6 October 2015 - 23 Tishri 5776 - כ"ג תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Historic WWII Jewish cafe to be rebuilt E-mail

The Shanghai Hongkou District government will rebuild a cafe and renovate several historic buildings that served as iconic spots for Jewish refugees during WWII as the city plans to have it inscribed as a UNESCO Memory of the World Register with other buildings.

This is also to coincide with a planned event in September in Shanghai to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Shanghai Ghetto and the end of WWII The Shanghai Ghetto was home to about 23,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Many of them lived in the Tilanqiao area of Hongkou District. “The city has completed collation of the refugee list, data bank, literary, video and audio material,” said Chen Jian, curator of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, who is working with the Hongkou District government on the UNESCO application.

The Wiener Cafe Restaurant, which first opened in 1939, will be rebuilt in a new location on Changyang Road opposite the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The three-storey wooden and brick structure that combined Western and Eastern architecture served as a popular shelter for Jewish residents living nearby. The owner sold the cafe after the war. It was demolished in 2009 to make room for a subway. “We have kept the building’s blue prints and key components such as beams and some wooden curving on walls for the rebuilding,” Chen said.

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On 1 April, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, signed a letter to confirm that Israel will join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). More than 50 other countries have also joined the new bank.

Israel’s membership in the bank will open opportunities for integration of Israeli companies in various infrastructure projects, which will be financed by the bank.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang announced the AIIB initiative during their respective visits to Southeast Asian countries in October 2013. It is envisaged that the bank will promote interconnectivity and economic integration in the region and co-operate with existing multilateral development banks.

In October 2014, representatives from 21 Asian countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding on establishing AIIB in Beijing. The new bank will complement the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The bank plans to invest a total of US$100 billion in infrastructure projects in Asian countries; half of that amount has already been budgeted by China. The International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions have expressed their willingness to cooperate with AIIB.

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Israel’s president attends funeral of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister E-mail

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited Singapore on 27 March and paid his respects to Singapore’s late first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at the lying in state for the leader who died at age 91.

The president also attended the state funeral for Lee which was held on Sunday 29 March.

“‘A good name is better than a good perfume’ (Ecc. 7:1), for a good name will last forever. In memory of a leader whose deeds and legacy will be remembered always. A dear friend of Israel and the Jewish people,” Rivlin wrote in the official book of condolences.

Rivlin’s visit to the Southeast Asian state was the first by an Israeli president since that of Chaim Herzog in 1987.

The former prime minister is credited with transforming the city-state from a British colonial outpost into one of the world’s wealthiest nations on a per-capita basis. He believed in a strong, pervasive role for the state and had little patience for dissent.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement on the passing of the former leader:

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Chemistry student exchanges to strenghthen ties E-mail

A 12-member team of chemistry professors from Israel’s Hebrew University participated in a two-day seminar in March in Bangalore, India with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to encourage student exchanges.

Israel’s Consul General in Bengalore Menahem Kanafi spoke about studying in his country, current student programmes between the two countries and scholarships. He mentioned the upcoming World Science Conference co-hosted by the Hebrew University and said, “We invite Indian students to be a part of WSCI to be held in Jerusalem from 15-20 August.” He said, “Israel has an excellent higher-education system, with one-fourth [of its institutions] in the top 150 schools in the world. We are glad to be able to co-operate with and educate Indian students [who will be] leaders tomorrow.”

Prof. Sanford Ruhman from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Prof. S. Umapathy from IISc’s Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry led the first seminar, which aimed to strengthen the ties between the two institutions. It was pointed out that half of the 12 Nobel prizes won by Israel are for chemistry.

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Anti-Semitic hackers plan cyber attacks on Jewish targets E-mail

International hackers are setting their sights on Jewish and Israeli targets as part of what has become an annual anti-Israel cyber-attack campaign.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which is tracking cyber campaigns against Jewish and Israeli targets around the world, issued a security advisory last month to Jewish institutions in the US about the potential for co-ordinated hacking attacks as part of this campaign. According to ADL’s Center on Extremism, there are two significant elements to this year’s now-annual campaign: the leadership of a pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic group in the effort, and the targeting of individuals on their mobile devices.

“In the past three years, anti-Israel hackers participating in this campaign have targeted Israeli sites with limited success, but they are now widening their attacks to target individual Israelis with threatening antiSemitic rhetoric,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Israel and Jewish communities worldwide should be on alert, as digital terrorism takes many forms and hackers are getting more sophisticated.”

There are strong indications that AnonGhost, an international hacker group that supports terrorist groups and frequently employs anti-Semitism as part of its cyber activity, has replaced Anonymous as the main organiser of this year’s OpIsrael campaign.

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