JTA NEWS
20 August 2018 - 10 Elul 5778 - י' אלול ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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Iranian wrestler and coach banned for deliberately throwing a bout E-mail

An Iranian wrestler who intentionally lost at an international competition to avoid facing an Israeli opponent has been suspended from competition for six months by the world wrestling body.

The decision to ban Alireza Karimi-Mashiani was announced on 19 February by The United World Wrestling Disciplinary Chamber. His coach, Hamidreza Jamshidi, was also banned from the sport for two years for instructing his wrestler to lose.

“Both wrestler and coach were found to have acted in direct violation of the International Wrestling Rules (Article 15) and the UWW Disciplinary Regulations (Articles 3, 7.2, 9.2),” the statement said.

Days after the match, Karimi-Mashiani said he had not withdrawn before the United World Wrestling championship for under-23 tournament in November 2017 in Poland, because his coaches believed that the Israeli competitor, Uri Kalashnikov, would be defeated in the first round.

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New advisory council established for the Israel-Asia Center E-mail

The Israel-Asia Center announced on 5 February the launch of its new Advisory Council, comprising leading figures from the fields of business, innovation, diplomacy and academia.

The new Advisory Council members bring to the IsraelAsia Center a wealth of expertise on Asia and Israel’s relationships with countries in East, South and Southeast Asia, and are playing key roles in shaping the Israel-Asia arena.

The Advisory Council will serve as a body of knowledge, advice and assistance to the Israel-Asia Center, both for optimising the current operations of the organisation and also for assisting in its continued development.

This development will segment its core goals to build its leadership programmes, while expanding public education programmes and thought leadership events towards developing a more Asia-informed and Asia-engaged Israeli public.

The inaugural members of the Advisory Council are:

Saul Singer, co-author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle. Since its publication in 2008, the book has reached #5 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal business bestseller lists, and is also a bestseller in Israel, India and Singapore. It has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia and Thai.

Ambassador David Adelman, a partner with the global law firm Reed Smith LLP in New York. He was previously a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and Singapore, US Ambassador to Singapore, and a member of the Georgia State Senate. During his term as US Ambassador, Adelman led eight trade missions throughout Asia, including the first American business delegation in history to the capital of Myanmar.

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Pockets of Judaism as new Torah scrolls arrive in Indonesia E-mail

Several new Torah scrolls have finally arrived at their unlikely new home in Indonesia. In January, Rabbi David Kunin of the Progressive Jewish Synagogue in Tokyo, Japan, took the Hadar Israel scrolls from New Castle, Pennsylvania, US, to Japan, and then to Indonesia.

Rabbi David Kunin, his wife Shelley, and Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky of Beit Shalom Adelaide in Australia, presented two Torahs to Rabbi Benjamin Meijer Verbrugge of the United Indonesian Jewish Community (UIJC) in Jakarta. UIJC is comprised of 200 members of Jewish descent, but only 50 people embrace Judaism.

An elaborate ceremony was held at the UIJC’s synagogue to receive the Torahs. It was performed under a chuppah sewn by Shelley, Rabbi Kunin’s wife.

Four representatives from Jakarta, North Sulawesi, Mollucas and Papua held a pole to form a tent for the tradition of passing the Torah from the older generation to the younger generation, this time representing the submission of the Torah from one synagogue in one country to another synagogue in another country.

The scrolls were received with joy and happiness. Rabbi Benjamin Meijer Verbrugge commented: “We needed three years under Rabbi Kunin and Kaminsky’s supervision to establish the synagogue and embrace Judaism. Now we have our own scrolls and to put in our Ark in the synagogue and it is no longer empty.”

Other Torahs named Beth Tzeddek were given to the Jewish community in Timika, Papua, after a ceremony was held in Jakarta.

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Israel’s Technion officially opens its campus in China E-mail

An important milestone has now officially been achieved with the inauguration on 18 December of the first Israeli university to set up in Shantou, China: The Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT).

The project, which brings together Israeli spirit coupled with Chinese strength, is the result of an historic partnership between the Li Ka-shing Foundation, the Guangdong Provincial Government, the Shantou Municipal Government and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

The ceremony was held on the GTIIT campus, in the presence of Mr Li Ka-shing, who conceived the idea; Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie; Shantou Mayor Zheng Jiange; Mayor of Haifa Yona Yahav; Nadav Cohen, Israeli Consul General to Guangzhou; Ahuva Spieler, Israeli Consul General to Hong Kong.

Also in attendance at the inauguration was Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Israel Council for Higher Education; Nobel Laureate and Technion Prof. Aaron Ciechanover; Lawrence Jackier, Chairman Technion Board of Governors. In addition many representatives of the Chinese government and guests from around the world.

In his speech, Technion President Lavie pointed out the great similarity between Jewish tradition and Chinese culture: the Jewish and Chinese cultures both have long histories of written tradition, they emphasise ethics at the centre of their traditions, and they hold learning as a core value. President Lavie thanked philanthropist Mr Li Ka-shing, whose profound vision, legendary generosity and deep devotion were instrumental in the realisation of the project, and blessed the inauguration of GTIIT that took place during the Chanukah holiday.

GTIIT aims to train an elite brand of scientists and engineers who will influence China and the world, primarily on issues concerning the environment. It will also promote co-operation between Shantou University and Technion. Such partnerships are already underway in the field of medical sciences. The new university is headed by GTIIT Chancellor Li Jiange, who said: “China offers Technion a broad platform to realise its academic excellence. We in turn must learn from Technion and Israel as to what innovative thinking is.”

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Marker recognising President Quezon’s role in saving Jews to be installed at QMC E-mail

Mayor Herbert Bautista, the Mayor of Quezon City in Manila, the Philippines, joined Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ephraim Ben Matityau on 14 December for the ground-breaking ceremony of the planned Philippine-Israel Friendship Marker to be built inside the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC).

The event was attended by Lina Laigo, President of the Manuel A. Roxas Foundation; Cory Quirino, granddaughter of former President Elpidio Quirino, and Atty. Manuel R. Roxas, grandson of former President Manuel A. Roxas.

The warm relations between Israel and the Philippines date back to the time of the Philippine Commonwealth Government, when President Manuel L. Quezon offered safe haven to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi regime during WWII. He issued visas to about 1,200 to 1,500 Jewish refugees, and also provided houses and set up housing communities for the refugees on government-owned land in Marikina.

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