JTA NEWS
23 January 2018 - 8 Shevat 5778 - ח' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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Chinese social media star in tears as he meets Holocaust survivor E-mail

Chinese social media star Yan Jingsheng broke down in tears during a meeting last month with a famous 93-yearold Holocaust survivor in Israel. The meeting was part of an Israeli-Chinese cultural exchange programme.

Eight Chinese social media stars had been invited to Israel as part of the Foreign Ministry’s “Young Chinese and Japanese leaders” programme, which was created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strengthen ties between the Jewish state and Asian countries.

The eight bloggers have a total of more than 35 million followers on China’s largest microblogging social media site, Sina Weibo, which is akin to an amalgam of Facebook and Twitter.

The bloggers met with 93-year-old Solomon Perel, the author of Europa Europa, a book that has been adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie based on his real-life story of impersonating a Hitler Youth member to survive the Holocaust.

One of the Chinese bloggers, Yan Jingsheng, a historian with six million social media followers, broke down in tears when he learned he was shaking the hand of the hero of Europa Europa.

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Special celebration marks 50th anniversary of a Bar Mitzvah in Hong Kong E-mail

A special occasion was celebrated at the Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong on Shabbat Bereshit, 14 October, as the community marked the 50th anniversary of Robert Dorfman’s Bar Mitzvah at that very same synagogue.

In keeping with his original Sedrah and reading, Robert recited some of his portion and offered a retrospective sermon. The Dorfman family also invited the whole community to a celebratory Kiddush following the service.

Robert has been an active participant in many significant events in the history of Hong Kong’s Jewish community. He was one of the former Trustees of the Ohel Leah Synagogue Charity well over 25 years ago, was instrumental in securing and driving the modern Jewish community centre. He has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support Jewish education through the establishment of Carmel School, and supported Israel through his role in developing a strong (United Israel Appeal) UIA chapter in Hong Kong.

With the Hong Kong community being fairly transient in nature, Robert’s Bar Mitzvah anniversary celebration was unique — it is noteworthy that someone who was actually Bar Mitzvahed at Ohel Leah is still here to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event.

In his Shabbat morning address Robert reflected that 50 years ago, October 1967, was actually a very difficult time in Hong Kong. For the previous six months, there had been riots on the streets of the city as fallout from the Cultural Revolution was taking place in China at that time. People were emigrating in record numbers, and others were openly asking whether the British would retain Hong Kong as a British Crown Colony until 1997 or abandon it earlier.

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Israeli companies participate in Myanmar Water exhibition E-mail

Israel’s Ambassador to Myanmar Daniel Zonshine said his embassy and country were happy to be involved in the Myanmar Water exhibition, held from 26 to 28 October at the Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall in Yangon.

As Ambassador Zonshine explained in a press release, Israel is located in a semi-arid climate zone, with over 60% of its area being desert, which causes water shortages. In recent decades, cutting-edge innovations developed in Israel to tackle this problem have helped position the country as a world leader in all aspects of water management. Israel’s embassy initiated the participation in the exhibition in order to help promote economic ties between companies and entities from both countries. He said: “We evaluate that Israeli technologies and methods are relevant to the needs of Myanmar and we are happy to facilitate such ties,” said Ambassador Zonshine

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Airline prevents Israeli passenger from flying to Thailand E-mail

Germany’s Transport Ministry has opened an investigation into the recent refusal by Kuwait Airways to allow an Israeli passenger to board a flight to Thailand, Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported in October.

The Israeli passenger has also launched a lawsuit against the airline. “Our team will continue to pursue legal action until the German Government makes clear that Kuwait Airways must either comply with the law or cease doing business in their country,” said Brooke Goldstein, the director of the Lawfare Project, an outfit that litigates against anti-Israel discrimination and assists Israelis in taking action against Kuwait Airways.

A video by an Arab-Israeli Facebook star went viral earlier this year after he was unable to board a Kuwait Airways flight from New York to India.

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Taiwanese pastor fulfilling his mission with Israel E-mail

Pastor Alex Cho, chairman of the Taiwan Holocaust Peace Museum, has taken on the unique mission of showing fellow Taiwanese Christians how Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled throughout Jewish history, and how it continues to be fulfilled in the modern State of Israel.

Pastor Cho, an enthusiastic Israel supporter, recently visited Israel for the 12th time. He led over 600 members of his congregation on the trip, to fulfill this mission of educating Taiwanese Christian communities about Israel, the Jewish people and the Torah.

“In the beginning, I didn’t think it was my duty or responsibility to do this work,” Pastor Cho told Breaking Israel News. “But after I went to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and met the Jewish people, I felt this mission.”

In addition to leading trips to Israel, Pastor Cho also studies Jewish history, because he believes the history of the Jewish people is not just history but also prophetic fore-casts coming to life.

After visiting Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Pastor Cho saw how “what they say in Isaiah and Zechariah is the truth”.

For example, he pointed out, Zechariah prophesied that twothirds of the Jewish population would be annihilated, but God would keep the last remaining third alive. Throughout the land, declared Hashem, “Two-thirds shall perish, shall die, And onethird of it shall survive. That third I will put into the fire, And I will smelt them as one smelts silver And test them as one tests gold. They will invoke Me by name, And I will respond to them. I will declare, “You are My people,” And they will declare, “Hashem is our God!”” (Zechariah 13:8-9).

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