News Briefs, the Week of July 13, 2017


Scottish Prisoners Receiving Kosher Food Apparently Influenced by Orange is the New Black

More than 100 inmates incarcerated at HMP Edinburgh are receiving kosher meals — even though there were just nine Jewish prisoners in Scotland’s 15 jails as of 2013-14, The Times of London reported.

It is believed the inmates watched the popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black, in which a character known as “Black Cindy” converts to Judaism to get “better quality food” and are following suit.

The newspaper said a normal meal costs about $2.50, but kosher meals are four times as expensive, resulting in extra annual costs of about $313,000.

An anonymous prison official expressed frustration with the 111 prisoners’ apparent ploy.

“It’s about time someone saw through this farce and did something about it, but I can see what will come next — we’ll get accused of religious discrimination if we stop their meals,” the source said.

Lakewood Holocaust Memorial Vandalized with Anti-Semitic Banner

A banner reading “Heebs Will Not Divide Us” was discovered July 2 covering a Holocaust memorial at a Lakewood, N.J. synagogue, the Associated Press reported.

The banner was attributed to a white supremacy group.

In addition, anti-Semitic flyers were found in Lakewood that referenced the arrests of 14 residents, including a rabbi and a former rabbi for alleged public assistance fraud totaling about $2 million.

A reward of $10,000 for information leading to a conviction in the vandalism has been offered.

Orthodox MMA Fighter Killed in His Home

Orthodox Jewish mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor Aaron Rajman, 25 was fatally shot July 3 in his Boca Raton, Fla., home, reported.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting occurred during an altercation with several men who broke into his house.

Rajman was a Chabad-Lubavitch member and apparently taught local Jewish children self-defense and local police in Krav Maga martial arts, said.

Rajman had a 2-2 record as a professional MMA fighter since his April 2014 debut.

First Israeli Player in NBA Signs with Champs

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, has signed a one-year $2.1 million deal with the champion Golden State Warriors, The Mercury News reported.

The nine-year veteran small forward is known for his 3-point shooting and is expected to be a reserve on the Warriors. He has averaged 8.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game throughout his career. He was a first-round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2009 and also has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In Israel, Casspi was part of the championship Maccabi Tel Aviv team.

20th Maccabiah Games Begin

The 20th Maccabiah Games began on July 6 in Israel with 10,000 athletes competing and more than 20,000 people in attendance, according to The Times of Israel.

The games are now the world’s third-largest sporting event, The Times said.

“You need to understand,” said Rodney Sanders, adviser to the director of the Maccabi World Union. “For example, the largest touring delegation in the world of sports is the U.S. Summer Olympic delegation. What is that, 600 people, including athletes, coaches? This [Maccabiah U.S. delegation] is 1,200. Logistically, it doesn’t make any difference what you’re moving, man. These are by far the largest delegations in the history of sports.”

The first Maccabiah Games were held in Tel Aviv in 1932, with 390 athletes representing 18 countries. At the 2017 games, representatives from 85 countries are present.