International

The Good Life In Kiwi Country

10/10/2003
Staff Writer
Auckland, New Zealand: Roy Netzer first came here as a backpacker, after finishing his five years in the Israeli army and university studies, because he wanted to "experience another country." He liked what he saw. Netzer married and worked for a year in Israel, then returned here eight years ago with his wife and without a job lined up. "I got the 'New Zealand bug,' " he says. "We came with four suitcases."

Befriending The Native Aussies

10/03/2003
Staff Writer
Sydney: A nearly capacity crowd filled the sanctuary of North Shore Temple Emanuel on a recent weeknight. In the seats were Jews, Christians and "a few Aborigines," said Rabbi Allison Conyer. As part of a forum, "The Aboriginal Challenge: Where To Now?" sponsored by the congregation's Social Action Group, a series of Aboriginal speakers discussed the native Australians' history and current social problems, and the event's Jewish moderator urged the Jewish community to get involved.

One Of The Boys

09/26/2003
Staff Writer
The proprietors of the small kiosks in The Diamond Exchange on West 47th Street, the heart of Manhattan's Diamond District, decorate their working areas with artifacts to give each an individual touch. There are family photos, religious icons and homeland decals. John Kaufmann, a native of Germany, has attached a pair of small stuffed koalas to the spine of his desk lamp. They're a reminder of Australia, where as one of the Dunera Boys he spent eight years.

A Legend Down Under

09/26/2003
Staff Writer
Sydney, Australia: One by one, the elderly men with white hair or bald heads raised their hands. Sitting in the sunlit Terrace Room of the Australian National Maritime Museum, at the edge of Sydney Harbor, they listened as Henry Lippmann, a fellow octogenarian, stood with hand-written notes and microphone in hand reading brief snippets of their life stories, asking each to acknowledge his presence.

Suit Presses Falash Mura Solution

07/25/2003
Staff Writer
Israel's new Interior minister for five months has declined to carry out a cabinet decision that would speed up the emigration of the Falash Mura from Ethiopia, their advocates claim. This week Avraham Poraz, who succeeded Eli Yishai in March as head of the ministry, must tell the Supreme Court why. An Israeli law firm last month brought suit in the Supreme Court against Poraz compelling him to enforce the cabinet resolution.

Scared But Staying

05/23/2003
Staff Writer
The day after terrorist attacks rocked the Jewish community of Casablanca (four of the damaged buildings were identified as Jewish) Natalie called to check on her relatives who still live there. She had moved to Queens five years ago from that Moroccan city. "They are scared, for sure," she said. Natalie's relatives are looking to leave after Israel issued an open invitation to Morocco's remaining 5,000 Jews to make aliyah, she said, but added they aren't likely to immigrate soon.

Making Jewish Strides

05/02/2003
Staff Writer
Belgrade: With some 3,300 Jews, Serbia, now unified with neighboring Montenegro, has one of the smallest Jewish communities in Europe. Like the other once-communist countries in Eastern and Central Europe, Serbia has experienced an increase in Jewish life since communism fell a decade ago, with a growing number of Jews affiliating with the organized Jewish community and returning to Jewish traditions.

Boffo In Belgrade

05/02/2003
Staff Writer
Belgrade: Svetogorska Street is crowded tonight. Across from the Karenjim clothing store and a small food kiosk, scores of Serbians, some in jeans, some in business suits and dresses, walk up a wide set of stairs, through the front door, and file down a narrow staircase to a room where an old Jewish man, a black kipa atop his head, sits on a ratty, overstuffed chair. Soon there is a knock at the door. And another night of "Visiting Mr. Green," something of a Jewish cultural phenomenon in a land where there are few Jews, is under way.

This Year In Belgrade

04/25/2003
Staff Writer
Belgrade: "Don't be offended," said the rabbi's wife on the telephone, "but..." It was the part after the "but" that had me worried.

Sign Of Harsh Times

03/21/2003
Staff Writer
Clichy-sous-Bois, France: A rabbi is stabbed in nearby Paris and Jack Bouccara thinks about the safety of his own congregation's rabbi. A car explodes near a Jewish school in Paris and Bouccara worries about his synagogue, a three-minute walk from his home. French President Jacques Chirac announces that 700 French synagogues and other Jewish sites will need police protection if the American war against Iraq breaks out, and Bouccara fears that his synagogue might come under attack. Again.
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