News Briefs: Anti-Semitism, Census Data and More


RSVP Philadelphia Collecting Coupons for Military Personnel

To help overseas military personnel, RSVP Philadelphia is asking area residents to donate unused manufacturers’ food coupons to the Support Our Troops organization in Daytona, Fla.

“The donated food coupons or ‘Troopons’ as they will be identified for this campaign, will be collected monthly by RSVP Philadelphia and sent to Support Our Troops who will sort and distribute them to military personnel serving overseas,” said Suzan Udell, assistant director of RSVP Philadelphia, which is based at KleinLife in Northeast Philadelphia. “The coupons will be redeemed in military base commissaries, thus helping to make it easier for the members of our armed forces by extending their pay checks.”

Only manufacturer food coupons with a two-month expiration date will be accepted. No store coupons will be allowed.

Volunteers are needed to help cut and sort coupons at KleinLife on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Canadian Census Shows 56 Percent Drop in Jewish Population

Recently released Statistics Canada census data shows the country’s Jewish population dropping from 329,500 in 2011 to just 143,665 in 2016 — a 56 percent decline, JTA reported.

Jewish organizations disputed those figures, saying wording changes led to an undercounting. The Canadian Jewish News said the 2016 census asked respondents about their ethnicity and included a sample response; unlike in previous years, “Jewish” wasn’t included as an example. Many of the missing Jews may have answered “Canadian” instead.

“Obviously the Jewish community didn’t shrink by more than half in the past five years,” said Simon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “An accurate portrait of Canadian Jewry requires a survey designed to address the nuances of Jewish respondents, for whom Jewish identity is a blend of religion, ethnicity and peoplehood. On the census question of ethnicity, this seems to be where the 2016 survey falls short.”

Pa. Students Allegedly Mock Holocaust Museum Exhibits on Social Media

Forest Hills School District Superintendent Edwin Bowser said district officials are checking into social media posts from students on a senior class trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that mocked some of the exhibits, the Associated Press said.

Gage Singer, the senior class president, said a few students “made a mockery of what they saw,” mentioning a Snapchat post of concentration camp prisoner shoes.

Singer said most students were respectful and apologized online on behalf of the class. The Forest Hills School District is about 80 miles east of Pittsburgh. The students were visiting Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1.

French Jewish Family Saved from Suspected Arson by Barking Dog

A Jewish family near Paris was awakened Nov. 3 by a dog’s insistent barking to escape from an apparently intentionally set fire in their home, according to JTA.

The family’s front door had been doused in flammable liquid and set on fire, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.

The family told police that an Arab neighbor who has expressed extremist and anti-Semitic views online could be a suspect.

An unidentified person set the family’s car on fire the previous week.


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