May 20, 2024
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US Catholic School Educators Travel to Israel

( Catholic school educators from across the US are in Israel to learn more about the Jewish state, anti-Semitism and Catholic-Jewish relations as part of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Bearing Witness Advanced program.

According to the ADL, the program offers Catholic school educators “the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the relationship of the Holy Land to Jews, Christians and Muslims.”

From June 30–July 9, the educators are visiting the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the biblically significant town of Nazareth and other religious holy sites, in addition to meeting with a variety of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders.

“This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for Catholic educators to directly experience the breadth and diversity of today’s Israel,” said David S. Waren, ADL’s director of education.

Canada and Israel to Fund Joint Biomedical Research

( Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced the formation of the Canada-Israel Health Research Program, a seven-year initiative that will fund as many as 30 biomedical research projects. The program, expected to cost $35 million, will initially focus on neuroscience.

The program is a partnership between Israel’s Azrieli Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Israel Science Foundation. Projects funded by the program will include collaborations among trainee researchers from middle-income and low-income countries in order to promote those nations’ scientific capacity.

“Canada and Israel are renowned for excellence in health research, particularly in the neurosciences,” Oliver said, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. “The Canada-Israel Health Research Program harnesses the collective energies of our two great nations to pursue basic biomedical research aimed at improving health outcomes for Canadians, Israelis and people throughout the world.”

European Center for Judaism to Be Built in Paris

( Paris will get a European center for Judaism in 2017, the European Jewish Press reports. The construction of the €10 million ($11 million) institution in the French capital’s 17th district, was announced last week by the French capital’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, and Joel Mergui, president of the Jewish Consistoire, which provides French Jews with religious services.

According to plans, the institution will serve both as an academic center and cultural institution and will include a synagogue, conference halls, exposition space and offices.

More than a quarter of the estimated cost will be paid in subsidies by the government. EJP reports that Paris has leased the land for the center, which will be one of the largest centers opened in Western Europe in recent years.

According to EJP, Mergui told French media that the center would operate from “a large building situated in an area of Paris where a large Jewish community has developed.” He added, “I wouldn’t want us to leave for the summer vacation and close this especially tragic year for France and for the Jewish community without being able to provide a note of hope.”

Some 20,000 Jews have left France for Israel since 2012 due to the rise in anti-Semetic incidents in the country. More than 3,000 are expected to arrive in the Jewish state this summer.

“It would have been easy to give up on this project and say that Jews are leaving. I want to convey a different message to France and its Jews: We determine our own future,” the president of the Jewish Consistoire concluded.

Low-cost European Airline Ryanair Announces First Israel Flights

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Ryanair, one of Europe’s top low-cost airlines, on Tuesday announced its first Israel flights.

Starting in November, Ryanair, which is based in Ireland, will operate routes between three European cities—Budapest, Kaunas and Krakow—and Eilat’s Ovda Airport. There will be two weekly return flights to and from Eilat on each route. It is expected the routes will serve a combined 40,000 passengers annually. Tickets for the new flights go on sale July 8.

David O’Brien, Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, said, “Ryanair is pleased to announce our entry into the Israeli market. We are continuing to negotiate with the Israeli authorities, and we look forward to growing our Israeli route network in the future.”

Netanyahu Promises to Help Greece as Debt Crisis Worsens

( Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Jerusalem on Monday, promising to help Greece as its debt crisis worsens.

In a referendum on Sunday, a majority of Greek voters rejected the tough economic bailout conditions set by the European Central Bank (ECB)—giving a boost to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in his negotiations with the ECB, but stoking more fears that Greece’s banks could collapse, possibly resulting in a messy exit from the European Union.

Netanyahu commended Kotzias for following through on his visit to Israel despite the deepening crisis back at home.

“You come here at a critical time for Greece, and I appreciate the fact that you kept this visit despite some rather dramatic events in your country,” said Netanyahu.

While hailing Greece as one of the two foundations of Western democracy, along with Jerusalem, Netanyahu told Kotzias that Israel is “committed to help in any way we can to ensure your success.”

Netanyahu went on to discuss the recent discovery of five tons of bomb-making materials in an apartment in Cyprus, saying that Greece and Israel are allies in fighting Islamic terrorism.

“We need to cooperate to seek stability, security, peace and prosperity. And these are the subjects that I look forward to discussing with you and so many other things,” Netanyahu said.

Greece and Israel have strengthened ties in recent years as both countries seek to counteract Turkey’s rise in the region.

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