JTA NEWS
18 November 2017 - 1 Kislev 5778 - א' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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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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Cantorial Havdala concert at Ohel Leah Synagogue E-mail

A special Cantorial Havdala musical concert was presented at Ohel Leah Synagogue on 28 October. It was the second annual concert.

To mark the symbolic end of Shabbat, the event was once again kindly sponsored by the Carsley family. The family also sponsored a Shabbat-morning Kiddush for the community, in honour of Israeli Cantor Avremi Roth.

Cantor Roth was accompanied by the Carmel School Choir and a keyboard player. The repertoire of songs included many favourites, such as Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, Im Eshkachecha, Avinu Shebashamayim and Boi Beshalom. The evening’s 90-minute performance was very uplifting, and it was wonderful to hear the young students of the choir sing so well.

Many community members attended the 90-minute concert. In special attendance was Mrs Ahuva Spieler, the newly appointed Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong and Macau.

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