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Chabad opens first centre in Rwanda Chabad has opened its first centre in Rwanda, which becomes the African nation’s first synagogue served by a permanent rabbi.
by JTA | Sep 05, 2019

Rabbi Chaim and Dina Bar Sella, and their eight-month-old son, Shneur Zalman, arrived last week in Kigali, and managed to gather a minyan for Shabbat prayers, Chabad.org reported.

They will serve under the auspices of Chabad of Central Africa led by Rabbi Shlomo Bentolila in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rabbi Bar Sella said the new centre would serve Jewish humanitarian workers and visiting businesspeople.

De Kirchner’s ‘oranges from Israel’ comment a sour irony

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the former president of Argentina who was indicted while in office for allegedly covering up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish centre, is under fire from a Jewish group in her country.

The Argentine Zionist Organisation took aim at Kirchner, now a candidate for vice-president, for using the import of Israeli oranges into the country to target the free-trade practices of the current president.

“[President Mauricio] Macri allowed the free import of anything you can think of,” Kirchner said. “With Macri we ended up consuming oranges from Israel, apples from Chile, wines from I don’t know where,” saying that Macri “agreed to everything that the economic sector demanded.”

The group said the comment was ironic, since in March 2018, Kirchner was indicted for covering up Iranian officials’ involvement in the attack on the AMIA Jewish centre.

Tourist pays $2 800 (R42 473) for shawarma in Jerusalem

Was it the most amazing shawarma platter ever? At $2 800 (R42 473), one would hope so.

That’s what one tourist was charged for the plate by a Jerusalem restaurant located near the Jaffa Gate.

In a post last week to the Secret Jerusalem Facebook page, Laura Ziff asked for assistance in locating information about the restaurant to secure a refund. Her receipt from the eatery, which she identified as Old City Shawarma, showed that Ziff had been charged 10 100 shekels for the meal.

The owner told Israel’s Channel 13 that the transaction was a mistake.

A former employee, however, told the morning news programme on Israel’s Channel 12 that the owners had used the tactic several times before. He said sometimes the owner would quote the price in shekels, but then charge the number quoted in dollars or euros.

On Monday, Ziff posted that she had been contacted by the restaurant’s owners, who apologised for the misunderstanding.

“I’m confident that they are trying to do the right thing,” she wrote.

One of the commenters on her Facebook page wrote, “One hundred people should go and have shawarma there, and when he comes with the bill, they can tell him that Laura Ziff has already paid!”

Far-right party makes large gains in Germany

The right-populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party made large gains in two state elections.

The anti-immigrant party, with some politicians suggesting Germany is too obsessed with the Holocaust, took second place in elections on Sunday in the former east German states of Brandenburg and Saxony, with 23.5% and 27.5% of the vote respectively.

In Saxony, the Christian Democratic Union of Chancellor Angela Merkel won the largest percentage of votes, while in Brandenburg the Social Democratic Party came out on top.

In spite of concerns about anti-Semitism among the many Muslims in Germany, the far right remains the greatest threat to Jews, said Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Bernie Sanders the ‘proud son of Jewish immigrants’

Senator Bernie Sanders got a standing ovation from about 6 000 attendees at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention in Houston last week, the largest gathering of Muslim Americans.

“I’m here today because I believe in the need for all of us, no matter where we come from or what our background is, to stand together in the struggle for justice and human rights,” Sanders said.

“We must speak out at hate crimes and violence targeted at the Muslim community, and call it what it is: domestic terrorism.”

Sanders brought up his personal history as the “proud son of Jewish immigrants”.

“As some of you may know, the issue of hatred and prejudice is very personal for me,” he said, noting that family members who remained in Poland after Hitler came to power were murdered by the Nazis.

“The lesson I learned from that experience is how important it is for all of us to speak out forcefully whenever we see prejudice and discrimination.”

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