23 July 2019 - 21 Tammuz 5779 - כ"א תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ט
More tourists from Myanmar welcome to the Holy Land Print E-mail

The Israel Tourism Festival, held at the Novotel Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar, on 13 February, aimed to encourage tourists from Myanmar to visit the country.

Israel’s embassy in Myanmar was involved in organising the Festival. At the event, Israel’s Ambassador to Myanmar Ronen Gilor said: “Today is a celebration of the Israeli tourism industry. Tourism is very important. Israel opened its embassy in Yangon to bridge the relationship between the two countries and two peoples.” Israel, which has tight visa rules, is currently negotiating with the Myanmar Government to encourage tourism.

“With the different landscapes, Jerusalem is in fact a huge museum, a history of the Middle East, its culture and economics,” the ambassador added. Currently only a few tourists from Myanmar visit Israel, and it costs over US$10,000 for each traveller. According to tourism operators in Myanmar, most tourists from Myanmar visit Israel on a religious tour, usually as part of a package tour that includes Egypt and Jordan.

(Issue Mar 2019)

“Schindler’s List” waffle fries off the menu E-mail

A restaurant in Australia removed “Schindler’s List” waffle fries from its menu following a complaint by a Jewish customer last month.

The manager of The Arc at Nobbys, located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, apologised to the customer, who brought the Holocaust-themed item to her attention, and said the restaurant would print new menus. The “Schindler’s List” fries were one of several items on the menu named after blockbuster movies. Other films referenced on the menu included “Pulp Fiction”, “The Terminator” and “The Godfather”, reported the Daily Mail Australia newspaper.

“I cannot express how disturbed, uncomfortable and in plain shock we were both in after reading the menu,” said the customer, whom the Daily Mail identified only as “Lisa of Melbourne”.

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Israeli nationals arrested for goldsmuggling in Japan E-mail

Police in Japan arrested two Israeli citizens in January on suspicion of smuggling gold bars into the country, under the guise of importing automobile parts, Ynet reported.

A total of 420 kilograms of gold bars were seized by police in two smuggling raids, according to local media. The gold was worth about US$17.3 million in total.

The two Israelis, Reuven Rosen, 58, and David Cohen, 55, are both recognised residents of Japan and have Japanese spouses. They are now being held for violating Japanese customs laws. Rosen pleaded guilty, while Cohen denied many of the charges, according to Japanese police, Ynet reported.

The smuggling duo is believed to have brought in around four tons of gold bars into Japan since March 2017, as a part of a smuggling ring that is believed to originate in Hong Kong.

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AJC David Harris honoured by Japan E-mail

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs honoured American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris with its prestigious Foreign Minister Commendation, one of Japan’s highest honours presented to foreign citizens.

“It is for his hard work, his essential contributions to [relations between Japanese and Jewish people], and unwavering dedication that we are here to honour him,” said Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, the Consul General of Japan to New York, who presented the award during a special ceremony at his residence last month.

In attendance were AJC lay leaders, staff, and family of Harris, along with diplomatic staff from the Japanese Consulate. Japan is the 12th country to honour Harris’s global work in building bridges of friendship and co-operation.

The certificate of commendation, hand-written by Foreign Minister Taro Kono, notes that the award is “in recognition of his distinguished services in contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries through his contributions to promote relations between Japan and the Jewish community”.

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First Bar Mitzvah celebrated at re-opened Budapest synagogue E-mail

A synagogue in Budapest that was recently returned to Hungarian Jews following centuries of disuse hosted its first Bar Mitzvah in 332 years.

The young celebrant, Yonatan Sebok, had his rite-ofpassage event on 26 January at the Buda Castle Synagogue, which re-opened last September, according to Chabad.org

The first Jewish wedding to be held there in centuries is in the planning stages, according to the report.

The Buda Castle Synagogue used to be a Jewish museum. Government authorities signed it over to EMIH, the Chabadaffiliated federation of Jewish communities in Hungary. President János Áder attended the 6 September re-opening.

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