World news roundup: Jewish lesbians fight for marriage

Nicola Pettit and Tania Ward were one of the first lesbian couples to get married in the UK at a Jewish wedding in Brighton on March 29th, 2014.

Nicola Pettit and Tania Ward were one of the first lesbian couples to get married in the UK, at a Jewish wedding in Brighton on March 29th, 2014.

The latest and greatest Jewish news from around the world

  • United States

An elderly Jewish lesbian couple are leading the fight for gay marriage in the North Carolina. Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin, who have been together 48 years and married in 2013, are the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the state’s constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex relationships. 

  •  Pakistan

Armed Islamists holding a Jewish American man kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in 2011 has said that the continued silence of the US government will lead to their hostage ‘dying a lonely death’. A video message of Warren Weinstein, 73, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, was sent to journalists in January.

  • Poland

The City of Warsaw is to return and preserve 1,000 Jewish headstones used to construct a pergola and stairs in a city park. The headstones will be brought back to Brodno Jewish Cemetery, from where they were taken after the Communist regime of the 1950s used them to build structures and monuments.

  • Ukraine

A legal dispute has broken out in the west Ukrainian city of Lviv over plans to commemorate three Jewish heritage sites, after Jewish groups disagreed over how best to do it. The court case concerns in the city’s old Jewish quarter, a former Nazi camp and the 14th-century Jewish cemetery, currently used as a market. 

  •  Italy

Representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Florence have appealed for interfaith respect and dialogue. The city’s chief rabbi, Joseph Levi, together with Imam Izzedin Elzir, warned against ‘any temptation to evoke and manipulate ancient forms of anti-Semitism, anti-Christianity and Islamophobia’.

  • Germany

Germany’s biggest newspaper, Bild Zeitung, has published the faces of the 64 Israeli soldiers killed in the current conflict in Gaza. Bild, which has a daily circulation of about 3.5 million, is owned by media giant Axel-Springer, whose chief executive Mathias Döpfner said in 2006: ‘I am a non-Jewish Zionist.’