JTA NEWS
21 October 2017 - 2 Heshvan 5778 - ב' חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
Arts & Culture
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra gives historic performances in Nanjing and Harbin E-mail

The famed Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) under Maestro Zubin Mehta was welcomed warmly on its recent tour to China. The tour featured three concerts in Nanjing City in Jiangshu province (5, 6 and 7 August) and two concerts in Harbin in Heilongjiang province (10 and 12 August).

On 5 August, Dr Eyal Propper, the new Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, attended the orchestra’s opening performance at the Jiangsu Center for the Performing Arts in Nanjing City.

He said: “In the past, most of the world-famous symphonies went to Beijing and Shanghai due to the lack of high-quality art centres [in other cities]. Now, I am very pleased to see that more and more cities and regions have increased their input in art fields. I believe that more world-renowned art groups will come to Jiangsu in the near future with the completion of the Jiangsu Center for the Performing Arts.”

A pre-concert lecture on the same evening familiarised the audience with Mr Mehta and the orchestra. Consul General Propper attended the lecture and delivered a speech. He has known Zubin Mehta personally for 25 years, and travelled to Nanjing City to honour their long friendship.

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Israeli wins bronze medal in Muay Thai E-mail

An Israeli teenager won bronze at the Thai boxing world championships in August after a Palestinian opponent refused to fight him.

Amit Mdah, 16, from Sumei, an Arab town in the Galilee, was declared the bronze medallist at the Muay Thai event in Thailand. The Palestinian competitor might face a penalty for refusing to take part in the quarter-finals.

More than 2,000 participants from around the world competed in the event. The Israeli teenager defeated a rival from Madagascar to reach the cancelled bronze-medal fight.

This is not the first time that Middle Eastern politics have spilled over into sporting events. At last year’s Rio Olympics, an Egyptian judoka was sent home after refusing to shake the hand of his Israeli rival.

Meanwhile, the Israeli delegation was prevented from boarding a bus to the opening ceremony by their Lebanese counterparts.

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Launch of comic book brings together the families of a rescuer and the rescued E-mail

The launch of a special comic book in Manila in August honoured a significant moment in the history of the Philippines and its heroic support of the Jewish community.

Titled: “Open Doors, Open Hearts – the story of how Manuel L. Quezon and the Philippines saved 1,300 Jewish souls from the Holocaust”, the comic book tells the story of the “Open Door” policy initiated by Manuel L. Quezon on the eve of WWII, and the rescue of 1,300 Jewish souls from the Holocaust. Quezon was president of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944.

Guests at the launch event included members of the Quezon family (the savers) and the Hahn family (the saved), Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau, and the creative team who produced the comic book, led by Sarge Lacuesta.

For the first time, Manuel Quezon’s daughter Nini Quezon-Avanceña met Leticia Hahn, who married a son of one of the refugees and raised a family.

2017 marks the 80th anniversary of an extraordinary humanitarian story. At its heart is the moral victory of the Philippines, in contrast to the moral collapse of many nations that considered themselves enlightened. With the rise of Nazi Germany, the world was facing the darkest chapter in human history.

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