Country: Canada

Jewish groups have criticised the appointment of Canadian scholar Michael Lynk to a United Nations post reporting on Israeli crimes in the Palestinian territories. Advocates at the Toronto-based Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs said Lynk was ‘anti-Israel’ and had called for war crimes charges.

Country:  Belgium

Two Charedi rockers from Eilat in Israel rolled into Antwerp to give Belgian Jews reason to cheer last week, staging a private show for the shell-shocked community. Brothers Gil and Arieh Gat, aged 41 and 51 respectively, found fame in 2013 when they appeared on Israel’s version of ‘Pop Idol.’

Country: Ukraine 

Two new memorial paths are to be built at the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial monument in Kiev. The $1 million project, funded by the government, will extend to the existing 6ft menorah at the site of the first massacre of Jews. One path will represent victims, the other Ukrainians who saved Jews.

Country: Poland 

An historic 240-year old synagogue in eastern Poland which served as a centre of Chasidism towards the end of the 18th century is to be refurbished. The shul in Przysucha, where there is a small community, was home to several renowned tzaddikkim (righteous men) and is still visited by Chasidic Jews.

Country: Mexico

A branch of the Jewish women’s group WIZO has been awarded one of Mexico’s most eminent awards for its educational and social services work. The Women’s International Zionist Organization was presented with the Benito Juarez National Citizen Merit Award at the Mexican Congress.

Country: Cuba

A leader of Cuba’s 1,500-strong Jewish community has said that U.S. President Obama’s visit in March will transform the country’s future. David Prinstein said travel, trade and tourism would open up. The capital Havana has three synagogues, two Jewish cemeteries and a Holocaust exhibition.