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February 1, 2009 | Associated Press
An armed group vandalized Caracas' oldest synagogue, shattering religious objects and spray-painting walls in what Jewish leaders called the worst attack ever on their community in Venezuela. Two security guards were overpowered late Friday by about 15 people who left graffiti such as, "We don't want murderers," and "Jews, get out." The synagogue canceled Saturday's worship service.
January 1, 2009 | Susannah Rosenblatt
Three signs described by authorities as anti-Israel and pro-Hamas were posted on and near the Beth Jacob Congregation synagogue Tuesday morning in an incident police are investigating as a hate crime. Three 8 1/2 - by 11-inch signs written in marker were posted on a rear door of the building, on a metal utility box in front of the building and on another signal box a few hundred yards down the street, said Irvine Police Lt. Rick Handfield. Police declined to say specifically what the fliers said.
December 29, 2008 | Steve Padilla
When religion made news in California this year -- and it did frequently -- much of that news involved conflict. Religious leaders of various faiths squared off on Proposition 8, the successful statewide initiative to ban gay marriage. Rifts also continued in the Episcopal Church, largely prompted by differing views on the role of gays and lesbians in church life. But 2008 was also a time for new beginnings and of faiths coming together. As the year comes to a close, let's review a few of them.
October 12, 2008 | Jacqueline L. Salmon, Washington Post
The bank robber was looking to steal a getaway car and had a choice of two minivans, parked next to each other outside Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld's house here. One was a nondescript silver Toyota Sienna. The other was an old Dodge Caravan decorated with Stars of David and sporting a rooftop ad for a synagogue. Guess which one the robber took. "I don't know what he was thinking," said a mystified Herzfeld, rabbi of Ohev Sholom synagogue. "He thought he would blend right in?" Police say the robber used the synagogue's van when he held up a Commerce Bank in suburban Clinton, Md., on Sept.
April 19, 2008 | Tracy Wilkinson and Maggie Farley, Times Staff Writers
Pope Benedict XVI on Friday called for collective diplomacy, and not "the decisions of a few," to resolve conflicts and said human rights had to be based on "unchanging justice" and not the legal whims of the day. Going before a special session of the United Nations, the pope also made a plea for religious freedom as a universal right.
April 4, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
During his first papal trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will visit a synagogue led by a rabbi who survived the Holocaust, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said. Benedict will make a brief stop April 18 at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue, whose leader, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest.
December 15, 2007 | Scott Glover, Times Staff Writer
Two members of a prison-based Islamic terrorist cell that authorities say was poised to attack military sites, synagogues and other targets across Southern California pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to conspiring to wage war against the United States. The plot, which police stumbled upon during a routine investigation into a gas station holdup, represented one of the most realistic terrorism threats on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, experts said.
October 16, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A 27-year-old Oceanside man was sentenced Monday to 78 months in federal prison for setting fire to a synagogue. Manuel Tiscareno-Renteria was convicted in May of torching Congregation Beth Am Synagogue in 2003. He has been held in jail since his arrest the day after the fire. U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns will subtract the 48 months Tiscareno-Renteria has already served from Monday's sentence. Nobody was injured in the fire.
September 10, 2007 | Richard Boudreaux, Times Staff Writer
With eight young immigrants from the former Soviet Union under arrest, Israeli authorities said Sunday they had broken up a violent neo-Nazi gang that desecrated synagogues and staged at least 15 attacks on religious Jews, Asian workers, drug addicts and homosexuals. The news shocked Israelis, whose state was founded as a refuge for Jews in the wake of the Nazi Holocaust.
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