9 December 2016 - 9 Kislev 5777 - ט' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Disaster relief to Sri Lanka after deadly landslides E-mail

After a series of floods and landslides that killed over 100 people in Sri Lanka in May, Israel has been supplying approximately US$20,000 in aid to the island nation’s Disaster Relief Management Ministry, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has reported.

“As a friend and partner of Sri Lanka, Israel was honoured to provide emergency assistance following the recent floods,” said Israel’s Ambassador to India and Sri Lanka Daniel Carmon.

The recent floods and landslides on the Asian island located off of India’s south-eastern coast were caused by massive rainstorms on 14 May and have claimed at least 100 deaths.

The disaster relief supplies provided by Israel are primarily geared towards repairing and improving the water and sewage systems in Sri Lanka that have been decimated by the flooding and landslides. Included among the supplies are water pumps, water filters, solar lighting kits, LED torches and 50,000 tablets for water purification.

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“Google of the Bible” launched E-mail

A new project that aims to provide optimal online access to the Bible was launched. The project, called Google of the Bible, has taken five years and US$3.8 million to create.

Google of the Bible holds an enormous wealth of knowledge in both English and Hebrew, and includes thousands of items. Its content is due to be translated into five additional languages throughout 2017.

The website was created by Herzog College in the settlement of Alon Shvut in Israel. The title of the project was decided on after official permission was secured from Google to use its name.

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In a landmark visit to Asia, the Chief Rabbi of France, Rabbi Haim Korsia accompanied by this wife, made an official first visit to the region and spent a weekend with the Hong Kong Jewish community in early June.

He was warmly greeted, especially by the large and diverse expat French Jewish community. A special Friday-night Shabbat dinner was held in his honour on 3 June. Rabbi Korsia also gave an address during the Shabbat morning service at the Ohel Leah Synagogue.

His trip also included an opportunity to meet the wider expat French community of Hong Kong, at a reception organised by the French consulate and other associations.

In June 2014, Rabbi Haim Korsia began a seven-year term as the leader of France’s Jewish community. He was born in Lyon, France, to parents who had emigrated from Algeria, and his father was also a rabbi. The Jewish community in France is the largest Jewish community in Europe, with about 475,000 members. It is the third-largest Jewish population in the world, behind only the US and Israel.

In a tight
schedule, Rabbi
 Korsia sat down
with Jewish Times 
Asia to explain
his role and objec-tives as the Chief
Rabbi of France.
 In his capacity
as chief rabbi, he
makes several trips
around the world
to meet French communities in all regions, including French-speaking nations in Africa and the Caribbean and having dialogues with French nationals residing in many countries.

“I am the Rabbi of French Jews globally,” Rabbi Korsia explained. “I want to take care of them, especially the young families. I am also the bridge between all parts of the overseas communities.”

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Australian Trademarks Office turns down “McKosher” moniker E-mail

An Australian lawyer who claims he is of Scottish-Jewish descent has failed in a bid to register the trademark “McKosher”.

Trademark applicant Mark Glaser has an office based in the northern North South Wales town of Maclean, which prides itself on being the Scottish capital of Australia and even boasts tartan telegraph poles. He claims to have ancestors with surnames such as McKosher, Zimmerman and Rosenthal, the Australian Broadcast Company (the ABC), reported in May.

Glaser reportedly wanted to open “a Scottish and Jewish restaurant bearing the name McKosher”. This led to a trademark fight with fast-food operator McDonalds. A hearing in New South Wales involving the Australian Trademarks Office was told that the Jerusalem rabbinate is in negotiations with the international McDonald’s headquarters, requesting the use of the name “McKosher” for the chain’s kosher-certified branches in the city, to avoid confusion over those that are not kosher.

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Hainan Airlines begins Beijing-Tel Aviv route E-mail

China’s Hainan Airlines has begun operating a direct Beijing-Tel Aviv route in April, joining Israeli airline El Al as one of the only two airlines operating an Israel-China route.

“We want to be ready with the best aircrews for our flights to Israel,” said Li Liang, the general manager of the Hainan offices in Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. “Today Israel is a very important destination for us.”

Currently Hainan will only operate the route three times per week, using Airbus A330 jets, which can carry around 250 passengers. Eventually the airline expects to include a flight route from Shanghai and Hong Kong through its sister airline, Hong Kong Airlines.

During the ceremony celebrating the first flight, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin described the importance of China for Israel, and said his office will increase the annual marketing budget for China from 1 million to 15 million shekels.Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz also added that the new flight route will strengthen ties between the two countries, reduce the cost of flights from Israel to China and boost the tourism sector.

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