News Briefs: Stan Lee Dies, Jewish Buildings Destroyed in California Wildfire and More


California Wildfire Destroys Jewish Buildings

Three Jewish sleepaway camps and a Jewish retreat center were among the structures destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, JTA reported.

“It’s not a loss of life, but it’s a loss of part of my identity,” said Mitchell Rosenbloom-Quirsfeld, 46 and a schoolteacher in Northern California, who attended the now-destroyed Camp Hess Kramer in the 1980s. “It’s where I forged my path as a Jewish person.”

In addition, three buildings at a Jewish community day school were lost, several synagogues are dealing with smoke damage and many families have lost their homes.

“It’s as powerless as you can feel,” said Yuri Hronsky, who has led the Ilan Ramon Day School in Agoura Hills since 2010.

Although the school’s classrooms are intact, most of the contents will have to be replaced because of smoke damage.

Anti-Semitic Images Removed from Shutterstock

Stock photography provider Shutterstock removed anti-Semitic images from its site on Nov. 14 after receiving complaints, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The images feature a man wearing a white yarmulke posing near a tableful of money. Captions for the images included “portrait of a happy man in a Jewish cap and waistcoat sits at a table with lots of money and shows thumb” and “a man accountant of Jewish nationalism sitting in the office attentively considers monetary hundred-dollar bills.”

The photographs were by Viacheslav Krylov, whose portfolio page identifies him as being from Russia, JTA reported. The site includes similar photos of a woman handling wad of cash, although there are no clues to her ethnicity.

Comic Book Legend Stan Lee Dies at 95

Stan Lee — who incorporated themes from his Jewish childhood into his work creating numerous comic book superheroes — died Nov. 12 in Los Angeles, according to JTA. He was 95.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber as the son of a Romanian-Jewish immigrant father, Lee was a comic book pioneer, creating such legendary characters as Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men. He was named publisher of Marvel in 1972 and grew the brand into a multimedia giant.

Lee addressed anti-Semitism the introduction to the book Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero, by Danny Fingeroth, questioning its role in experiences in his art and that of other comic book writers.

“Could it be that there was something in our background, in our culture, that brought us together in the comic book field?” he wrote. “When we created stories about idealized superheroes, were we subconsciously trying to identify with characters who were the opposite of the Jewish stereotypes that hate propaganda had tried to instill in people’s minds?”

Resolution Condemning Pittsburgh Attacks Approved Unanimously

The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 14 unanimously approved a resolution that condemned the Oct. 27 Tree of Life synagogue shootings that left 11 worshippers dead, JTA reported.

The resolution honors “the memory of the victims of the attack, and offering condolences to and expressing support for their families, friends, and community.”

Rep. Mike Doyle, who represents the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the synagogue complex is located, introduced the bipartisan resolution last week.


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