Norway loses last Auschwitz survivor

Norwegian government officials were among those mourning the loss over the weekend of Samuel Steinmann, the last survivor of the 532 Norwegian Jews who were shipped to concentration camps aboard a German ship in 1942. A total of 772 were deported during the Nazi German occupation of Norway, and only a few came home again. “As […]

Party leaders condemned anti-Semitism

Just a day after his own party voted to recognize Palestine, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre gathered all his fellow party leaders to issue a joint declaration supporting Norway’s Jewish community. Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservatives, Finance Minister Siv Jensen of the Progress Party, Knut Arild Hareide of the Christian Democrats, Trine Skei […]

More ‘peace rings,’ in Trondheim and Oslo

Hundreds of people turned up to hold hands and form new “rings of peace” over the weekend, creating a “peace zone” in Trondheim Friday night and embracing a mosque in Oslo. In Trondheim, organizers told state broadcaster NRK that both Muslims and people from other religions wanted to show their support for the Jewish community, following […]

Muslims embrace Oslo synagogue

An estimated 1,000 young Muslims in Oslo had already signed up by Wednesday to help form a “ring of peace” around the city’s synagogue this weekend. Social media exposure was also expanding the peace initiative to other synagogues or Jewish centers around Norway. The ring around the synagogue in Oslo comes at the initiative of a group […]

Oslo synagogue seeks more security

Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited Oslo’s lone synagogue on Monday, to show her support for the country’s small Jewish community following weekend attacks in Copenhagen. Solberg was told that the synagogue wants better security, including closure of the street where it’s situated. “There are differences among Norwegians, we believe in different things, have different backgrounds, […]

Jewish author wins free speech prize

Norwegian free speech organization Fritt Ord has awarded its 2014 Freedom of Expression Prize to author Anne Sender. She was recognized for her work championing the history of Norway’s Jewish minority and speaking out against anti-Semitism. “As a Jew, she has independently and courageously turned a critical spotlight on policies pursued by Israeli and Palestinian […]

Calls to tackle racism after attacks

Issues of racism and discrimination continue to be hotly debated in Norway in the aftermath to the Oslo bombings and Utøya shootings that the confessed perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, claims were an attack on the country’s multiculturalism. The leader of the Conservative Party, Erna Solberg, has commented on the need to tackle racism, particularly Islamophobia. […]

New courses to fight anti-Semitism

Norway’s minister for education, Kristin Halvorsen, has reacted to recent figures about increasing anti-Semitism in schools by introducing courses for teachers that will instruct them in how to fight hatred of Jews among staff and pupils. Halvorsen’s proposal will cost NOK 6 million (just over USD 1 million) and will focus on equipping teachers to […]

Jews oppose circumcision age limit

The Mosaic Religious Community, which represents Jewish organizations and Jews in Norway, has criticized the Ombudsman for Children for suggesting a lower age limit of 15 years old for the ritual circumcision of boys. Jewish representatives let their opposition be known in the media after an informal meeting with the ombudsman. The ombudsman himself confirmed […]

New ritual circumcision law proposed

Changes have been proposed to the law on ritual circumcision in Norway, with health officials hoping to ensure that the procedure can be done under proper medical conditions by covering it for free as part of the public health system. Until around 10 years ago, free circumcisions were available to parents in public hospitals, almost […]