Around the Jewish World

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 SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Aug 05, 2015

First Lady’s cousin is ‘black chief rabbi’


CHICAGO - Rabbi Capers Funnye from Chicago has been declared “black chief rabbi” by the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, a US-based umbrella body for black Jewry.

Rabbi Funnye, who converted to Judaism, is a cousin of US First Lady Michelle Obama, and is expected to assume his position in the autumn.

The community has branches in the Caribbean, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria as well as the United States.

Rabbi Funnye is the spiritual leader of the Bet Shalom Bnai Zaken Ethipoian Hebrew Congregation and the only black rabbi on the Chicago Board of Rabbis.

The position has been vacant since 1999, when Chief Rabbi Levi ben Levy died.

The new incumbent aims to build closer ties with the Ethiopian Jewish community that was moved to Israel. He met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a previous visit to Israel.

Black Hebrew Israelites are not recognised by the mainstream Jewish community unless they undergo a certified conversion. – Jewish Chronicle


UK prime minister on conspiracy theories


BIRMINGHAM - British Prime Minister David Cameron has said conspiracy theories about Jews may be the first stepping stones to Islamist extremism.

He also warned of extremists who believe that “Jews exercise malevolent power” and engaged in conspiracy theories that Mossad was behind the September 11 terror attacks in 2001.

In a major speech in Birmingham, the prime minister outlined a five-year plan to combat Islamists which will see the government “confront, head on, the extreme ideology” behind terrorist actions.

Cameron said he had visited the King David Jewish primary school in the city. The majority of its learners are Muslim.

A five-year plan would involve tackling violent and non-violent extremism, Cameron said, using anti-Israel rhetoric as an example.

He said if people claimed “violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter”, then "you too are part of the problem". - Jewish Chronicle


Café owner pledges to preserve Yiddish sign

TORONTO - A co-owner of the Taiwanese bubble tea café opening at 29 Baldwin Street - the storefront whose front window bears what’s believed to be Toronto’s last commercial Yiddish sign - says he and his partners can relate to the Jewish community’s desire to preserve the historic lettering and will co-operate with efforts to salvage it.

“It’s easy for us to understand what the Jewish community wants to do, because we also want to promote our culture, Taiwanese culture… I’ve talked to the [Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre (OJA)] and we have the same mindset to protect the sign,” said Taiwanese-Canadian Daniel Li, part owner of the new café - a franchise called Formocha - and full owner of the café’s original Yonge and Eglinton location.

The painted Yiddish letters, which translate to “Eggs, cheese, cream cheese, made fresh every day”, originally adorned the former Mandel’s Creamery, one of the many Jewish-owned businesses that lined Baldwin Village and the adjacent Kensington Market from the early 20th  century to the 1950s. Though left intact for decades by the storefront’s next (non-Jewish) occupant, John’s Italian Caffe, the sign appeared to be in jeopardy earlier this month when John’s Italian Caffe closed. - Canadian Jewish News


ALP anti-Israel resolution slammed by Jewish leaders


The Australian Labour Party (ALP) has been condemned by communal leaders for passing a one-sided resolution that singles out Israeli settlement building as a “roadblock to peace” and states that if the next round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians fail, it will discuss recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israel’s ambassador to Australia Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, said the motion incentivises further Palestinian obstructionism rather than encouraging the sort of bilateral talks that the party purports to support. - Australian Jewish News


Better than Botox?


TEL AVIV - A team of researchers from Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School has devised a noninvasive technique that harnesses pulsed electric fields to stimulate new skin tissue.

The novel technique, utilising microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields, produces rejuvenated skin without scars and may revolutionise the treatment of ageing skin and degenerative skin diseases.

“Pulsed electrical field technology has many advantages, which have already proved effective - for example, in food preservation, tumor removal and wound disinfection,” said bioengineering expert Alexander Golberg, who led the study on behalf of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Studies.

“Our new application may jumpstart the secretion of new collagen and capillaries in problematic skin areas,” Golberg continued. “Considering that, in the modern era of aging populations and climate change, degenerative skin diseases affect one in three adults over the age of 60, this has the potential to be a healthcare game-changer.”

It is estimated that Americans spend some $10 billion a year on products and surgery to rejuvenate ageing skin, but most solutions are temporary. Botulinum toxins, such as Botox, smooth lines and wrinkles when injected, but do not provide a permanent answer to sagging skin. Moreover, the toxin carries many risks, some neurological. - Israel21c


London woman attacked by burglars


LONDON - A Jewish woman has spoken of her fear after being attacked by burglars at her home in north London.

Deborah Nathan, 49, was pushed to the floor as two men forced their way into her six-bedroom home in Golders Green. They ransacked the safe containing family heirlooms and stole her son’s barmitzvah presents.

The attack took place two days after the simcha, which was attended by 700 guests. Nathan was in her home with her friend, who is 38 years old.

Nathan, a mother of four, who sustained a cracked rib, told the Evening Standard: “I was pushing them out but they were so aggressive, they overpowered me. They pushed me to the floor and said: ‘Keep quiet and nothing will happen’.

“They kicked me in the stomach. I shouted to warn my friend but they pulled her down the stairs and smashed her head against a banister which broke off from the force.

“They were pushing us down and put tape over our mouths.”

She said she believed the attackers - who also stole a £7 000 pair of sapphire earrings - were familiar with her home.

She added: “One of them kept watch while the other went upstairs. He didn’t ask me to show him where everything was. It was like he knew where everything was…

“I said: ‘Please don’t take my son’s presents’. They picked up my head by my hair and kicked me in the face…

“I looked horrible with a black eye and a swollen face. I was in agony for a week.”

Both victims now wear panic buttons around their neck. – Jewish Chronicle




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