Shorts: World

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Stabbing spree in synagogue

moscow (jta) | A man stabbed seven people at a Moscow synagogue this week.

The incident took place just before the Wednesday, Jan. 11 evening service, when the Chabad Bronnaya Synagogue in downtown Moscow was full of worshippers.

The man, identified by police as Alexander Koptsev, 20, struck out at random before being pushed to the ground by Yitzhak Kogan, the shul’s rabbi, who had been stabbed, and his son.

One man was in critical condition and at least four others are in serious condition.

Witnesses said the attacker, who looked like a skinhead, shouted, “I came to kill you” as he went on the rampage. The floor of the synagogue was covered with blood stains.

Boys attacked in Paris suburb

paris (jta) | Two Jewish boys wearing yarmulkes were attacked recently in front of a train station in a Paris suburb.

According to the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, the 11-year-old boys were approached by four or five men of African and Arab origin, who hurled racial epithets at them before striking one of the boys to the ground and holding the other forcefully.

A 22-year-old Jewish man tried to intervene and was struck on the head and the chest, and grabbed by the throat.

Sex used to sell Israel

london (jta) | Israel launched an ad campaign in Great Britain that uses sex appeal to sell tourism to the Jewish state.

The campaign, which began Dec. 26 on Sky TV and will include widespread advertisements in the media and on taxis, buses and subways, features a number of scantily clad women.

“We felt there was a need to change the way people think about Israel beyond the traditional, cultural and religious experience it has to offer,” said Uzi Gafni, director of the Israeli government’s tourism office in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

First full-time Chabad house opens in Warsaw

warsaw (jta) | Chabad recently opened its first full-time center in Poland.

The center, under the direction of Rabbi Shalom Ber Stambler and his wife, Dina, will host 10 rabbinical students and will be a resource for Poland’s estimated 10,000 Jews.

The new center includes a library, study rooms and a kosher restaurant. The center is operating in part with the financial support of the Rohr Family Foundation and Joseph Neumann of New York.

Neo-Nazis charged in Serbia hate-crime

belgrade (jta) | Serbian prosecutors charged 18 neo-Nazis with inciting hate for allegedly disrupting an anti-fascist meeting.

The men, believed to be members of the National Order group, are alleged to have disrupted a Nov. 9 meeting organized to mark the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom anniversary.

Man confesses to synagogue vandalism

paris (jta) | A synagogue in a Paris suburb was vandalized last week, according to the National Office of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.

A 21-year-old man identified as being of African origin climbed onto the roof of the Sarcelles synagogue and engraved the words “Juden raus,” or “Jews get out,” and “Death to Sharon” with an ice pick.

The man reportedly has confessed to the crime.