Capturing the last Jews of Calcutta.. and more world news

Capturing the last Jews of Calcutta.. and more world news

From 215-year old communities to 90-year old composers to 18-year old artists, we’ve got your world Jewish news all wrapped up

Australia’s opposition leader has called on the country’s Jewish community to oppose measures to water down race hate laws. Labor leader Bill Shorten told the Zionist Federation of Australia that the law as it currently stands ‘empowers minorities to fight back,’ and that the changes were ‘seriously retrograde’.

One of Calcutta’s last Jews is compiling a digital archive of what was once a thriving community. Jael Silliman, in her late 50s, recalls how many Jews left when the British did, because they were ‘worried about the direction the country was heading in’. The first Jews arrived there in 1798 from Syria.

United States
A new global network of Jewish artists has held its first get-together, allowing 70 young applicants to explore Jewish ideas and learn new skills. The Asylum Arts retreat, held in New York at the end of March, encouraged student writers, poets, artists and cinematographers to network and to engage in Jewish themes.

French Jews are leaving in droves, new figures show. In the first two months of 2014, record numbers from France poured into Israel, according to figures released by the Jewish Agency on Sunday. France’s 500,000 Jews make it home to the third largest Jewish community in the world, but many fear rising anti-Semitism.

The Iranian Jewish community was in mourning this week following the death of the country’s popular chief rabbi. Yosef Hamadani passed away on Saturday, after 20 years in the role and at a time of heightened tension between Israel and the authorities in Tehran over the latter’s nuclear programme.

A Jewish Canadian conductor who has tirelessly championed the country’s music is to receive the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Award in Toronto three days after his 90th birthday. Victor Feldbrill, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, began his career by studying at the Royal Academy in London.

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