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Around the Jewish World




Artificial light at night can make us fat


HAIFA – Turning off lights and drawing the shades when you go to sleep could help your body control weight gain, according to a study from Israel, newly published in the International Journal of Obesity.

The study also affirmed past research showing a link between artificial light at night (ALAN) – especially from white LED bulbs – and some types of cancer.

“In recent years there are a lot of studies that use ALAN as a proxy for different health issues including obesity. Some lab studies have examined how ALAN leads to body-mass gain among mice,” explains University of Haifa mathematics and economics PhD student Nataliya Rybnikova.

“Researchers think this is because light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone produced by animals and humans mainly at night,” she told Israel 21c.

“Melatonin is responsible for metabolic function, and ALAN also influences metabolic function in people. So we decided to check if there is an association between ALAN and body-mass gain.” – Israel 21c


Israeli films win in Berlin


BERLIN – This year the two winners of the Panorama Audience Awards presented at the 66th Berlinale – the Berlin International Film Festival – are from Israel: Udi Aloni’s Junction 48 in the fiction film category and Tomer and Barak Heymann’s Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? in the documentary section.

Aloni’s Junction 48 tells the story of a Palestinian rapper in Lod. Since 2003 he has presented all of his films at Berlin. Junction 48 was the sixth production to premiere in the Panorama section.

The Heymann brothers’ Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? is about an Israeli gay man with HIV who lives in London, and his relationship with his family. This is the second Panorama Audience Award for Tomer Heymann, whose documentary, Paper Dolls, won in 2006.

The Heymann brothers recently released the popular documentary, Mr Gaga, a portrait of the Batsheva Dance Company’s artistic director, Ohad Naharin, which Tomer directed and Barak produced.

During the festival, moviegoers were asked to rate the films shown in the Panorama section on voting cards after the screenings. A total of 30 000 votes were cast.

This year, 51 feature-length films from 33 countries were shown in the Panorama section. – Jerusalem Post



‘Don’t sell out Israel for UN Security Council Seat’


OTTAWA – Canada should not seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council if it means compromising its support for Israel, says Conservative foreign affairs critic Tony Clement.

“If turning our back on Israel is the price of admission, I don’t think it is worth it,” Clement said at the annual conference of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

In 2010, Canada, under Stephen Harper’s government, failed to win a seat, finishing in third place during first-round voting in the General Assembly. Canada had held a seat on the Security Council on and off for some 60 years.

Clement said given that rejection, the chances are very good Canada would get a seat in its next foray.

“I can’t imagine we would not get it, if we don’t do something really wrong… This is an easy one for Mr Trudeau to promise,” he said.


British Board chairman stands by meeting with Putin


LONDON – Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has defended his decision to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The communal head spoke to the Russian president at the Kremlin as part of a European Jewish Congress delegation.

Arkush said at the Board plenary on Sunday last week that though Jews had endured “a difficult, difficult history” in Russia, the meeting had been a good idea.

“What I think is really important is that the Jewish people need to be able to have a conversation with some of the most powerful leaders in the world,” he said, “and to be able to discuss things openly, and I was very proud therefore that on behalf of the Board of Deputies I was able to be there present at this meeting.”

During what Arkush called “a strikingly friendly meeting” the Board president said he raised the issue of Russian weaponry finding its way into the hands of Hezbollah.

He added that Russia was relatively friendly to Jews, saying: “You can walk down the streets of any Russian city with a kippah, which is more than you can about some Western European cities.” – Jewish Chronicle


Manchester City in deal with Israeli company


MANCHESTER – Arab-owned football club Manchester City has announced a partnership with an Israeli company.

The club, bought by United Arab Emirates Deputy Prime Minister Sheik Mansour in 2008, will collaborate with the Tel Aviv-based firm

Wix will design the former Premier League champions’ website and content on social media networks and the Wix brand will appear around the Etihad Stadium during all domestic league and cup matches.

The Israeli web development experts will also work for New York City FC and Melbourne City FC, which are owned by Man City’s parent company City Football Group.

To celebrate the partnership, the two companies have made a video in which first-team players Raheem Sterling, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi create a club chants site while football pundit Chris Kamara commentates.

Wix chief marketing officer, Omer Shai, said following a successful advertising spot during the Super Bowl, the company had been “looking to expand to the most popular sport in the world – football.

“The partnership with CFG is a natural one as our two brands share values and vision, and we’re confident it will boost the Wix brand among the massive fan base of all three clubs.” – Jewish Chronicle


Survey: Modern Orthodox Jews in US straddle two worlds


WASHINGTON – Just as Haredi Jews in the United States are likely to enrol their kids in a yeshiva, attend synagogue every week and vote Republican, so too are modern Orthodox Jews.

But also, just as non-Orthodox Jews in the United States tend not to marry before the age of 25, earn at least a bachelor’s degree and have a significant number of non-Jewish friends, so, too, do the modern Orthodox.

And unique among Jewish Americans, the majority of modern Orthodox households earn at least $150 000 (R2 400 000) per year, and a large majority believe caring about Israel is essential to being Jewish (79 per cent), and that the US is not supportive enough of Israel (64 per cent).

In its report, the Pew Research Centre looked deeper into the Orthodox segments of the survey data from Pew’s groundbreaking 2013 study of US Jews. The new data reveal what was already widely, yet anecdotally known – that while Haredi Jews differ greatly from non-Orthodox Jews in virtually every demographic, political, economic and religious category (and, in fact, align more closely with Evangelical Christians by most religious, social and political measures), modern Orthodox Jews, by contrast, straddle two worlds.

For example, in their views on Israel, American politics and religious observance, the modern Orthodox and Haredi communities are closely aligned. But when it comes to levels of household income or education or immersion in the non-Jewish world, the Haredim are on one side, and the modern Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jewish communities are on the other. – Los Angeles Jewish Journal


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