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Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a snapshot of travel warnings for Israelis abroad

Among others, warn against attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets in Western Europe. Valid travel warning to Turkey

Fear of terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Western Europe: Counter-Terrorism published today (Monday) a snapshot of Israeli citizens travel warnings, towards the High Holidays.

One of the dangers mentioned is that the global jihadists, including members of "Islamic State" (Daas) citizens of countries in Europe, will return to their home countries after training in Syria and Iraq and will carry out attacks. Among others, noted the attack at the headquarters of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, which killed four people, including two Israelis.

At the headquarters noted that the sequence of the holidays, from New Year's Eve started on September 24 to Simchat Torah that ends on October 16, might be the target for all terrorists in the world in order to exercise the attacks. They also point out that the potential threat is also growing due to the fighting in Gaza during, during which there were many demonstrations against Israeli missions around the world and the volume of anti-Semitic incidents.

Besides Daas, Israel also fear attacks from Iran and Hezbollah that are trying to hit the targets so-called "soft" - Israeli tourist destinations and Jewish symbols, such as Chabad Houses and Jewish communities abroad.
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Ronald Lauder: "All of us, Jews and non-Jews, stand together as one people."

Judaism is an integral part of Germany's identity, Chancellor Angela Merkel told thousands at a rally against anti-Semitism near Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday. "Jewish life belongs among us. It is a part of our identity," Merkel said, adding that the anti-Semitic abuse earlier this year had been appalling.The rally was organized amid shock in Germany at crude anti-Semitic slogans shouted during summer protests against Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Here is the address by Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress.

For the last 70 years, Jews and Germans have lived together in peace.

Jews have prospered as Germany has prospered. Jews have become part of German society again.WJC President Ronald S. Lauder addressing the rally

We are your neighbors and your friends. We all share the same values, we hold the same beliefs.

Part of my family originally came from Mainz, over 600 years ago.

I remember as a young boy in the early 1960s, going to the synagogue to lay flowers on the front door in memory of the Jewish people who died in the Holocaust.

I remember also seeing non-Jewish Germans coming there to do the same thing… to lay flowers as a way to say they also remember, as a way to say this should never happen again.

Since 1945, Germany has been one of the most responsible countries on earth. The world looks to Germany for political, for economic and for moral leadership.

But something has changed. This summer, all of the progress of the last 70 years has been darkened by a rising tide of anti-Semitism. There are some places I might expect to see this - but not here in Germany.

There are places where Jews cannot live openly as Jews - but not here in Germany.

There are places where governments actually promote the hatred of Jews – but that is definitely not here in Germany.

Since the end of the war, Germany has strongly supported a Jewish rebirth, and since Konrad Adenauer, Germany has been Israel’s ally and friend. So why has all this good work been darkened by the medieval stain of anti-Semitism?

I believe there are three reasons:

First, when the economy declines, people become fearful and often they look for a scapegoat. Throughout history, that scapegoat has been the Jews.

Second, we have seen some of the vilest anti-Jewish propaganda coming out of the Middle East and it has spread across the Internet and it is now coming into mainstream thought.

And third, there are political agitators determined to spread misinformation and lies for the sole purpose of instilling anti-Semitism.

Let us not allow this group of agitators to tear down 70 years of good work. We all know too well that a group that instills fear and hatred may start small but can grow into a large and dangerous tidal wave.

In the end, these people don’t want to just hurt Jews – they intend to hurt every free, democratic country in the world.

Let us all stand together. Let us stand strong and united. Let us make it very clear that this intolerance has no place in Germany, or anywhere else.

The very fact that you, President Gauck, Chancellor Merkel, Mayor Wowereit and the heads of the churches are here today, tells the world that we stand together as one.

And this is our message: We will never accept anti-Semitism, here in Germany, or anywhere else.

We will never allow our children to live in fear because of their religion.

Let this be the story that comes from this day: That all of us, Jews and non-Jews, stand together as one people.

We stand together and say no to intolerance, no to bigotry and no to anti-Semitism.

Thank you all for coming here today!
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Holocaust survivors born after 1927 to get one-time payment

WJC, The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has reached an agreement with the German government for additional financial assistance for child survivors of the Holocaust.

The Finance Ministry in Berlin reportedly agreed Wednesday to one-time payments of € 2,500 (US$ 3,270) for Jewish children who were in concentration camps, ghettos or in hiding for at least six months.It was not immediately clear how many victims would qualify for the payments and the Finance Ministry made no immediate statement. “Child survivors” are defined as Nazi victims born on or after 1 January 1928.

The agreement comes as part of annual negotiations on who should receive funds. It still needs German parliamentary approval.

“The joint fund will recognize survivors worldwide who were in camps, ghettos, hiding and false identity for psychological and medical trauma caused during their deprived childhoods,” said Claims Conference President Julius Berman.

“Jewish children were in constant fear of death during the Holocaust. As you can imagine, this distress and the horrors of the Shoah have permeated so many aspects of their lives,” added the former US deputy secretary of the Treasury, Stuart Eizenstat, who serves as Claims Conference special negotiator.

The fund is expected to become operational on 1 January 2015, and details will be made available after approval by the German Bundestag and the Claims Conference.
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Merkel, Lauder to address Berlin rally against anti-Semitism


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder will be among the speakers at a rally in Berlin on 14 September against growing anti-Semitism. The demonstration will be organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and also feature the leaders of the two main church denominations in Germany.

Dieter Graumann and Angela MerkelDieter Graumann and Angela Merkel"It means a lot to the Jewish community" that Merkel had agree to address the rally, which will be held in front of the landmark Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council and a vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, declared in a press release. The motto of the rally is 'Stand up! No more Jew-hatred!'.

Graumann said that in the past weeks "naked hatred against Jews" had repeatedly been witnessed in Germany and caused great concern among the country's 120,000-strong Jewish community. However, the Jewish leader added that the community would continue to strive for a "confident Jewish life" in Germany. "For this reason, we want to show on 14 September: We are here! We will stay! And we will fight all attacks vigorously, together with our friends in German society," declared Graumann.
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Israeli-American Council (IAC) announces its newest Regional Office, in NYC Joins recently opened offices in Boston, Miami, and Las Vegas

New York, NY, The Israeli-American Council (IAC), the largest Israeli-American organization in the United States, announced the opening of its newest Regional Office in New York City this week to serve the New York Metropolitan area Israeli-American community. Some 200,000 Israeli-Americans are estimated to live in the area, mostly in or around New York City.

The IAC New York Metro Regional Office, will immediately begin to launch community initiatives in keeping with IAC’s mission of building the Israeli-American community which, in turn, can help broaden support for Israel, bolster the Jewish and Israeli identity of future generations, and create a bridge to the Jewish-American community at large. The new Regional Office is part of IAC’s national growth, which includes opening regional offices in cities throughout the United States to provide community and national-level structure for Israeli-Americans, working together with other organizations, and through its IAC Community Grant program, providing support to Israeli-American initiatives throughout the U.S. The IAC New York Metro Regional Office will be located at 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St. on the 46th floor.

Yehudit Feinstein-Mentesh, the incoming IAC New York Metro Regional Director, brings extensive experience from the non-profit Israeli-American world, most recently working as the founder and director of Israelis in Brooklyn at Congregation Beth Elohim (CBE) in Brooklyn and as Chair of the UJA Roundtable Forum of Jewish Leaders in Brooklyn. Members of the IAC New York Metro Regional Council, serving as the local board, include Co-Chairs Gil Galanos, and Rachel Davidson, and Ran Fuchs, Ronen Schwartzman, Gaby Gonen, Shimon Shkury, Eytan Behiri, Ron Deutsch, Ariel Tirosh, Meirav Azoulay, Joe Berko, Jacky Teplitzky, Tamir Oren, Oded Har-Even.

The establishment of the IAC New York Metro Regional office comes at the heels of the IAC’s adoption of IAC Dor Chadash (previously Dor Chadash) earlier this year, which will be headed by incoming IAC Dor Chadash Director Neve Rabino. Neve previously served as the Manager of the East Coast Branch of the Friends of the Israeli Scouts. His vast leadership experience includes serving in the Israel Defense Forces as a First Sergeant, where he was a combat soldier in the counter terror team, part of the elite paratrooper’s reconnaissance unit, and received a recognition medal for his role during the Second Lebanon War.

“Our entire IAC Regional Council is thrilled to be bringing the IAC to the New York area and is confident that we will be playing a leading role in the national Israeli-American network,” said Davidson. “We have a great council and are looking forward to doing wonderful things for the broader Israeli-American community in this area. We have heard from our community that it cares deeply about our children maintaining their identity and relationship with Israel, and under the leadership of our new regional director, Yehudit Feinstein-Mentesh, we are prepared to roll out programs for them immediately. My co-chair, Gil Galanos, and our entire council is ready to make this organization a game-changer for all Israeli-Americans in our area.”

A special committee leading the IAC’s growth efforts is chaired by Israeli-American philanthropist Adam Milstein and is comprised of IAC National Chairman, Shawn Evenhaim; IAC Co-founding Chairman, Danny Alpert; IAC CEO, Sagi Balasha; and IAC COO, Miri Belsky.

The IAC currently helps support close to 40 organizations related to the Israeli-American community in the United States. It also runs a variety of community programming. Among its projects are Celebrate Israel, the largest Jewish festival in North America; Sifriyat Pijama B’America (SP-BA) the largest Hebrew outreach program in North America, reaching 10,000 families every month in partnership with The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) and Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation; IAC BINA and IAC Dor Chadash, programs for young professional Israeli-Americans and other young Jews, which work to strengthen connections within the community and to Israel; IAC Care, a volunteer community for Israeli and Jewish Americans of all ages in Los Angeles; MISHELANU, a young leadership group on American college campuses where Israeli-Americans come together to strengthen their Jewish and Israeli identities and their ties to Israel; and TZAV 8, which organizes community activists to participate in demonstrations and pro-Israeli activities, and others.

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Over 4,000 anti-Semitic expressions recorded in Venezuela in 2013


WJC, Venezuela’s Jewish umbrella body CAIV has presented a new study in which an unusually high number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country is recorded for the year 2013. The analysis focuses on the mainstream media and on social networking sites such as Twitter.
CAIV President David Bittan, who also serves as vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, noted that anti-Semitic expressions had spiked during the bitterly fought presidential campaign in the spring of 2013 which, following the death of Hugo Chavez, pitched the latter’s successor NicolasMaduro against opposition candidateHenrique Capriles, who has Jewish ancestry. Following Maduro’s victory, they subsided somewhat but remained on a high level.
“During 2013 we witnessed and recorded 4,033 anti-Semitic expressions through different media, in social networks, with an important increase in the months of March, April and May, and a decrease in October, November and December,” Bittan wrote in the foreword to the in-depth study, which is posted on the CAIV website in Spanish and English. The CAIVpresident urged the government of Venezuela to show more initiative in eradicating anti-Semitism, and said that compiling this annual study was one of the raisons d’être of CAIV. “This task will no longer be needed when the authorities show the initiative and the will to exert a policy to eradicate Judeophobia, and in our country’s specific case, there is still time to achieve this provided there is consensus.
“If the authorities truly became aware of the damage caused to the country’s reputation by maintaining a passive and accommodating attitude […] towards these aspects, I am convinced that the situation would be different here and I even dare to think out aloud and say that more damage is caused to Venezuela by the peculiar form anti-Semitism on display in our country than to the Venezuelan Jewish community.”
On the positive side, said Bittan, the Venezuelan parliament observed a minute of silence on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), the first time it had done so since 2009.

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Ancient Chinese Jewish Community of Kaifeng to Hold Traditional Passover Seder for First Time

Kaifeng, China, Nearly 100 members of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, are expected to attend a first-of-its-kind traditional Passover Seder that will take place next Monday, April 14, at the start of the holiday in Kaifeng. The Seder, which is being sponsored by the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization, will be conducted for the first time by 28-year-old Tzuri (Heng) Shi, who made Aliyah (moved to Israel) from Kaifeng a few years ago with the help of Shavei Israel and completed his formal return to Judaism last year.

As part of the preparation for the upcoming Seder, Tzuri was sent to Kaifeng by the Shavei Israel organization with all of the traditional Passover items including: Kosher Matzah packages from Israel, Kosher for Passover wine, Passover Haggadahs (traditional book used on Passover that explains the order of the Seder), which were prepared especially in Hebrew and Chinese, Kosher for Passover cakes, traditional red horseradish, and traditional Charoset (a sweet, dark-colored paste made of fruits and nuts eaten at the Passover Seder).

"We are proud and excited to organize this historic event," said Shavei Israel Chairman and Founder Michael Freund. "Kaifeng's Jewish descendants are a living link between China and the Jewish people, and it is very moving to see the remnants of this community returning to their Jewish roots as they prepare for Passover," he added.

Scholars believe the first Jews settled in Kaifeng, which was one of China's imperial capitals, during the 8th or 9th Century. They are said to have been Sephardic Jewish merchants from Persia or Iraq who made their way eastward along the Silk Route and established themselves in the city with the blessing of the Chinese emperor.

In 1163, Kaifeng's Jews built a large and beautiful synagogue, which was subsequently renovated and rebuilt on numerous occasions throughout the centuries. At its peak, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Kaifeng Jewish community may have numbered as many as 5,000 people. But widespread intermarriage and assimilation, as well as the death of the community's last rabbi, brought about its demise by the middle of the 19th century.

Nevertheless, many of the families sought to preserve their Jewish identity and pass it down to their descendants, who continued to observe various Jewish customs. Currently, there are estimated to be approximately 1,000 Jewish descendants in Kaifeng.

“In recent years, many members of the community have begun to explore their heritage – thanks in part to the Internet, which opened up new worlds for them and provided access to information about Judaism and Israel that was previously inaccessible to them,” Freund noted.

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After Greek official's resignation, WJC head urges Europe to isolate extremist parties

NEW YORK/LONDON – The resignation of a top adviser to the Greek prime minister, after he was caught on videotape discussing an investigation of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party with an official of the same party, underscores that Europeans “need to establish a common policy against dealings with neo-Nazi, racist, and anti-Semitic elements, and a clear 'cordon sanitaire' vis-à-visthese parties,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder declared on Tuesday.
“It is outrageous that an aide to Greek Prime Minister AntonisSamaras spoke to a known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, and it is only fitting that the aide resigned,” Lauder said. “But this egregious episode points to a larger problem – that legitimate European parties need to isolate racists and anti-Semites like Golden Dawn. Such a policy becomes even more important before the European elections in May, when such disgusting parties stand to gain in Greece and elsewhere.”
Samaras’s chief of staff, Takis Baltakos, resigned last week after Golden Dawn released a video in which Baltakos is seen telling Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris that the prime minister had allegedly pressed judges to jail members of Golden Dawn for political reasons. Police and magistrates have been investigating charges that Golden Dawn, its members and supporters were involved in a series of violent attacks, including the killing of a left-wing rapper in September, and have formed a criminal organization. Golden Dawn's leader and other senior members have been detained pending trial on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
Lauder further declared that WJC “has every confidence in the legal process in Greece" and said that "if the charges are upheld in court and Golden Dawn is ruled a criminal organization, the full force of the law must be brought to bear upon it.”
The Greek Parliament last Wednesday voted to removeKasidiaris' and four other Golden Dawn lawmakers' parliamentary immunity, clearing the way for another round of criminal charges against its members. Four of the lawmakers named on Wednesday, including the party leader's wife EleniZaroulia, will now be charged with belonging to a criminal organization and of carrying unregistered firearms.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), aWJC affiliate, expressed "strong resentment that a government official was in conversation” with Kasidiaris. In a statement, KIS added: "We repeat our firm position and once more call upon the democratic political parties to join forces and combat the morphemes of Nazism in our country within the framework of the Constitution and the rule of law."
KIS said that Greece and Europe had a "duty to isolate those who seek the return of Nazism, and those who disseminate racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideas, in order to safeguard democracy."

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Israeli-American Council (IAC) announces opening of its newest Regional Office, in Boston, MA

Los Angeles, CA The Los Angeles-based Israeli-American Council (IAC), the largest Israeli-American organization in the Unites States, announced the opening of its newest Regional Office in Boston this week to serve the Boston-area Israeli-American community. Some 15,000 Israelis are estimated to live in Massachusetts, mostly in or around Greater Boston.

The IAC Boston Regional Office will immediately begin to launch community initiatives in keeping with IAC’s mission of building up the Israeli-American community which, in turn can help broaden support for Israel, bolster the Jewish and Israeli identity of the next generation, and engage in outreach to the Jewish-American community at large. The new Regional Office is part of IAC’s national growth, which includes opening local offices in communities throughout the United States to provide community and national-level structure for Israeli-Americans, working together with other organizations to offer support, and through its grant program, providing funding to Israeli-American initiatives throughout the U.S.

Na’ama Ore, the newly appointed IAC Boston Regional Director, brings extensive experience from the non-profit world, most recently working for Clalit, Israel’s largest public health service provider. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Members of the IAC Boston Regional Council, serving as the local board, include Co-Chairs Ilan Segev and Rachel Chafetz, and Phyllis Gottleib, Dr. Avi Almozlino, Sara Aronson, Gil Breiman, Yiftach Wiesel, David Fine, Robert Mayer and Gideon Argov.

“We are thrilled to bring the Israeli-American Council to Boston,” said Rachel Chafetz, IAC Boston Co-Chair. “Our vibrant and dynamic community has long awaited substantial and relevant programming on this scale, and we are excited to connect to the national Israeli-American network.”

A special committee leading the IAC’s growth efforts is chaired by Israeli-American philanthropist Adam Milstein and is comprised of IAC National Chairman, Shawn Evenhaim; IAC Co-founding Chairman, Danny Alpert; IAC CEO, Sagi Balasha; and IAC COO, Miri Belsky.

The IAC currently helps support 30 organizations related to the Israeli-American community in the United States. It also runs a variety of community programming. Among its projects are Celebrate Israel, the largest Jewish festival in North America; Sifriyat Pijama B’America (SP-BA) the largest Hebrew outreach program in North America, reaching 10,000 families every month in partnership with The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF); IAC BINA, a program for young professional Israeli-Americans and other young Jews, which works to strengthen connections within the community and to Israel; IAC Care, a volunteer community for Israeli and Jewish Americans of all ages in Los Angeles; MISHELANU, a young leadership group on American college campuses where Israeli-Americans come together to strengthen their Jewish and Israeli identities and their ties to Israel; and TZAV 8, which organizes community activists to participate in demonstrations and pro-Israeli activities.

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French soccer player banned for five matches after giving Nazi-style salute

French soccer player banned for five matches after giving Nazi-style salute
England's Football Association (FA) suspended French player Nicolas Anelka for five games and fined him the equivalent of US$ 133,400 for making the 'quenelle', which is widely considered as a Nazi salute in reverse, at a match of his West Brom team in December 2013.
WJC, The 'quenelle' was made popular by French comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who was convicted repeatedly in France of violating hate-speech laws. French authorities recently banned Dieudonné's show because of its anti-Semitic content, and he was forced to remove any offensive parts from the program.
The FA cited the quenelle’s ethnic, racial or religious connotations. Although an FA disciplinary panel backed Nicolas Anelka'sinsistence that he was not being intentionally anti-Semitic, performing the gesture was still found to be racist and abusive. Anelka was also ordered to complete an education course. The player can appeal, and he must decide within seven days of receiving the panel's written reasons. "He is now waiting to receive the commission's full reasons for their decision before considering whether or not to appeal," Anelka'slegal team said.
His club West Brom responded to the verdict by suspending him while an internal investigation is being conducted. "The club acknowledges that the FA panel 'did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle,'" West Brom said in a statement. "However, the club cannot ignore the offence that his actions have caused, particularly to the Jewish community, nor the potential damage to the club's reputation."
The panel found Anelka guilty of two charges - that the gesture "was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper," and it was racially offensive. "The misconduct was an 'aggravated breach' ... in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief," the panel's verdict said.
Reactions
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) welcomed the ban and the fine for Anelka. “This suspension and fine show without a doubt that anti-Semitic, racist or ethnically derogatory gestures will not be tolerated in European soccer,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “The use of racist or anti-Semitic gestures or chants by European soccer players and crowds is a serious problem and brings shame on the continent.”
WJC Vice-President Vivian Wineman, who is the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also welcomed Anelka's punishment. "This supports the FA's decision to invoke its own regulations after its assiduous report concluded that Mr. Anelka's gesture had anti-Semitic connotations and is highly offensive to Jews and right-minded members of the public," he said.
The European Jewish Congress expressed concern that Anelka was yet to voice any regret over the case. "Even if the FA is not convinced that the player's intent at the time was anti-Semitic, he surely knows now the origins of the quenelle and the hurt and pain it caused the Jewish community, yet we are still waiting for an apology," EJC President Moshe Kantor said. "Anelka's silence speaks volumes." The organization hopes the FA will use the case to help clamp down on abuse against Jews. "Anti-Semitism remains the fastest growing hate in football, on the field and in the stadiums, and we hope that this episode will be used positively to once and for all stamp out hatred for Jews in football," Kantor said.

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