Jewish news from around the world

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A weekly summary of briefs on some of the top issues in the Jewish media worldwide brought to you by Jewish Report staff writers. The SAJR newsroom sees hundreds of stories every week – not all can make it into the newspaper as a major story, of course, but many of them are worth bringing to the attention of our readers. This is “Around The Jewish World” and readers who have a specific interest in any of these briefs can search more broadly for more.
by Sharon SAJR | May 20, 2015

Queen to honour Israeli academic

LONDON - The Queen is to honour Israeli academic, Rivka Carmi. Professor Carmi, who is president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, will be made an honorary CBE (member of the Order of the British Empire) for her work in strengthening ties between the UK and Israel.

She has played an important role in boosting scientific collaboration between the countries as the founding co-chairman of the UK Israel Science Council since 2010.

Prof Carmi said she was thrilled at the honour. - Jewish Chronicle

Group to enhance Jewish-Muslim dialogue

TOULOUSE - The Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt, has announced the creation of a Jewish-Muslim leaders group to enhance dialogue between the two religions in Europe.

Speaking at the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) in Toulouse, Rabbi Goldschmidt, who is also president of the CER, said: "The mission of the CER is to be the vehicle to further Judeo-Islamic dialogue in Europe."

In conjunction with Saudi-backed inter-religious group Kaiciid, the first meeting will be held in Paris next month.

Toulouse was chosen as the venue for this year's convention in order to demonstrate solidarity with the local Jewish community, four of whose members were killed in 2012 when an Islamist went on a shooting spree at a school.

Chief Rabbi of Toulouse, Avraham Weill, said: "There was a life before the attacks and there is one after. It is not at all the same. We have had to learn to live with that.

"We are getting back to normal little by little. The first few weeks were difficult, people in the community were in shock; we didn't know how they were going to react. - Jewish Chronicle

Hate crime charges against advocates of Israel boycott?

OTTAWA - The government of Canada is calling a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) report that it is threatening to bring hate crime charges against advocates of a boycott of Israel “inaccurate and ridiculous”.

The CBC, however, is standing behind its report, saying: “Our reporter and our editors thought it was a strong, original story.”

On May 11, CBC ran an article on its website by veteran TV journalist Neil Macdonald, the network’s senior Washington correspondent and its former chief Middle East correspondent based in Israel, under the headline: “Ottawa threatening hate charges against those who boycott Israel.”

The article states: “The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.”

It cites a number of NGOs that are concerned they might come under a hate crimes investigation, among them labour unions, student groups, the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Quakers.

“The allegation that we are using those laws in that way is completely false,” said Jeremy Laurin, press secretary for Public Security Minister Steven Blaney. “The government will use its right of free speech to denounce these comments.”

Meanwhile, Honest Reporting Canada is asking the CBC to review the article and take “corrective action”. - Canadian Jewish News

Attempted homicide charge after non-kosher drink

MONTANA - A Jewish man from Montana was charged with attempted homicide for shooting a bartender who served him a non-kosher drink.

Monte Leon Hanson, 59, allegedly shot Joe Lewis, who is also his neighbour, and killed Lewis’ dog the morning after the bartender made Hanson a red beer - beer and tomato juice - at his Hamilton bar, using the Clamato tomato drink rather than tomato juice. One of the ingredients in Clamato is clam broth.

When Hanson learned the drink was made with Clamato, he became angry, saying it was against his religion, according to the affidavit, The Missoulian reported.

Early the next morning, Hanson reportedly followed Lewis when he left their apartment building to take out his dog. Lewis carried his dog because it had a sore paw.

Another neighbour then heard four to six gunshots. He found Lewis holding his dog, dead from a gunshot wound to his head. Lewis also was injured from the gunshots.

Hanson is out on $250 000 bail. - JERUSALEM POST

Last known Schindler’s list Holocaust survivor dies

SYDNEY - The last known Sydney Holocaust survivor to have been on Schindler’s list, died this month, aged 94.

Anna Reich was born in Krakow in 1920 to a traditional, though not wealthy, Jewish family. A fruitful youth filled with learning and culture was disrupted by the beginning of the Second World War.

Anna married Mendel (Mundek) Reich in 1940 in the ghetto in which they lived. On the way to the wedding she was caught by the Germans and made to repair socks, and was consequently late for her wedding.

As things got worse, the destruction of the Krakow ghetto saw the newlyweds transported to Plaszow, a concentration camp, while other family members were sent to Majdanek or Treblinka and never seen again.

“She lost all her sisters, she lost her parents; she lost everybody,” Anna’s daughter Sylvia Eisman explained.

When Plaszow was liquidated, Anna was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau and a harrowing period ensued. But with the arrival of Schindler’s list, a miracle happened. “[It’s] a mystery… she never knew how it came about,” Eisman said.

Those lucky enough to be on the list were taken to Brunnlitz, in Czechoslovakia, where Schindler’s munitions factory was situated. To Anna’s surprise and joy, she arrived to discover her husband was there too, having been brought from a different camp. They remained there until liberation. - Australian Jewish News


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