World Roundup 15/12/2014
Country: Czech Republic
Home owners in the Czech fortress town of Terezin (Theresienstadt) have found hidden Jewish artefacts from WWII while refurbishing their attic. Among other things, the family found photos, shoes and a tefillin, a small black capsule containing a handwritten parchment scroll with verses from Deuteronomy.
An influential Jewish group has urged the US Congress to support Israel’s relationship with India. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has pushed the issue since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted into power in May. Closer ties saw Israel’s national security advisor visit his counterpart in Delhi last month.
Portugal’s parliament became the latest elected European body to call for an independent Palestinian state. The non-binding resolution mirrors votes in France and Ireland this month, with Spain and Britain also recently passing similar symbolic motions. Sweden officially recognised Palestine in October.
Spanish-speaking Israelis have said changes to a law allowing the naturalisation of Sephardic Jews now make it an ‘empty gesture’. The Association of Olim from Latin America, Spain and Portugal was reacting to news that applicants will now be tested on their knowledge of Spanish and Sephardic culture.
The spirits of an American Jew imprisoned in Cuba for illegally connecting the island’s Jewish community to the internet were boosted last week, after President Obama revealed that discussions concerning his release were ‘ongoing’. Few other details about the talks to free Alan Gross were divulged.
A teenager who threatened Jewish children on a school bus will visit the Sydney Jewish Museum as part of his punishment. The young offender will also attend a Shabbat dinner and read Primo Levi’s ‘If This is a Man’ and Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ in a programme partly designed by Australia’s Board of Deputies.