Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

Bring home the Subbotnik Jews of Ukraine and Russia

January 27, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Last week, amid subfreezing temperatures in a Ukrainian city founded by Cossacks, I saw living proof that the Jewish spark can truly burn brightly even under the most unlikely circumstances.

Indeed, while the snow in Krivoi Rog may be kneedeep, blocking roads and turning thoroughfares into slippery escapades, that doesn't seem to deter the small local community of Subbotnik Jews from faithfully trudging to their modest synagogue, where they continue to turn their hearts and their hopes toward Zion.

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Is Israel missing out on mass aliya from France?

January 19, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

You can hear it on the streets of Ashdod, Ra'anana, Jerusalem and elsewhere, in hushed conversations on the sidewalk and occasionally in louder tones, especially after a good bottle of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay has come out during a meal.

The silky melody of the French language, it seems, is everywhere, a sure sign – albeit an anecdotal one – that the Jews of France are on the move, with large numbers choosing to make Israel their new home.

Or are they? While aliya from France has in fact jumped in recent years, it remains well below its true potential.

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The stirring revival of Sicily's Bnei Anousim

January 14, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Something extraordinary is happening in Palermo, the capital of Sicily.

More than five centuries after the forced conversion to Catholicism of large numbers of Sicilian Jews, followed by the expulsion of the rest, a nascent rebirth is well underway, as growing numbers of Sicily's Bnei Anousim (whom historians refer to by the derogatory term "Marranos") now seek to embrace the heritage of their ancestors. This remarkable development is a stirring testimony to the indestructibility of the Jewish spirit, and it behooves us all to take note and encourage it.

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Jews and Palestinians - The difference between us and them

January 5, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Every once in a while, a news item comes along that captures the essence of an issue, encapsulating a point so crucial and fundamental that it manages to convey just about all one needs to know about a given subject. Such was the case with a press release issued last month by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research regarding the findings of a poll conducted among Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

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Bring back the 'lost Jews'

December 30, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

As 2015 draws to a close, the news on the aliya front is decidedly mixed, and it is imperative that the government take action to boost the number of Jews moving here. After all, for the sake of our collective future, Israel needs more Jews. And there are some relatively simple steps that can be taken to bring this about.

But let's start with the good news. For the first time since 2002, more than 30,000 Diaspora Jews will have moved to Israel this year, as French and Ukrainian members of the tribe continue to flee mounting anti-Semitism and conflict.

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