Brazilian-Jewish pioneers to New York celebrated in Rio Carnival parade

Posted on February 18th, 2018
By Marcus M. Gilban for JTA


RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The saga of the European Jewish refugees who established the first synagogue in the New World and eventually also North America’s first congregation was celebrated in Rio’s Carnival parade.

A group of 80 Jewish community members joined more than 3,000 of Portela samba school performers on Monday night as they paraded along the half-mile street telling the bold story of the Jews expelled from Portugal, their temporary religious freedom and prosperity in a Dutch-ruled Brazilian region, and their second expulsion leading them to found the Shearith Israel synagogue in New York.

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SACRED PROTECTORS: Crossing Boundaries of Time and Faith, These Muslims Safeguard Morocco’s Holy Jewish Sites

Posted on February 11th, 2018
BY AOMAR BOUM for the JewishJournal.com


It’s a hot summer day when I arrive at Khmis Arazan, a small rural town in southern Morocco, about 170 miles south of Marrakesh. It’s Thursday, market day, and a group of local children spots me. Before I say a word, they know where I’m headed. There’s only one reason why outsiders find their way to this remote community: to visit the synagogue.

It has been four decades since the last of the Jews left Khmis Arazan, whose 8,000-some residents are nearly all Muslims. But it’s clear from the well-trodden path that more than a few tourists have made their way down these unpaved streets to the now crumbling Jewish neighborhood.

Arriving at the synagogue — an adobe structure dating from the late 19th century and recently renovated — I am greeted by Hmad Harim, a Muslim man in his late 60s who has spent much of his life working as caretaker for this relic of Morocco’s rich Jewish past.

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Brighton’s two Israeli footballers – one Jewish, one Arab, talk friendship, peace and football

Posted on February 4th, 2018
 
BY ANDREW SHERWOOD for JewishNews
 


Playing for the same Premier League football team, representing Israel together, childhood friends, neighbours – even the same birthday – not much separates Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal. In fact the only discernible difference is one’s a Jew and the other an Arab Muslim. Yet even that distinction  only serves to bring them closer together.

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The Bible Has Long Deserved a Museum. Now it Finally Has One.

Posted on January 28th, 2018
Peter Wehner for Mosaic


Anyone expecting to find a politicized museum dedicated to hot-button “culture-war” issues needs to look elsewhere than the new Museum of the Bible.


Diana Muir Applebaum’s essay, “Who’s Afraid of the Museum of the Bible?,” is informative, skillfully argued, fair-minded, and leavened by wit and elegance. It is also much needed, since the museum has come under harsh assault from a variety of sources.

Before addressing the nature of that assault, I’d like to register very briefly my own favorable impressions of the museum, which I visited on December 30 with my daughter and some family friends. From the very first sight that greets one’s eyes—the two 40-foot-high bronze panels framing the entrance, bearing text from Genesis 1 on replicas of plates from the Gutenberg Bible, followed in the vestibule by a display of Psalm 19 on a papyrus leaf that dates back to the 3rd or 4th century CE—one is conscious of taking part in a highly singular experience.

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In Modi’s home state, cheering crowds for Netanyahu flaunt India-Israel romance

Posted on January 21st, 2018
By JOSHUA DAVIDOVICH for The Times of Israel


PM treated to a reception rarely seen by Israeli leaders anywhere; Foreign Ministry director says he's never seen any like it


In Ahmadebad, tens of thousands of people lined the street, some waving Israeli flags, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sped past, whizzing by massive billboards with his and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s faces plastered on them.
In rural Dev Dholera, curious farmers and others craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the prime ministers, and hundreds of young entrepreneurs and business people cheered the leaders like rock stars.


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