Think Orthodox Students Don’t Want To Talk LGBTQ Issues? Not Anymore At YU

In a rare, student-led effort to address LGBTQ issues, dozens of Yeshiva University students crowded a classroom in the university’s Midtown campus on Tuesday evening for an event on topics such as coming out as gay on campus, creating social change and becoming allies to queer peers.

Guest speaker Ben Katz, a Yeshiva University graduate and Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, discussed his work at Shoval, an Israeli organization that promotes dialogue and education on sexual orientation and gender identity in religious schools and communities.

The fact that the event was taking place at all, and the high turnout, was deemed by many of the attendees as impressive. The Modern Orthodox university, just like much of the Orthodox world, historically has had a reputation for its unease with LGBTQ issues.

Italy’s Far Right Is on the March

This fall marks 80 years since Fascist Italy passed the racist laws that reduced Italian Jews to second-class citizens. Overnight, children like my grandparents were barred from attending public schools and many of their parents from performing their jobs. In the following years, almost 8,000 Italians of Jewish descent were killed in the Nazi death camps.

Eight decades later, the Jewish population in Italy has shrunk, but it thrives. There are several Jewish day schools, kosher restaurants, and active synagogues spread all the way from Turin to Naples. Jewish culture and history are also flourishing: Public institutions are paying for a software-assisted translation of the Babylonian Talmud and the annual European Day of Jewish Culture involves the participation of nearly 90 cities across the country. And yet, thousands of Benito Mussolini’s nostalgics still visit the fascist dictator’s burial place to pay homage, and pigs’ heads are left at synagogues before Holocaust Memorial Day.

Enter the new government. 

The Algorithms Translating Talmud

Nearly 500 years after the Babylonian Talmud was printed in full for the first time in Venice, the same text is being printed once again in Italy, this time accompanied by an unprecedented Italian translation. The true innovation is not the translation itself, but the language parsing algorithms developed by a small, state-funded start-up company that were essential to this ambitious project.

Opening door to migrants, some Italians defy government line

Opening door to migrants, some Italians defy government line

ROME (AP) — Italy has made headlines as a hard place for migrants recently, with racist attacks against blacks on its soil and a new government closing Italian ports to people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.

But not all Italians are on board, and some are even reaching out to migrants.

Barbara di Clemente, a 79-year-old grandmother, opened her heart and home to Moriba Mamadou Diarra from Mali, hosting him at her two-bedroom apartment in Rome for the past four months. The 18-year-old says he fled his country because there, his “rights had been denied” and he couldn’t study and build a better future for himself.

3 kids heading on summer vacations among Italy bridge dead

ROME (AP) — Authorities in Italy, France and Albania have confirmed their citizens are among the 39 victims of Tuesday’s highway bridge collapse in Genoa. They include three children, traveling with their respective families on summer holidays. Here are some of their stories.