JTA NEWS
20 June 2018 - 8 Tammuz 5778 - ח' תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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Holocaust Museum rescinds award to Aung San Suu Kyi E-mail

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has rescinded its top award to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi because of her failure to condemn and stop military attacks on her country’s minority Rohingya Muslims, the museum said on 7 March.

The Washington museum’s rescission of its Elie Wiesel Award to Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is the latest instance of an honour being retracted over her silence about widespread abuses against the Rohingya.

In a letter to Suu Kyi that was posted on its website, the museum said she and her National League for Democracy have refused to co-operate with United Nations investigators, fed hate attacks on the Rohingya, and denied reporters access to areas where alleged abuses have taken place. “It is with great regret that we are now rescinding that award. We did not take this decision lightly,” the museum said in the letter.

The Myanmar Embassy in Washington said it regretted that the museum had been “misled and exploited by people who failed to see the true situation” in the western state of Rakhine.

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First Jewish university to open in Russia E-mail

The Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia is opening what it is calling Russia’s first Jewish university this month. Modelled after Yeshiva University in the US, The Jewish University of Moscow is a private institution whose budget comes mostly from donors and the Federation. It has a student body of 200.

The university, whose faculties include economics, law, humanities and Jewish studies, comprises two existing Jewish community colleges: Institute XXI Century for men and Institute Machon CHaMeSH for women. Their reconstitution as campuses of a single, staterecognised university is a first in Russian history, according to dean Alexander Lebedev.

In the new institution, “students will have the possibility to observe Torah, kosher food, Jewish holidays and Shabbat,” he said. The Jewish University of Moscow “will keep this format of education, like Yeshiva University, to become the one strong recognisable brand” in its field, he added.

Most of the 200 students who will begin studying in the university when it opens are on a scholarship paid for by the donors and the federation led by Rabbi Alexander Boroda and one of the Chief Rabbi’s of Russia, Berel Lazar from Moscow.

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Israel developing more partnerships with Vietnam in agriculture and education E-mail

During a working session with the municipal authorities in March, Israel’s Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eschar proposed co-operating with the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in the fields of education, energy saving and high-tech agriculture.

Regarding the field of education, he suggested building a digital learning system to manage teaching and study, the online English learning system Speaking Pal, and the “I love science” club in schools.

He also stated that in May 2018, Israeli agriculture research centres will enroll nearly 500 Vietnamese students in a 10-month training linkage programme, including 40 from Can Tho. Priority will be given to poor students with outstanding academic results and English proficiency. Qualified candidates will receive support with visa procedures and living and study fees. Upon their graduation, trainees will receive certificates in international farming, and will work as apprentices in agriculture research institutes and large-scale farms for six months.

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Israel’s cycling success in Taiwan E-mail

The Israel Cycling Academy is hoping Colombian sprinter Edwin Avila’s triumph in Stage 3 of the Tour de Taiwan in March will prove to be a sign of things to come.

The win was the first of the Israel Cycling Academy’s 2018 season, and came following an impressively strong showing in Tirreno Adriatico as the team moves towards its first ever Grand Tour, the historic Giro d’Italia, which will start in Jerusalem in May.

The former track World Champion cyclist was overjoyed with his result and the team’s work. “This win is really important to me because it makes me really happy because I did this with my new team,” Avila explained. “They had confidence in me and I responded well. It also gives me more confidence in the team and it gives the team more confidence in me because I’m new so they didn’t know me. We are really motivated to keep winning stages and races this season.”

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Football star Eran Zahavi signs three-year contract extension E-mail

Former Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer star Eran Zahavi has signed a three-year contract extension with Chinese club Guangzhou R&F worth at least US$10 million per season, making him the highestpaid Israeli sports professional ever.

By comparison, Israeli NBA player Omri Casspi earns a base salary of US$2,106,470 from the Golden State Warriors. Zahavi, 30, joined Guangzhou in June 2016 for an estimated US$12.5 million over 30 months, in addition to a US$20,000 bonus for each goal scored. Maccabi Tel Aviv received US$8 million for Zahavi, reportedly the most lucrative transfer ever involving an Israeli sports club.

Since then, Zahavi has become the Chinese club’s top scorer. Last season he scored 27 goals, although R&F finished in fifth place overall.

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