by Stephen Oryszczuk

Poland
A Jewish pre-school is to open in the Polish city of Lotz, 70 years after its 164,000 Jews were murdered in the Shoah. The project is the brainchild of Jerusalem-based ‘Shavei Israel,’ which is working with ‘Poles with Jewish roots who are interested in reconnecting with their heritage’. Up to 10 kids will start in September.

Norway
An Israeli filmmaker has been rejected from an Oslo film festival about human rights because it fails to directly tackle the issue of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. The. ‘Other Dreamers’ was removed from the list at the ‘Human Rights Human Wrongs’ event because it was instead about disabled children in Tel Aviv.

Bulgaria
There were rumours of foul play in Bulgarian capital Sofia this week, after members of an Israeli youth football team suffered food poisoning while staying at a hotel. Several players from Maccabi Petah Tikva became so ill they had to be admitted to hospital. Reports of illness began only hours after the team’s Friday night meal.

Brazil
Youngsters in Sao Paulo will next month get to simulate the 120-seat Israeli parliament. The ‘Model Knesset,’ run by the Jewish Agency for Jews and non-Jews alike, features mock votes and deliberations. Organisers say it will help show the ‘complexities of social, religious, diplomatic and cultural issues’ in Israel.

Netherlands
Dutch Christian Zionists who saved Jews from the Holocaust have been recognised by Israel as Righteous among the Nations. Johanna Engelberta Schipper and her pastor husband Klaas Abe saved dozens of Jews by hiding them in their house and adjacent buildings. Klaas Abe was arrested and tortured but never talked.

Turkey
An Istanbul fashion show has denied reports that Israeli model Bar Refaeli has cancelled her appearance due to safety fears led, citing ‘health reasons’ instead. Islamist groups had earlier called her ‘the Zionist model,’ saying her invitation was ‘a betrayal’. Rafaeli supported the Israel Defence Forces during the Gaza war last year.