11 April 2016 - 3 Nisan 5776 - ג' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ו
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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Holocaust victims remembered E-mail

A day to remember the victims of the Holocaust, Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Memorial Day, is observed every year. The official day was established in 1959 and takes place on 27 Nisan (Hebrew month), a week before Yom Ha’ Atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day.

In Israel, flags are flown at half mast and there is a state ceremony held at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority. At 10 am, air-raid sirens are sounded for two minutes and all activity comes to a halt.

Outside of Israel, the day is marked with ceremonies and programmes that include the lighting of memorial candles. Jewish communities get together and solemnly observe this day and remember the six million Jews who were murdered.

Hong Kong’s Jewish community held their Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony on 15 April at the Jewish Community Centre. The event was organised by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC). The theme of this year’s ceremony was Who Will Carry the Word?

As in previous events, members from all of Hong Kong’s Jewish congregations were represented. In attendance was Sagi Karni, Consul General of Israel to Hong Kong.

The evening programme included an opening address by Simon Goldberg, Director of Education, HKHTC. This was followed by Elsa high-school students displaying several placards depicting numbers of lost communities in Europe that had been wiped out the tens of thousands and the numbers that had survived in the few hundreds.

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China to host Commemoration of 70th anniversary of shanghai ghetto liberation E-mail

China and the World Jewish Congress (WJC) will, for the first time, be hosting an event in September in Shanghai to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Shanghai Ghetto and the end of WWII in China in September 1945.

The event was announced following a meeting in London between WJC CEO Robert Singer and PRC Minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office Qiu Yuanpin.

“Shanghai was the only city that opened its gates for Jewish refugees. We will never forget what this city has done for us,” Singer said during the meeting.

Jewish refugees fled Europe for China during WWII. The Shanghai Ghetto, formerly known as the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees, was home to about 23,000 Jewish refugees in Japanese-occupied Shanghai until its liberation by the Chinese on 3 September 1945 at the end of the war.

“We will commemorate, for the first time, part of the Holocaust that tends to get less attention,” commented Ronald S. Lauder, president of the WJC. “This historic event also marks another step towards strengthening the bonds between the Chinese and Jewish people.” Lauder will chair the event, which will include 100 WJC representatives from Jewish communities around the world, representatives of China and survivors of the Shanghai Ghetto.

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Red Beret given to Japanese IDF soldier E-mail

Sol Kikuchi, 21, finished his gruelling Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat training and received the coveted red beret of the Paratroopers Brigade. His thrilled parents, whom he had not seen in a year and a half, flew from Japan to attend the ceremony.

Tokyo-raised Sol has a Japanese Buddhist mother and an American Jewish father, and went to Israel to serve in the IDF last year.

Sol joined the IDF and served in a combat unit. As the only soldier from Japan, his enlistment and training process was complicated, but he was determined and never gave up.

Kikuchi’s touching story was first reported by Israel’s Hayom some 10 months ago. Speaking from his adopted home of Kibbutz Hazorea, Kikuchi told the newspaper he was preparing to enlist and begin the IDF’s three-month Hebrew language course, and vowed he would then volunteer to serve in a combat unit. “If I am serving, I might as well go all the way and serve in a combat unit like the Paratroopers Brigade,” he said. Now he is happy to be realising his dream.

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