News Briefs: Israeli Athletes Banned, Springsteen’s Guitarist Relies on Bar Mitzvah Gift, and More

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Old Bar Mitzvah Gift Bails Out Springsteen’s Longtime Guitarist

Nils Lofgren | Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist Nils Lofgren found himself without a guitar on March 30 hours before a Dallas show after four of his vintage instruments were stolen, according to JTA.

But Lofgren remembered that more than 20 years earlier he had given an old friend’s son a guitar for his Bar Mitzvah and was able to borrow it for the performance.

As it turns out, the friend’s son, Ben Kweller, has become a noted indie rocker himself. In a 2002 song, Kweller uses the Hebrew word “Dayenu.” He gave his own son the middle name of Zev.

Lofgren’s guitars have since been recovered.

Teacher Who Hosted White Supremacist Podcast Resigns

Dayanna Volitich, who hosted a white supremacist podcast under a pseudonym, resigned her position as a Florida middle school teacher, JTA reported.

Volitich had been removed from her classroom in the Citrus County School District in western Florida in March.

The Huffington Post first reported that Volitich used the name Tiana Dalichov on the podcasts and also posted anti-Semitic and Islamophobic content on social media.

Volitich said her statements during the podcast were “political satire and exaggeration.”

“None of the statements released about my being a white nationalist or white supremacist have any truth to them, nor are my political beliefs injected into my teaching of social studies curriculum,” she said in a statement.

Lakewood, N.J., Holocaust Memorial Vandalized

Swastikas and the number 666 were painted in red in late March on a Holocaust memorial, and similar graffiti was painted on neighboring Congregation Sons of Israel synagogue and a pickup parked outside, JTA reported.

In July 2017, a banner containing an anti-Jewish slur was placed over the memorial.

First Israeli NBA Player Waived by Warriors

The Golden State Warriors waived forward Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player in the National Basketball Association, because of a roster numbers crunch, The New York Times reported.

Casspi averaged 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 53 games, but hasn’t played recently because of an ankle injury. He was waived because the team needed to add a backup guard as insurance for injured star Steph Curry.

A first-round draft pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2009, Casspi has played with numerous teams, included the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets.

Israeli Athletes Banned from Taekwondo Championships

Four Israeli taekwondo competitors were banned from world junior championships in Tunisia, JTA reported.

A lawsuit filed by the National Commission for Supporting Arab Resistance and Opposing Normalization and Zionism was upheld by a court in the capital city of Tunis. According to the ruling, the Israelis can’t be invited to or hosted at the event.

The four Israelis did not correctly complete their registration papers, according to the Tunisian taekwondo federation president. The delegation had previously agreed to compete without acknowledgement that they were Israelis.

Competing successfully in the event is required for participation in the Youth Olympic Games in October in Argentina, according to Ynet.  

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