Jewish leader. The student’s parents said they pulled their 14-year-old son from the Friedenauer Community School in March after four months of verbal and physical harassment, culminating in a brutal attack. The…

  • Jewish descendants can sue Germany for return of Nazi-looted collection, US court rules

    (JTA) — A U.S. court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era. In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark decision, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled March…

  • Frankfurt Jewish group severs ties with German city’s Chabad over ‘disrespect’ and ‘insults’

    BERLIN (JTA) — The umbrella group representing the Jewish community of Frankfurt is distancing itself from the city’s Chabad-Lubavitch chapter following a series of alleged instances of “disrespect” shown against local non-Chabad rabbis. In an open letter published March 20, the Jewish Community of Frankfurt am Main group wrote that the city’s synagogues will no longer provide…

  • This 90-year-old German rabbi is now a movie star

    BERLIN (JTA) — For many Germans, Rabbi William “Willy” Wolff is the first Jewish religious leader they have ever met. And he’s the perfect man for the job. Diminutive, with a disarming chuckle and twinkling eyes, Wolff, who turned 90 in February, effortlessly breaks down that uniquely German condition of “Berührungsangst” – literally “fear of contact” with…

  • Celebrating Berlin’s first-ever Jewish food week

    BERLIN (JTA)  — It was standing-room only at Fine Bagels, a bakery tucked inside the Shakespeare and Sons bookstore in the former East Berlin. Bookshelves lined the walls, cafe tables were arranged end to end, and, smack in the middle of the space, sat a large bowl of grated potatoes. Tonight would be all about Polish-Jewish…