World news-roundup: Up to 70,000 attend pro-Israel rally in Calcutta

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World news-roundup: Up to 70,000 attend pro-Israel rally in Calcutta

Your weekly digest of Jewish stories from around the globe

Indian supporters of Israel rally in Calcutta
Indian supporters of Israel rally in Calcutta

Country: India

Up to 70,000 people attended a pro-Israel rally in Calcutta organised by the far-right Hindu Samhati movement, which is vehemently anti-Muslim. Organisers said it was ‘the largest pro-Israel rally in history’ and urged the Indian government to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Several arrests were made when it later turned violent.

Country: Iceland

Scandinavian Jewish leaders in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have slammed a proposed law in Iceland that would ban ritual circumcision of boys. Jewish Communities in the Nordic Countries said brit milah was ‘one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition in modern times’.

Country: France

The French culture minister has returned three 16th century artworks to the grandchildren of a Jewish couple forced to flee the Nazis. Herta and Henry Bromberg sold their art in Paris after fleeing Hamburg in 1938 to pay for safe passage to the United States. One painting is by Belgian ‘master’ Joachim Patinir.

Country: South Africa

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa, received a Chabad rabbi’s blessing at his swearing-in ceremony on Thursday. Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Asher Deren, chairman of the Rabbinical Association of Cape Town, said Ramaphosa ‘very humbly bowed forward’ and ‘seemed very moved by the gesture’.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

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We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

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