Around the Jewish 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 | Jun 03, 2015

Keeping milk fresh without electricity


TEL AVIV - For more than 1,5 billion people without adequate access to electricity around the world, keeping milk fresh is a Sisyphean battle. But new research by Israeli researchers show that short-pulsed electric fields can be used to kill milk-contaminating bacteria and could make storing milk outside the refrigerator possible.

Through a process called electroporation, bacterial cell membranes are selectively damaged. According to lead investigator Dr Alexander Golberg, of Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, applying this electroporation process intermittently prevents bacteria proliferation in stored milk, potentially increasing its shelf life.


According to the study, pulsed electric fields, an emerging technology in the food industry that has been shown to effectively kill multiple food-born micro-organisms, could provide an alternative, non-thermal pasteurisation process.

The energy required can come from conventional sources or from the sun. The technology is three times more energy-efficient than boiling and almost twice as energy efficient as refrigeration. - Israel 21c


Jews and Muslims in prayer together



LOS ANGELES - On a quiet California morning in May, a group of Jews and Muslims came together on a Los Angeles beach to pray.

The worshippers laid out prayer mats and the sounds of their chanting, in both Hebrew and Arabic, mingled with the crashing of the waves.

"We were just so surprised that we could do this together and it's very similar," said participant Maryam Saleemi. "It was kind of like an 'Aha Moment' that we're praying to the same G-d, why aren't we doing this all the time together?"

The day of joint prayer was part of an initiative called Two Faiths One Prayer, which guided the group of 20 Muslims and Jews to five different public spaces across the city on May 3. The group travelled together on public transportation and had plenty of opportunities to find common ground.

At the Los Angeles City Hall, the group was joined by about 60 to 70 others for an extraordinary joint prayer session. It was followed by a dinner where Muslims recited their night-time prayer, or Isha, and Jews recited liturgical poetry, called Piyyutim.

The event was organised by New Ground, an interfaith organisation that focuses on strengthening the bonds between Muslims and Jews. - Huffington Post


Protesters prevent Mass in King David’s tomb

JERUSALEM - Hundreds of Jews, led by Breslov activist Rabbi Shalom Arush, barricaded themselves inside the lower hall of King David’s tomb on Mount Zion last Sunday morning to prevent a Christian Mass ceremony that was scheduled to take place there.

The lower hall is used as a Jewish prayer hall.

The Greek Orthodox Christians were forced to move their prayers to the Cenacle, the upper room above the tomb, where they believe the “Last Supper” was held - Jewish Press


Woman wins damages because of Shabbat discrimination


MANCHESTER - A Jewish woman has been awarded more than £16 000 (R298 300) in damages by an employment tribunal after being rejected for a job because she would not work on Shabbat.

Aurelie Fhima said her application to work at a Manchester-based car rental firm was turned down after she revealed she was Shabbat observant and could not work on Saturdays.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the company told her she had not got the job because: "We are still looking for people who are flexible enough to work Saturdays.”

Fhima asked the firm to review its decision and started legal action when it refused, claiming indirect discrimination on grounds of religion.

Tribunal judges found in her favour, awarding almost £8 000 for loss of earnings, £7 500 for injury to feelings and £1 200 in costs. - Manchester Evening News


A lesson in respect for bus abuser


SYDNEY - The circle has been closed on a bus incident last year which saw young Jewish students travelling home from school subjected to anti-Semitic taunts by six drunken teenagers.

One of the offenders was ordered to participate in a youth justice conference in December last year, where he came face-to-face with a 12-year-old female victim of the abuse and her parents.

The teenager was among six boys who had boarded the bus at Queens Park and started abusing learners from Mount Sinai College, Moriah College and Emanuel School.

According to reports, they yelled “Heil Hitler” and threatened to slit the learners’ throats.

A course of action for the offender included a guided two-hour tour of the Sydney Jewish Museum in January, where he met a Holocaust survivor, and enrolment in the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ “Respect, Understanding, Acceptance” harmony programme for schools, which he participated in last week. - Australian Jewish News


Canada backs Israel at UN nuclear conference


TORONTO - Canada has joined the United States and the United Kingdom to block a move at the United Nations aimed at forcing Israel to reveal its alleged nuclear weapons arsenal.

A document advanced by Egypt at the UN review conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York, would have required Israel to acknowledge it is a nuclear power. Israel, which is not a signatory to the treaty, has adopted a policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear capability.

According to a news release from the Prime Minister’s Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “thanked Canada for its principled approach on the issue of a Middle East weapons of mass destruction-free zone.

“Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation, including within the framework of the NPT. He also stressed Canada’s belief that a weapons of mass destruction-free zone can only be truly effective if all countries in the Middle East participate freely and constructively in its establishment,” the release stated.

Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson said Canada’s position “sends a strong message about Canada’s resolve not to compromise the integrity of a treaty to which we remain fully and deeply committed”. - Canadian Jewish News


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