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German probe of 50 alleged ex-Auschwitz guards nears end

The head of the special German prosecutors’ office that investigates Nazi crimes says a probe of 50 suspected former Auschwitz guards is near complete and may result in charges against many of them. Berlin’s taz newspaper reports more than 40 suspects were found to be still alive in Germany. Prosecutor Kurt Schrimm told The Associated Press on Monday his office planned on recommending charges against most. State prosecutors then have to review the cases and decide if there is enough evidence to press charges. Schrimm says the investigations are not quite complete, and that more details would be announced next week. They are being pursued under a new legal theory that anyone who served in a death camp can be charged as an accessory to murder. (AP)

Channel 8 orders new season of documentary series about Lod

Channel 8 has decided to produce another season of its documentary series about efforts to rehabilitate the city of Lod. The series, “Lod: Between Hope and Despair,” is produced by Uri Rosenwaks and Eyal Belhassen. The second season will air in 2015, two years after the first. Rosenwaks and Belhassen continued documenting events in Lod even after they finished filming the first season, and will do so in the coming months as well. The first season opened with the election of a new mayor, Meir Nitzan. The second will open as Nitzan finishes his term this October, after having finally managed to balance the city’s budget. (Gili Izikovich)

Sculpture in the making at Jerusalem festival

Jerusalem’s first International Sculpture Symposium will open at the new First Station complex during next month’s Sukkot holiday. The 10 sculptors chosen to participate will each receive a piece of stone and, over the course of two weeks, will sculpt it before the audience’s eyes. At the end, the finished sculptures will be displayed at various locations throughout the city. Half the sculptors will be from Israel, and half from abroad. The event is inspired by the Stone in the Galilee festival, which has taken place every spring for 23 years in Ma’alot-Tarshiha. (Eitan Buganim)

Torah scroll hidden in Polish monastery since WW II is returned

A Torah scroll that since 1942 has been hidden in a Tuchow monastery was returned to the synagogue in Dabrowa Tarnowska in southern Poland. The Torah was returned earlier this month but reported for the first time on Saturday. It had been brought to the monastery in Tuchow, approximately 60 miles from Krakow, by an anonymous person who asked the Redemptorist priests to hold the scrolls until the synagogue in Dabrowa again became a place of prayer, according to Father Kazimierz Piotrowski of the Redemptorist monastery in Warsaw. (JTA)

NYC freezes Jewish group’s funds pending Rapfogel probe

Nearly $1.6 million in New York City funding to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty was frozen pending an investigation into the financial scandal involving the social service agency’s fired CEO, William Rapfogel. City officials suspended at least 30 grants that comprise approximately 13 percent of the Met Council’s annual aid. The funds will be frozen pending the probe of Rapfogel, the agency’s executive director, who was fired Aug. 12 amid reports of a kickback scheme involving an insurance provider for the Met Council. The specific programs that were to benefit from the frozen city funds are itemized in a city budget document obtained by the Forward. (The Forward)