From care packages of kosher meals for Sochi’s Jewish visitors to offers of citizenship for the descendants of Jews exiled from Portugal  in 1495, its our patented World Roundup, dated 20/02/14.[divider]

Country: Russia

Sochiolympicrings

Olympic Rings in Sochi. Photo: Atos International.

Over 7,000 kosher meals have been shipped into Sochi for Jewish visitors to the Winter Olympics. Jews from Israel, Russia, Australia, Ukraine and the US are among those who have gathered to pray and sing together in the Russian city and share gefiltefish, chicken and wine.

Country: Germany

A Jewish group has said the decision to award anti-Israel British film director Ken Loach a lifetime achievement award is a ‘disgrace that casts shame on the Berlinale,’ Europe’s second-largest film festival. The American Jewish Committee said Loach ‘distinguished himself through bigotry.’

Country: Portugal

Portugal’s tourism minister says he will grant citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews exiled in 1495. Adolfo Nunes said it would bolster Israeli tourism to the country after Spanish ministers last week offered citizenship to those of Sephardic Jewish identity.

Country: United States

The Presbyterian Church has reiterated its support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the controversial publication of a Presbyterian study guide that rejects Zionism. The guide suggests that the ‘pathology inherent in Zionism’ drives the conflict.

Country: Poland

An aide to Poland’s chief rabbi has been suspended after misrepresenting the banned practice of shechita to inspectors. Michael Alper wrote to Polish vets in November asking for permission to slaughter 250 cows after stunning them. Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich called it ‘a serious mistake’.

Country: United Arab Emirates

Officials say an Iranian minister’s attendance at his Israeli counterpart’s speech last month was ‘an unprecedented gesture’ by Tehran. Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchiyan listened to his Israeli equivalent Silvan Shalom in Abu Dhabi, as opposed to walking out, which is usual practice.