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Celebrating 6 Years of Jewish Times Asia

April 2012 • Volume 7 • Issue 1 • Nisan / Iyar 5772

JeWish women’s Association marks 65 years volunteering For good causes By staff writers One of the earliest known Jewish charitable organisations in Asia, the Jewish Women’s Association will mark 65 years this year. Its history goes back even before that of the State of Israel, which now receives many of its donations. Its roots can be traced back to 1947 in Hong Kong.

JWA Bazaar at the Jewish Club on Robinson Road, early 1980s, supplied by Hanna Zion

Hong Kong then was flooded with refugees, many of them were Jews who had fled WWII in Europe and were finding a safe haven in China, mainly in the port city of Shanghai. These refugees needed a place to stay, medical care, food, education and work.

A group of Jewish women led by Richie Raymond, Charlotte Gotkin and Anne Frenkel joined forces with the Red Cross and the Joint Distribution Committee to help those in need. They assisted in areas from filling up visa applications, to providing milk for babies, and shelters for the refugees. This group became a charitable organisation now known in Hong Kong as the Jewish Women’s Association (JWA). The organisation immediately started raising funds through charity events, to cover the

Mrs L. Green cutting the cake at the JWA Independence Day Ball in the early 1960s, supplied by Judy Green

focuses its efforts on women and children. Together with WIZO they support in Israel a Day Care Centre in Yad Elyahu and a Battered Women Shelter Home in Ashdod. Its other beneficiaries include the Hayim Association, which cares for children with cancer. In Hong Kong, its supports the Community Chest and the Breast Cancer Foundation. Every year members of the JWA visit the beneficiaries ensuring funds are being spent correctly.

This year’s JWA Ball to celebrate its 65th anniversary will be held on 13 May, an event not to be missed.

JWA Purim Party- Mid 1970s, supplied by Hanna Zion

needs of the expanding community. The organisation became the source for Jewish communal activities and within a few years the JWA Purim Party and the JWA Israel Independence Day Ball, had become a community tradition.

time, explained that the bazaar was a mid-week event aimed at women, which took place at the Jewish Recreation Club on Robinson Road.

Later, JWA moved some its resources to causes outside the Jewish community and sponsored a drug rehabilitation programme for local women, and funded a women’s ward at a local prison.

The JWA Ball has had many homes including the Jewish Club, the Hong Kong Club, the Repulse Bay Hotel and the Grand Hyatt Hotel. During the 1980s the JWA became known for its elaborate Gottex swimwear fashion shows. Coral Beare organised these women centric events and they attracted Hong Kong’s elite, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

In its early years, JWA also assisted in supporting those Jewish residents that were looking to make aliyah to Israel, via an organisation known as Igud Yotzeii Sin - Association of Former Residents of China.

Its main fund raising events nowadays is the JWA Bazaar and the JWA Ball. The first bazaar took place in 1967 after the Six Day War. Joan Zirinsky, JWA’s Chairperson at the

By the mid 1970s, the JWA board led by Varda Priver and Judy Green, realised the bazaar had more potential and they moved it to a Sunday in order to reach a wider audience especially domestic helpers during their day off. Today, this event is one of the biggest and largest bazaar of its type in Hong Kong with well over 150 volunteers.

In modern times, JWA has

In this issue Regional News

Israel’s foreign minister makes official visit to China 7-11


Keeping Jewish news in Asia topical and refreshing


Business News

Israel looking for more ties with China


Art and Culture

Israeli composer jazzes up Manila


Revolutionary Associations

JTA Classifieds Festival Passover


19 20-21


Jewish communities in Asia Candle-lighting and the months Parshas



Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Jewish Times Asia April 2012

The IsraelI dIamond IndusTry congraTulaTes

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6Th annIVersary WIshIng you all The besT

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Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Jewish Times Asia April 2012

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Jewish Times Asia April 2012

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Israel’s foreign minister makes official visit to China

To mark 20 years of diplomatic relations between China and Israel, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Liberman, visited China in March. One of the major announcements during his trip was to open a consulate office in Chengdu by the beginning of 2013. This will be Israel’s fourth diplomatic mission in China, in addition to the embassy in Beijing and the consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou. The announcement was made during his meeting with the Governor of Sichuan, Jufeng Jiang. The Chengdu office, will make China the country with the most Israeli diplomatic missions after the US.

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The delegation included, David Issac Rotem, Member of Knesset, Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Ruth Kahanoff, Deputy Director General, and other senior officials from Israeli government. Avigdor Liberman third from the right talks to Jackie Eldan in Shanghai

Liberman told Governor Jiang that this is the first visit of an Israeli foreign minister to Sichuan, and that he chose to visit Chengdu because of its importance and significance in China, its central role in the continued development of China and as it serves the gateway to western China. Minister Liberman inaugurated an exhibition in Chengdu marking 20 years of bilateral diplomatic relations and opened the Israel-China economic meeting. He also attended the signing ceremony of the agreement between Israeli based Infinity Group and representatives of the Chengdu ministry of science.

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tended by more than 100 guests who were mainly officials from Chinese government and representatives of Israeli companies.

Avigdor Liberman makes a speech at the reception in Shanghai

While in China, Liberman visited Beijing, and met Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping

and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi.

“We are marking 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. Since then we have made significant progress in strengthening the relationship, and our intent is to further expand and strengthen the relationship in many additional areas, with special emphasis on the next generation,” Liberman said in Beijing.

“One phase of this objective is the special scholarships for study in Israel offered by the State of Israel to 250 Chinese students,” Liberman added. Liberman then went on to Shanghai and joined a reception held by the consulate in Shanghai celebrating the 20th anniversary. The reception was at-

Ethiopian Israeli appointed ambassador Ethiopian born, Belaynesh Zevadia, has been officially appointed as Ethiopian Ambassador to Israel. Zevadia takes up her position in Addis Ababa with immediate effect. In the course of her diplomatic career, she has served in various diplomatic locations mostly in the US, in the cities of Chicago and Houston, she immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia at the age of seventeen.

“I am proud to be the first foreign minister to appoint an Ethiopian ambassador on behalf of the State of Israel. I am certain that she will represent the state with honour and be a

source of pride to all Ethiopian Israelis.” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman commented.

When informed of her appointment Zevadia commented, “I am very proud to be appointed as ambassador, especially as the first Ethiopian Israeli ambassador. I immigrated to Israel as a teenager and I am returning to Ethiopia as an ambassador.” “It is a great honour for me and my family, and I would like to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Liberman, and the staff of the Foreign Ministry for the trust they are placing in me. This is proof that in Israel opportunity is available to ev-


Jewish Times Asia


Belaynesh Zevadia

eryone, native Israelis and new immigrants alike,” she added. Zevadia studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has a BA degree in international relations and African studies, and an MA in African studies.

Accompanied by Jackie Eldan, Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, the delegation visited the Shanghai Diamond Exchange Centre and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum.

Rabbi Lau to be Guest of Honour at the JWA Ball Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, Chairman of Yad Vashem, will attend the Jewish Women’s Association (JWA) 65th Anniversary Ball in May. One of the most distinguished and remarkable Jewish person’s in modern times, Rabbi Lau was born in Poland in 1937. His father was a former Chief Rabbi of his town and died in the Treblinka death camp.

In his childhood, Rabbi Lau, was also known to be the youngest child to come out of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp just before celebrating his 8th birthday. He arrived to Israel in 1945 and grew to become one of the leading Jewish figures worldwide.

His book Out of the Depth has become a worldwide best seller, telling the story of this childhood during the Holocaust and his life journey. The book is available in Hebrew, English, French, Portuguese and Chinese. Rabbi Lau will also be in Hong Kong to inaugurate the opening of the Holocaust and Tolerance Centre located at Elsa High School. In addition, attending a special lunch to support the JWA.


Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Regional News

Carmel’s tri-lingual achievers Liat Riff speaks about Youth Futures to UIA Young Professionals Carmel School students are fast becoming tri-lingual, through the full-immersionbased Mandarin Chinese language programme which Carmel School Association has recently extended to its early years’ programme. Children now start learning Mandarin in pre-school at age two in the Ganeynu classes. For most students, English or Hebrew will be their first language and the introduction of Mandarin with dedicated teaching and learning opportunities enables students to build capacity for learning in all languages. There has been much discussion in educational literature of the optimal age for second or third language acquisition. Leading experts now advocate a natural approach to teaching young children language, inductively, intuitively and without exposure to rules and formal grammar.

texts and hold a brief conversation of 10-15 exchanges in both Hebrew and Mandarin, in addition to achieving high level ageappropriate proficiency in English language.

But how is Carmel Elementary School able to fit three languages into its schedule, when other schools struggle to offer two? “To begin with,” explains Mira Hasofer, Head of Carmel Elementary, “Our school day is longer than other international schools in Hong Kong. We begin the day at 7:45am and end at 3:30pm. We encourage a culture of ‘time on task’ and ‘quality time not quantity time’.”

“Our tri-lingual programme makes for an exciting future,” says Rachel Friedmann, Carmel School Association Principal and Head of Elsa High School. “The objective is for students to imbibe both Mandarin and Hebrew As the children progress to throughout their schooling, by elementary school, tri-lingual the time they graduate they will reading and writing is introduced become tri-lingual, global citiand it is expected that children zens, ready to face the challenges will be able to recognise charac- of a rapidly changing world, ters, write a simple or descriptive in which China is increasingly 1 04/04/2012 9:45 PM playing a leading role.” passage, JTA_240x168_Apr2012_OP.pdf read and understand









UIA Young Professionals organised a visit of Liat Riff to Hong Kong. The event was held on a rooftop in the city on 13 March. A mixture of younger Jewish residents came together to socialise at a wine cocktail event, to network and hear Liat Riff speak. Riff, is Director of Youth Futures, a project that is part of the UIA portfolio in Israel. She is the local director of the Jerusalem branch, since it was established 4 years ago.

It provides children and youth at-risk (ages 6-18) with comprehensive, tailored intervention that will enable them to take their place as independent, productive members of society. What began as a bold experiment in 2005 now serves over 10,000 children and youth in 32 locations throughout Israel. Here own path to her work was very inspiring. Riff, 27, was born and raised in Petach Tikva and attended religious schools and never came across people who were different from her. After graduating, she started her national service duty in the Ben Yakir Jewish Agen-

Daniel Green, executive board member of UIA with Liat Riff

cy’s youth village, for boys in the 7-12 grades. She describes her work there as meaningful and challenging. It was there where she first met people who were completely different from her, who received different education and grew up in what seemed to her as another world. She arrived there to teach, but found herself learning as much as teaching. It was that experience that made her realise that she wanted to dedicate her life to making a change in Israeli society. She gave up her dream of becoming a doctor and studied psychology in the Bar

Ilan University. After graduating, Riff got married and moved to Jerusalem and ran a learning centre in a mostly Ethiopian neighbourhood for 60 children ages 6-12. Following on from this, she coordinated another programme for Ethiopian families supporting their absorption into Israeli society. Last year the UIA Young Professionals hosted Michelle Rojas-Tal from StandwithUs, and the organisers hope this will be a regularly networking event in Hong Kong.

Jewish Times Asia April 2012


Regional News

ZAKA holds third Gala Dinner in Hong Kong ZAKA’s third annual Gala Dinner was held on 27 February at the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre. This year’s event was to honour Israel’s Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, Amikam Levy. ZAKA, the Israel-based humanitarian volunteer organisation, established a ZAKA Rescue and Recovery Organisation Centre in 2010, in Hong Kong, to serve the East Asia region. Headed by Rafael Aharoni, President, ZAKA, Hong Kong and Macau, the unit provides training to local volunteers in emergency preparedness, medical first response and disaster management. A special guest appearance by renowned Israeli singer and actor Yehoram Gaon made the evening very memorable. Well over 250 people attended from

entire family dead, apart from one who was seriously injured but survived. This individual later became a ZAKA volunteer.

The evenings event concluded with a special presentation from David Rose, Director of International Development, ZAKA to Rafael Aharoni for his continued support and tireless efforts in raising awareness of

The evenings activities included speeches from Mr. Aharoni, an address by Consul General Amikam Levy, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, ZAKA chairman and founder and Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, from Chabad in Hong Kong.

Yehoram Gaon left, with Rafael Aharoni receiving a presentation from David Rose and Yehuda Meshi-Zahav

Haifa’s mayor visits the Philippines The Mayor of Haifa and his delegation were warmly welcomed to the Philippines by the Manila City Hall headed by Mayor Alfredo Lim. The two exchanged pleasantries and vowed to continue enhancing ties between the two cities. Mayor Lim then gifted the key to the City of Manila to Mayor Yona Yahav. The mayor and his wife, renowned professor Rivka Yahav, visited the Girl Scouts of the Philippines to help them in their fight against women and children violence. Yahav also shared some of her experiences in building up a stronger feminist community in Israel, and declared her intention to return to the Philippines to assist the Girl Scouts in their projects. The delegation toured many sites in Manila including its universities and public hospitals. Mayor Yahav was welcomed by the sisters of St. Paul’s University and was treated to a programme por-

the organisation in the region.

Guests attending the dinner

both the Jewish community and the wider Hong Kong circle including local government dignitaries and China representatives.

traying Israeli and Filipino culture. Meanwhile, his wife participated in a forum at the Universidad de Manila, where actively engaged students of the Social Studies Department learnt more about the cost of war in terms of psychological welfare. The mayor and his wife, along with Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Menashe Bar-On, were hosted by Mayor Lim in a celebratory banquet fostering ties between the two cities and the peoples of Israel and the Philippines.

Yona Yahav with Alfredo Lim

Yehoram Gaon

Founded in 1995, ZAKA i s I s r a e l ’s d o m i n a n t n o n governmental lifesaving, rescue and recovery organisation, with over 1500 volunteers deployed around the country, on call 24/7 to respond to any terror attack, disaster or accident.

Entertainment was supplied by Gaon throughout the evening singing some his most memorable hits as well as providing some insights on the humanitarian work of the organisation. Some short movies and documentaries were screened showing the volunteer work of ZAKA in some difficult circumstances. One particularly at the scene of a horrific coach crash that left many people from one

Amikam Levy

ZAKA’s International Rescue Unit, headquartered in Jerusalem, has units located in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the UK.


Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Regional News

A mission to defend Israel from media bias Israel’s news media watchdog – HonestReporting.Com went east in March, with their CEO Joe Hyams, visiting Hong Kong for the first time. It’s a remarkable start-up story, of a young and dynamic US non-profit to achieve such a presence with a small team of editorial staff. The Israel based organisation boasts over 150,000 global readers to its fast action website, holding media accountable for the news coverage of Israel, and informing readers of all they need to know about ‘Israel in the news’. Hyams feels that Asia and Australia are underserved communities for his work and he is here to change that.

Joe Hyams

“It’s about far more than talking between ourselves,” Hyams told Jewish Times Asia. “It’s about reaching beyond the choir, and finding the thousands of good people out there ready to call media to account when they get it wrong on Israel,” he said. Hyams explained how an increasing number of monthly web viewers to his site are originating from Asia. “I don’t know who these readers and supporters are, but I know that here we have a community engaging our work and I am here to build on that. What is essential is that we recognise the gaping hole in Israel’s communication defenses right now,” Hyams added. Hyams feels HonestReporting has an important role serving as an information base for students and professionals, advocates and general news consumers alike. Lecturing to schools as well as adults on their Annual Israel VIP Mission. “We must increase immediately our awareness of the need to defend Israel from misinformation, and invest heavily in the tools to respond,” said Hyams,

who in the past few weeks has lead the call for the dismissal of a UN worker for tweeting a photo falsely decrying Israel for killing the child in question.

The child, who died in 2006 as a result of a traffic accident, was shared between Israel’s detractors in huge numbers online. Only days later, the massacre in Toulouse, France, left many asking, if the incitement such as that false tweet, could lead Israel haters to murder Jewish children?

HonestReporting believes so, as Joe Hyams wrote in his op-ed titled Blood Libel 2.0. Honest Reportings campaign against the UN worker in question has gained so much attention that Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor has himself now demanded the UN dismiss Khulood Badawi. The UN has confirmed that it has launched an internal enquiry. Hyams is also a passionate advocate for supporting the dif-

ficult task of journalists reporting from the region, and has established a service based drop-in lounge, in Jerusalem for visiting correspondents. His visit to Asia is focused on raising not only awareness, but investment too, for the soon to be opened international headquarters with a rooftop seminar deck to train and empower dozens of visiting groups to Jerusalem. “We are here to train and educate,” he concluded.

Shalom Simhon visits Hong Kong Israel’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour Shalom Simhon and his delegation paid an official visit to Hong Kong during 23-25 February. Among the members of the delegation were Boaz Hirsch, Deputy Director General and Director, Foreign Trade Administration. Elad Goz, Director, Asia & Pacific Division, Foreign Trade Administration, and Alisa Cohen, Chief of Staff. Joined by Hong Kong’s Ambassador Amikam Levy,

merce and Economic Development of the HKSAR government, as well senior executives from some of Hong Kong’s leading conglomerates and banks.

Shalom Simhon meeting with Greg So

Simhon and the delegation met Greg So, the Secretary for Com-

The delegation also met Israeli diamond executives based in Hong Kong at a luncheon hosted by Rafael Aharoni, Chairman of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, The delegation continued on their journey to Australia for an official visit.

Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Regional News

Maccabi Hong Kong wins 2 football tournaments Elsa High School hosted this year’s Spring Carnival Five-aside Soccer Boys Tournament on 4 March on their indoor and outdoor football pitches. It was the second year Maccabi Hong Kong had hosted the event, this year doubling the number of participating teams. It was a real community event at Elsa with the refereeing of the games organised by the fathers, the kosher food and drinks made and sold by the mums and the cheering led by the siblings. It also turned out to be a very special day in the history of Maccabi. A soccer carnival enjoyed by over 400 children aged 5-11 representing nearly 50 teams with over 500 visiting parents supporting their children.

To cap it all Maccabi won the Cup in two of the four age group categories: 2004 and 2001 tournaments.

In the 2004 age category, there were twelve teams participating across Hong Kong, including teams from local and international schools, divided into two groups. Maccabi

fielded one team in each of the groups. Maccabi A got into the final without losing any of the games in the knockout stages and beat Tung Chung Falcons, in a very tense penalty shoot out, as the score was level at 1-1 at the final whistle. Many of our supporters were hardly able to watch. Maccabi showed a calmness and inner strength to slot home their penalties whilst the Falcons showed nerves and were unable to deal with the pressure, missing two.

To the huge roar of the crowd Maccabi emerged from the shootout as victors. Under the wonderful stewardship of Daniel Suissa, Maccabi A were crowned champions of the 2004 age group. The boys were rejoiced together, it was amazing to see.

The 2001 category was also a twelve team competition and again penalties decided the final, Maccabi beating Hong Kong Football Club. “Every single Maccabi player was fantastic on Sunday and made us all proud. Our

Dr Charles Small Scholar-in-Residence The United Jewish Congregation (UJC) of Hong Kong, hosted Dr Charles Small, as its scholar-in-residence from 15-18 March. Dr Charles Small, is the Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy and the President of the International Association for the Study of Antisemitism.

In addition, he was the Director and Founder of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, the first such university based research centre in North America. He also works as a consultant and policy advisor in North America, and in other countries including Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Dr Small gave four lectures during his stay. The topics and lectures focused through the following themes: the study of contemporary antisemitism to Iran Islamism.

Rabbi Zamek, from the UJC, remarked about Dr. Small’s visit that, “It is regrettable that there is a need to study antisemitism in today’s world. We might have hoped that modernity and this type of irrational hatred could not coexist. Sadly, this is not the case, but we at the UJC were

fortunate to have such an able and learned guide to help us understand antisemitism’s modern incarnation.”

“We were very happy that a number of people from the wider Jewish community joined us for Dr. Small’s lectures,” he added. Dr. Small’s visit was part of an ongoing programme of the UJC that brings prominent scholars from a variety of fields to Hong Kong from around the world.

The congregation looks forward to these intensive and engaging adult education programs. Dr. Daniel Matt, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Jewish mysticism will be coming to the UJC to serve as a scholar-in-residence in May.

skills and teamwork were on show for all to see. The performances were a clear testament to the training that the boys have been receiving and the improvement that they have all made,” said Daniel Gordon, one of the organisers of Maccabi Hong Kong.

The Maccabi HK Junior Programme was originally set up by Neil Hyman and Daniel Gordon about 5 years ago, both were members of Maccabi in the UK prior to moving to Hong Kong. Its main purpose was to set up a junior programme to connect young members of the community through sport. Maccabi HK has grown significantly over the last few years and has a strong boys and girls soccer programme with around 70 young footballers, a basketball programme and an adult soccer team that plays in a local league.

2001 Age Group winners Maccabi HK with Daniel Gordon

2004 Age Group winners with Cup and coach Daniel Suissa

6 Years



Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Keeping Jewish news in Asia topical and refreshing


stablished more than 6 years ago, Jewish Times Asia is the primary platform for news gathering, event highlighting and community awareness for the region’s Jewish communities. With such a diverse community spread across 10 countries and different backgrounds and nationalities, to find a consensus that the stories are relevant to all is quite a challenge.

However, Philip Jay Publisher and Founder, strongly believes that the more diverse the community the stronger the paper. “It is good we have 5-6 different Jewish communities in Hong Kong alone, the more to report on and cover for the newspaper,” Jay said.

“Most of the members are more interested in what is happening in the other communities, so they don’t loose track and may even want to attend those other events,” Jay added.

Jewish Times Asia is unique in its editorial independence. It reports on all communities

and then the Asia region. Some countries where we do not mail copies to are strong such as Malaysia and Indonesia,” Jay explained. “There was no previous title or points of comparison, when

Philip Jay

in the region and maintains a balanced and unbiased outlook, recognising each group’s contribution to Jewish life in Asia. The region has a very diverse and mixed spiritual community. Apart from local news round-ups, the paper covers regular business news, art and culture, and a balance of topical features, articles and one-to-one interviews. The paper has now become essential for diplomatic news for Israel’s embassies and organisations to promote important strategic partnerships with countries in the region.

“We also have many readers from outside the region, especially the business traveller and tourists that find our communities and our hospitality in Asia extraordinary,” Jay commented.

The paper is widely available to be picked up at all the various Jewish associations and community centres in the region. Jewish Times Asia also launched an on-line flipbook version a few years ago to cater for departing Jewish expatriates and others who want to keep in touch with Asian Jewish news. “Our biggest readership online is in the US followed Israel

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I established Jewish Times Asia, it was done from scratch and happy with its growth. It is most fulfilling to be useful as a relevant read, lets hope we can be just as relevant in the years to come,” Jay concluded.

April 2011

April 2011

April 2011

Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

Jewish Times Asia April 2012

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The newspaper’s andthe support ofCommunity the State Israel not enhance understanding of the country, and unique to Jewish Asia. I would relevant like toinvolvement commend Mr.I in Philip would Jay, like Publisher to commend Iand would Mr. Editor-in-Chief, Philip likeoftoin Jay, commend Publisher for only Mr. and Philip Editor-in-Chief, Jay, Publisher for and Editor-in-Chief, for but also effort in producing his vision awith newspaper and effortofWe inhis great producing vision meritand for a newspaper effort the in producing of great merit newspaper for the of of great merit forJay, the Publisher and links his thevision Asianand Jewish community Israel. appreciate the efforts and agreat work Mr. Philip Israeli and Jewish people living Israeli here. and Jewish people Israeli living and here. Jewish people living here. News on Israel and its activities in Asia, such as high-ranking Editor-in-Chief. government officials’ visits, commercial events and cultural highlights,

On behalf of the State of Israel On and behalf theofConsulate the StateOn General of behalf Israel of and ofIsrael the theState Consulate in of Israel General and the Israel in General of Israel in occupied aofgood part ofKong theConsulate contents of this monthly newspaper. ItsofConsulate On behalf theour State Israel and the General of Israel in Jewish Hong Kong, wetheon wish Asia Hong of Kong heartiest congratulation Hong our to the heartiest Jewish Hong congratulation Times Kong Asia our heartiest ontoitsthe congratulation Times Asia to Jewish its Jewish TimesTimes Asia on its th th th involvement in and support of the State of Israel not only enhance the years 5of Anniversary success. and best wishes 5 Anniversary 5 inAnniversary for every success and best wishes its future for every and best success wishes in its forfuture every success in its future understanding of endeavours. the country but also links the entire Asian Jewish endeavours. endeavours.

Sincerely, community with the country. Sincerely,




AmbassadorFor Amikam Levy the past five years, Jewish Times Asia has gradually and Ambassador Amikam Levy Ambassador AmikamAmbassador Levy Amikam Levy successfully positioned itself asMacao the Consul region’s first andIsrael only independent Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong and Consul General of Israel in Hong Consul Kong General and Macao of Israel in Hong General Kongofand Macao in Hong Kong and Macao Jewish community newspaper. I am confident that it will continue to serve the community and strive for excellence.

__________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone: (852) 2821 7500 Telephone: E-mail: (852) 2821 7500Telephone: E-mail: (852)701 2821 Admiralty 7500 Centre E-mail: II 701 Admiralty Centre Tower 701 II Admiralty Centre Tower II Fax: (852) 2865 0220 Website: (852) 2865 0220Mr. Philip Website: G.P.O. Boxand 245 Hong Kong G.P.O. Fax: (852) 2865Publisher 0220 Website: I would like Fax: to commend Jay, Editor-in-Chief, forBox 245 Hong KongG.P.O. Box 245 Hong Kong

his vision and effort in producing a newspaper of great merit for the Israeli and Jewish people living here. On behalf of the State of Israel and the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong our heartiest congratulation to the Jewish Times Asia on its 5th Anniversary and best wishes for every success in its future endeavours. Sincerely, Ambassador Amikam Levy Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong and Macao

Mazal Tov on the 6th Anniversary of Jewish Times Asia

__________________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone: (852) 2821 7500 E-mail: 701 Admiralty Centre Tower II Fax: (852) 2865 0220 Website: G.P.O. Box 245 Hong Kong



Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Business News

Israel’s finance minister looking for more ties with China

Advantech partner with Israeli based Silicom

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz made an official visit to China in February. At a press conference held at the Israeli Embassy in Beijing, Steinitz mentioned the purpose of his visit to China was to sign a financial protocol aimed at boosting Israeli sales overseas, and will help Israeli exporters of water technology for agriculture. According to the protocol, Israel will provide US$300 million in preferential government loans to China for high-tech agricultural water conservation projects in the provinces and autonomous regions of Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang.

Taiwanese company Advantech, a global manufacturer of telecom computing blades and multi-core processor platforms, announced a partnership with Silicom Limited that will enable it to integrate Silicom’s range of multi-port networking bypass adapters into their network appliance platforms.

“We developed a system to save 80-90% of the water dripping irrigation. We invented many kinds of corps and systems that can work in the desert. So also in China, especially in the western provinces, you have a

Yuval Steinitz

lot of arid land and desert land. We can contribute technologies and systems and products that can help in this as well.” Steinitz said. Steinitz also said Israel wanted to strengthen its ties with China because it is currently the second-largest economy worldwide. He said that in return, although Israel could not provide mass markets, it could make contributions in the field of high tech, life science, industry and creativity with China. Steinitz then talked about the measures he has implemented to guarantee the stability of the Israeli economy. He said Israel

“I think this played a key role in stabilising the economy, improving economic performance, and improving the rationale between planning and the implementation of government plans. I am confident that in a few years, 10, 15 years from now, most western countries – maybe even China as well – will shift to two years, a 24 month budgeting cycle.” Besides the two-year budget system, Steinitz said Israel was trying to attract investment from all over the world as well as China. He said the great potential for partnership between Israel and China in agricultural and technology issues was already being realised, but the future held even more opportunities for further cooperation.

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Steinitz highlighted the importance of agricultural cooperation between the two countries, Israel has managed to become a world leader in innovative water management.

was able to ride out the global financial crisis because of his twoyear budget system. It was his first decision as finance minister to make Israel the first country in the world to shift from a oneyear budget system to a biennial one.

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Initially, Advantech will offer six Intel® NIC-based PCIe Network Mezzanine Cards (NMCs) with support for 1GbE fiber or copper bypass ports and 10GbE fiber bypass ports. “Customers using Silicom NICs on other platforms can now move to Advantech’s leading edge appliances without having to invest in, spend time on, or maintain software to accommodate different bypass schemes,” said Peter Marek, Director Solutions for Advantech’s Networks and Communications Group. Silicom’s Ethernet bypass technology allows for bypass of the NMC’s Ethernet ports on a host system or software failure,

loss of power, or upon software request. In bypass mode, the connections of the Ethernet network ports are disconnected from the system and switched over to the other port to create a direct connection between the two Ethernet ports in that bypass segment. All packets received from one port are transmitted to other port and vice versa. This feature enables the bypass of a failed system and provides greater availability levels for the network. “We are very pleased to be selected by Advantech to enhance their network interface offerings with our SETAC based bypass modules,” said Shaike Orbach, President and CEO, Silicom. “Advantech joins our list of over 75 active OEM customers. Their leadership in telecom infrastructure and enterprise networking appliances strengthens our position in these rapidly growing markets,” Orbach concluded.

Jewish Times Asia April 2012


Art Business and Culture News

Indian companies may assist in energy development in Israel On a recent visit to India, Israeli Minister of Energy and Water, Uzi Landau, met with Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Jaipal Reddy to discuss the possibility of Indian government energy companies taking part in developing Israel’s massive offshore Mediterranean natural gas fields, Leviathan and Tamar.

Chennai port

According to Israel’s Globes business newswires, Israel Ports Development & Assets Company Ltd. is bidding in a tender for the construction of a new wharf at the port of Chennai in southern India. The company has submitted a joint bid with India’s Cargo Motors Pvt. Ltd. The new bid comes a month after the two companies won the US$700 million tender to build the deepwater port at Nargol, in Gujarat State, on India’s western coast.

In a statement, Israel Ports chairman Yechiel Leiter said that the establishment of operations in India was part of the company’s strategic goal to expand into international markets, with a focus on India. “In the coming years, we will invest huge sums in infrastructures in India, and tens of billions of dollars in the development of seaports. For us, this is the per-

fect time to launch the company’s international operations,” he said. Cargo Motors director Gayant Nando recently visited Israel. He said that the company’s joint ventures with Israel Ports was based on Israel’s knowhow, and that Cargo Motors intended to expand collaborations with Israel in renewable energy, desalination, and logistics.

Speaking to Bloomberg at the JP Morgan Global Healthcare Conference held in January in San Francisco, the Israeli drugmaker’s chief financial officer Eyal Desheh, noted that “the key is very local businesses.” He specifically mentioned China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Korea.

The new wharf at the Chennai port will handle motor vehicles. The tender process will take over a year. Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu State.


Other than Asia, Brazil is a market that Teva needs “to get into,” Desheh added. “There won’t be deals of the size of Cephalon (bought last year for US$6.80 billion), Ratiopharm and Barr, but it’s possible to expect smaller acquisitions and acquisitions of products,” he said.

Landau’s portfolio is broad, as in addition to development of the offshore field, he informed New Delhi that the Israeli government was also interested in Indian expertise and investment for the construction of a liquefied natural gas facility to process the output from the Tamar and Leviathan field, which would require an investment of US$8 billion. But the investment would not solely be Indian underwriting of projects in Israel. Beyond natural gas, Landau noted that his government was making

huge investments in the water sector, especially purification, desalination and the reuse of waste water for drinking and agriculture purposes. In March 2010 the US Geological Survey published its assessment of the Levant Basin, the region offshore Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus and concluded that there is a 95% chance at least 50,000 billion cubic feet of natural gas could yet be discovered and that in total the Levant Basin could contain as many as 227,430 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 483 million barrels of oil. Accordingly, the wrangling over offshore delineation of national waters has already started, producing a complex series of claims and counterclaims amongst the countries concerned.

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with Kowa Co and completed its US$934 million acquisition of the country’s third-largest generics drugmaker.

He went on to say that “we’ll have to go one by one, a lot of footwork, country by country. None of these will be huge acquisitions and this push may take a few years.”

Last year, the Petach Tikva-based company paid out US$150 million to buy the 50% stake it does not already own in the Japanese joint venture it ran

Landau told India’s Business Standard newspaper, “Israel plans to attract investments in the gas sector, especially exploration and production. Israel has gas reserves of 122 trillion cubic feet, of which 20% have already been

Nanda said that other Israeli companies might participate in the construction of the Nargol port. “The port franchise is for 30 years, and Cargo Motors’ collaboration with Israel Ports will widen, and will operate in other projects across India,” he said.

Teva Pharmaceutical looking to Asia for more acquisitions Teva Pharmaceutical Industries of Israel is looking at acquisitions in Asia, an area where it expects generics uptake to boom.

According to industry experts of particular interest to Israel is India’s governmentowned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

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Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Art and Culture

Israeli composer jazzes up Special screening of Restoration Manila Renowned Israeli composer Yaron Gottfried partnered up with the Manila Symphony Orchestra in a concert hosted by Israel’s embassy in the Philippines in February. Gottfried, along with musicians Yonatan Oleiski and Tal Gamlieli fused the musical genres of classical and jazz, to delight their audience in Manila.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra along with Gottfried swayed the audience with two timeless suites including: Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky and the self-written Capriol Jazz Suite. Among the invited guests were well-known personalities

from the government, academe, the business circle and the Israeli community. In attendance was Philippine Ambassador Menashe Bar-On who welcomed the guests. A household name in Israel, Gottfried has performed all around the world and delighted many with his unique blends— and at the same time, directs the Nataniya-Kibbtuz Orchestra. Gottfried continued his musical journey in Manila, participating in the Philippine International Jazzfest 2012, as a featured artist. The festival aims to enrich the jazz scene of the country, while providing awareness to international cultures and art.

Following the success of the screening of Israeli film Eli and Ben in 2009 and the Israeli Film Festival 2011 in Hong Kong, the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong hosted another special screening of Israeli film Restoration on 21 February at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. This event was part of the framework of the consulate for this year, to enhance the relationship between the two countries and to share knowledge of a unique industry from Israel.

“Film is a common language for us, Israel and Hong Kong, as we both understand this industry and we have a great desire to co-operate on this,” said Ambassador Levy in the opening remarks.

Israel and Hong Kong have already established a closer bond through signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on cultural exchange in 2010 and through various programmes of cultural co-operation since then.

Yonatan Oleiski, Yaron Gottfried and Tal Gamlieli on-stage

Avia Lai, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs of the HKSAR Government, graced the event as the guest of honour. Among other guests were legislative councilors, government

Opera Gallery to showcase the work of Yayoi Kusama Opera Gallery Hong Kong, will present the exhibition Infinity in the Universe of Yayoi Kusama, which will take place in May. The famous Japanese master Yayoi Kusama has won an unprecedented and well-deserved recognition this year, being honoured with major four museum retrospective shows travelling from the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid to Pompidou center in Paris, via its current display in The Tate Modern in London. The show will finish in Whitney Museum in New York later this year. Celebrating her international success and everlasting popularity, Opera Gallery is putting on display an exceptional collection of Kusama’s works with pieces dating as early as 1978 and up to 2011. Close to 30 works will be in the show including paintings, sculptures and limited edition silkscreen prints.

ture, performance, installation art, movie directing, novel and poem writing. She has won numerous awards including the prestigious 2006 National Lifetime Achievement Awards. Kusama was born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan and currently works and resides in Tokyo.

One of Yayoi Kusama’s work

Scheduled to take place during the HKART fair and the cultural festival Le French May the exhibition celebrates an exceptional timing of arts and culture blossoming in the city. Supported by the French Consulate in Hong Kong the exhibition is an associated project of Le French May Arts Festival. Kusama is one of Japan’s best-known living artists and her pioneering work spans over six decades spreading from Japan to the US and Europe. Her prolific portfolio includes drawing, painting, sculp-

The Opera Gallery was founded in Paris in 1994 and is now internationally established with galleries in Paris, London, Geneva, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul and Dubai. Through its network of international galleries, Opera Gallery brings a steady stream of modern and contemporary masterpieces as well as works by the rising forces of the current art scene like David Mach, Julian Opie, Ron Arad and more. This year the Hong Kong gallery celebrates its 8 year anniversary. It is managed by Israeli resident, Shirley Ben Bashat.


secretaries, diplomats, leaders of local cultural organisations and friends of the consulate.

The film Restoration, directed by Joseph Madmony and starring veteran Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, has won awards both in Israel and international film festivals. The film is about an antique furniture shop run by business partners that appears to be at the point of bankruptcy. A new apprentice arrives who discovers an old and very expensive Steinway piano in the back of the shop that could be sold for big bucks.

In the past decade, Israeli films have received prizes and nominations of the most prestigious film awards around the world. As the most recent example, Israeli film Footnote, this year was an Oscar nominated film, in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

This is Israel’s fourth such nomination in the past five years, giving the country more nominations during that period than any other. It is an indication to the renaissance of Israeli cinema, in terms of the emergence of a new generation of talented filmmakers and the radical advance of funding, both public and foreign funds that brought millions of dollars into the industry.

Amikam Levy and Avia Lai

Indian art exhibition Critical Mass As Israel and India celebrate 20 years of diplomatic and cultural ties, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art will showcase the thriving contemporary Indian art scene, with a painting exhibition of the works of 17 Indian artists scheduled to be held in May. The exhibition will include both established, and several young artists, covering a wide range of media including photography, painting, video, sculpture and installation.

The works are anchored in the tumultuous social and political reality, and their multiple layers of meaning reflect different responses to the deep transformations that have been taking place in Indian society over the past two decades.

To c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e theme Critical Mass, one of the salient characteristics of the works is repetition, multiplicity and duplication of images or motifs that are densely arrayed together. This state of multiplicity echoes the visual texture and chaotic expanses of the Indian megalopolis. “This overwhelming experience of density, ornamentation, noise, flow, and rich materiality is clearly reflected in the themes, materials, and visual aesthetics of the works featured in this exhibition,” a release from the organisers states. The exhibition will be accompanied by a Hebrew-English catalogue that includes essays on Indian culture.

Jitish Kallat, Sweatopia 1, 2008, Acrylic on canvas

Jewish Times Asia April 2012


Art and Culture

Hong Kong Bach Choir to present Psalms

Eatlitz makes debut tours in China

Celebrate Lag b’Omer eve, with the Hong Kong Bach Choir presentation of Psalms on 9 May at the City Hall Concert Hall.

One of Israel’s hottest, ‘Art Rock’ band, Eatlitz, performed in China and Hong Kong in March. The Hong Kong event was held on 18 March at the Hidden Agenda.

The Hong Kong Bach Choir will be launching its 20th anniversary season this year. The choir is one of Hong Kong’s leading choral ensembles comprising a multinational membership of more than 100 singers.

It is led by Jerome Hoberman, a member of the Hong Kong Jewish community, who has been the Musical Director and Conductor for the Hong Kong Bach Choir and Orchestra since 1992.

Psalms, is a scintillating programme of works from around the musical world, based on Jewish text. Leonard Bernstein’s ever-popular Chichester Psalms, is one, written for England’s Chichester Cathedral in 1965. Bernstein subversively set the texts in their original Hebrew in completing this, his most overtly Jewish large-scale composition. The gorgeous second movement rescues music originally intended for West Side Story and the entire work

conceals traditional numerological codes beneath its jazzy surface.

Lukas Foss’ Psalms composed in 1956 by this brilliantly talented refugee from the Nazis and an obvious inspiration for his close friend Leonard Bernstein’s later Chichester Psalms. Felix Mendelssohn’s The 100th Psalm music by the greatest of all child prodigies, grandson of the great Enlightenment figure Moses Mendelssohn and a favourite target of anti-semitic attack by both Wagner and Hitler.

Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bendita Sabedoria, the final work by the composer of the famous Bachianas Brasileiras sets texts mainly from Mishlei (Proverbs), but also from Tehillim (Psalms), all in praise of wisdom – a most valuable treasure anywhere, any time. Also settings of familiar verses from Tehillim, by Edward Elgar and the little-known but wonderful Estonian composer Cyrillus Kreek. The evening promises to be wonderful.

Jerome Hoberman

Filipina in singing competition The Philippine embassy in Israel congratulated an 11-yearold filipina musical sensation who was placed second in the prestigious Beit Sefer Le Musica singing competition in Israel recently.

According to the embassy, Kathleen Louise Eligado’s success was even more impressive as she was the only non-Israeli who joined the contest and was bestowed with an award. A sixth grade student of the Alef Dalet Gordon School in Tel Aviv, Eligado’s mentor is Mati Caspi, a prominent musician and well respected singer, song writer, and conductor. Her rendition of Christina Aguilera’s I Am Beautiful and On my Own earned her a US$2,500 musical scholarship and an exclusive contract with Teddy TV.









Kathleen Louise Eligado

“This is the first time that a Filipino has won a prestigious award in Israel’s the Beit Sefer Le Musica competition,” the embassy said in a statement.

“Kathleen is an inspiration to the Filipino community in Israel. The embassy is proud of this young achiever. It is hoped that many more will follow in winning honours for Filipinos in Israel,” it added.

Eatliz, brought its spectacular visual performances and outstanding genre-crossing music to China for the first time, performing at the JUE Music + Art Festival. The venues were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan and Changsha. Eatliz, has been causing quite a stir in the world of alternative rock for some time now, earning them an ever-growing cult following across North America, Europe and Israel.

With a discography of critically acclaimed albums spanning half a decade, the band’s penchant for Jewishtime_142x195mm_QP.pdf mixing sonic pounding with delicate meandering


has struck a chord with listeners worldwide who appreciate unconventional song structure. Playing what’s been termed ‘Art Rock’, Eatliz creates music with elements ranging from pop with a Middle Eastern edge to hard rock. The result is a sound that calls to mind artists like Faith 1 03/04/2012 14:43 No More, The Cranberries and

Blonde Redhead. The band has gained a reputation for their eye-popping animated music videos – for songs such as Hey, Lose This Child and Attractive– which have been seen by millions in domestic and international film festivals, where they received dozens of awards.


Jewish Times Asia April 2012

Art and Culture

Culture events to commemorate 60 years of relations

Madonna begins her musical world tour from Israel

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Israel, Japan’s embassy in Israel will be holding a number of cultural events in the country.

Pop icon and singer Madonna, has announced that she will begin her musical world tour from Israel.

Winning Design – Wing Flap

The Furokishi Design Competition also announced its winning designs, which will be productized to commemorate the anniversary. The Japan Foundation in cooperation with the Japanese embassy in Israel and Design Museum Holon held the Furoshiki Design Competition from both Japan and Israel. On 19 March, the award ceremony was held at the Holon Mediatheque. Among the 190 Furoshiki designs, the Grand Prize Certificate winning design was titled Wing Flap by Dikla Chen-Saar from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Israel. The Wing Flap of a dove represents harmony and peace, balance and beauty, two cultures of two nations complimenting each other, working together for a better fu-

Her MDNA World Tour in Israel will begin on 29 May, an additional show will also be added on 31 May under the banner “Concert for Peace.” Gangi N

Two top jazz musicians from Japan held a special concert on 23 February at Einav Centre for Culture as a part of Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. Kazumi Watanabe, the virtuoso of jazz guitar, played swing, be-bop, blues and free style with his super technic, while Minako Yoshida, affectionally known as the diva from the Far East, sang standard, original and improvisation with her strong and transparent voice.

The collaboration between the two maestros deeply attracted the Israeli audience, who applauded them with standing ovation. During the concert, Ms. Yoshida expressed her gratitude to the Israeli audience in one word that she learned, Toda! in English – Thank you.

Minako Yoshida and Kazumi Watanabe

ture. The runner up design, Certificate of Excellence was titled Tatami Mat and Candlesticks by Shouta Kojima from Interior Design, Nagoya Mode Gakuen, Japan.

Other events planned include Furo, a collaboration between Ohad Naharin, Bat-Sheva Dance Company and Japanese artist Tabaimo. A further dance composition entitled Shitafon, by Mami Shimazakito to be held on 14 April at the Suzanne Dellal Center and Motoharu Kurahashi, contemporary artist exhibition, at the Inga Gallery, Tel Aviv later in the year.

Both shows will take place at Ramat Gan Stadium. According to the organisers 30,000 tickets to the tour debut in Israel have already been sold with over 2,000 travel packages, including hotel accommodations, for tourists arriving from abroad.

A long time friend of the Jewish State, her decision to kick off her world tour in Israel comes as no surprise.

The world tour is to promote her new album, entitled MDNA. This will be Madonna’s fourth performance in Israel. Her first show was in 1993, and in her last world tour, “Sticky & Sweet”, Madonna brought her mix of provocative music and spirituality to the Holy Land with two concerts in 2009.

Madonna to kick start her world tour from Israel

Madonna also visited Israel in 2004 and 2007 on private pilgrimages, along with other Kabbalah devotees.

She’s been an avid follower in Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, for more than a decade and has taken on a Hebrew name, Esther.




Jean-Claude Pennetier

9.5.2012 8pm HK City Hall Concert Hall

Music Director/Conductor


Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall $320, $220, $140



Serenade No 6 in D, K239, “Serenata Notturna” Mozart Piano Concerto No 20 in D minor, K466 Brahms Symphony No 3 in F, Op 90

Yip Wing-sie © YVONNE CHAN


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Jewish Times Asia April 2012


Revolutionary Associations

his year’s month of February marked the centennial of the completion of China’s first revolution of the 20th century: the founding of the Republic of China, the first republic in Asia, by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

behaved, moral man. Cohen mourned Sun’s 1925 passing like one grieves for a father. He thereafter served both Sun’s widow and the Kuomintang in various missions, earning an honorary generalship in the process. In 1922, Sun was driven out of Canton by his warlord ally and found refuge in the French concession of Shanghai. On a previous stay there, Sun had met representatives of the Jewish community, notably N.E.B. Ezra, publisher of the Sephardi Zionist newspaper Israel’s Messenger, and David Rabinovich, publisher of Nasha Zhizn, the organ of the Russian Jewish community.

An idealistic revolutionary, Sun (known in China and Taiwan as Sun Zhongshan) believed that for China to become a modern, democratic, progressive country, respected by the world, the declining Qing dynasty founded by the Manchu invaders in 1644 had to be overthrown and replaced by a republican form of government. But Sun’s concerns for the future of his country ran deeper. Like many Chinese reformers and revolutionaries of his time, he was influenced by the pernicious doctrine of social Darwinism, which viewed the world as an arena of international rivalry and struggle, in which only the fittest among the nations survived. China had suffered so many humiliating defeats in its confrontations with the West and Japan that it seemed its very survival was in question. This led Sun, among others, to view the historical fate of the Jewish people as a mirror of what might await China: exile and persecution. Sun bemoaned China’s lack of cohesion and his prescription was for them to follow the Jewish example of possessing a firm sense of nationhood. Sun strongly admired Zionism and, over the years, he had contact and formed relationships with several Jews. For more than a decade from his places of exile in Japan and North America, Sun led the Kuomintang, the Chinese Nationalist Party that he founded. His followers attempted almost yearly uprisings in coastal cities of China in the hope that any of these could become the spark that would light up the revolutionary conflagration. In 1908, the empress-dowager Cixi, who for half a century had ruled the empire with an iron hand, died, leaving on the throne an infant emperor and a weak regent. Three years later, on 10 October, 1911, the garrison of the inland metropolis of Wuchang rose in revolt and revolution spread across the south.


In a letter published after the Balfour Declaration in Israel’s Messenger, Sun assured Ezra of his wholehearted support for the Zionist movement, which he identified with China’s struggle for national emancipation.

Dr Sun Yat-sen

Sun returned to China and was proclaimed president of the Republic of China in the southern capital Nanjing (Nanking). However, the north and Beijing remained firmly under the control of the dynasty and its most powerful army, commanded by the opportunistic general Yuan Shikai, who inflicted defeat on the revolutionaries and then negotiated a settlement: in exchange for Yuan forcing the monarchy to abdicate, Sun would yield the presidency of the republic to him. Yuan’s next move was to stage a coup and make himself president for life in 1913 and emperor in 1915. However, Yuan’s death the following year saw China break up into regions ruled by opposing warlords while, in Beijing, a weak government and president maintained a semblance of unity. Back in Canada, in 1912, the adventurer Moishe (Morris) Cohen, the unruly son of a London East End gabbai, had been inducted into the membership of the Calgary branch of the Kuomintang by the Chinese friends he had made

in the course of his activities, in Saskatchewan and Alberta, activities that landed him in the Prince Albert penitentiary. Cohen was the only Caucasian to earn that mark of trust, and he had previously won distinction for his bravery and competence as a sergeant in the Edmonton Irish Brigade during the WWI. After WWI, Cohen embarked on a new life of adventure in China, where he was introduced to Sun, who made him his chief bodyguard. In 1917, Sun had established a revolutionary government in Canton, from where he hoped to gather forces to fight the northern warlords and finally reunify China under the leadership of the Kuomintang. In the course of a foiled attempt on Sun’s life, Cohen suffered a wound to his left arm; this inspired him to train himself to shoot from both hands, hence earning the sobriquet, “Two-Gun Cohen.” Cohen greatly admired Sun, and the Chinese leader’s ascendancy over him seems to have changed him into a well-

Grigori Nahumovich Voitinsky, agent of the Communist International (Comintern) organization, was also present in China around that time. In Shanghai since 1920, Voitinsky established relationships with radical young professors and students and persuaded them to found the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. In 1922, the Comintern adopted a strategy of alliance between European communists and revolutionary nationalists in Asian countries that were colonies (India, Indonesia) or semicolonies like China, in order to break the encirclement of Soviet Russia by Western and Japanese imperialism. To implement Vladimir Lenin’s “two-stage revolution” theory for Asia (which stated that national liberation and the proletarian socialist revolution could be only achieved following industrialisation and the modernisation of government), the Comintern dispatched Adolf Abramovich Yoffe to Shanghai. There, he and Sun crafted a formal agreement known as the Sun-Yoffe Declaration of 1923, whereby the two men agreed that Soviet Russia would provide assistance to China even though it was not ripe for a Soviet-style revolution. No sooner was the agreement signed, than a coalition of minor warlords occupied Canton and invited Sun to return and re-establish a revolutionary government.

At Sun’s request, the Comintern now sent to Canton a most experienced veteran revolutionary, Mikhail Markovich Gruzenberg, alias Borodin. Borodin, a native of Riga, had for years been active in leftwing movements in Chicago. He became Sun’s chief advisor. At Borodin’s urging, Sun reorganized the Kuomintang into a disciplined party following a Leninist model, and created a revolutionary army led by the party, for which Russia provided instructors (chiefly general Vassili Bluecher, alias Galin) and weapons. In addition, Borodin helped Sun to make his ideas more coherent in the form of an ideology based on three principles: nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood (welfare statism). Disappointed with the failure of the West and Japan to support his movement, Sun heavily relied on the Soviet alliance. He did, however, resist the more radical suggestions of Borodin, such as confiscating the land of the landlord class. In May 1925, Sun was invited to Beijing by a coalition of warlords who sought to negotiate for a peaceful reunification of China. Sun died soon after his arrival of lung cancer. By the following year, the Kuomintang’s revolutionary army undertook its northern expedition to reunify China but, by then, Borodin was bested by the army’s commander, Chiang Kai-shek, who, notwithstanding his graduation from the Moscow military academy, turned by force against his communist allies and expelled Borodin and other Soviet advisors from China. After establishing his National Government in Nanjing, Chiang claimed Sun’s mantle, and enshrined his predecessor as “Father of the Nation” in an elaborate mausoleum. His government did not, however, pursue Sun’s pro-Zionist promise: in the United Nations vote of November 1947, which decided on the partition of Palestine, its representative abstained. China’s consul-general in Vienna did nevertheless save thousands of Jews by issuing visas to China before the war broke out. Supplied by Rene Goldman, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia. This article also appeared in Vancouver’s Jewish weekly The Jewish Independent.


Jewish Times Asia April 2012

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Jewish Times Asia April 2012



Understanding the significance of Pesach

he holiday of Pesach / Passover begins on 15 Nissan and marks the anniversary of the birth of the Jewish nation.

Apart from its historical significance it also has agricultural importance and represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel. The festival lasts for seven days (eight days outside of Israel). The first and last days of the holiday (first two and last two outside of Israel) are days on which no work is allowed. The intermediate days on which work is permitted are referred to as Chol Ha-Mo’ed. The primary observances

of Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. The name Pesach literally means to pass through, to pass over. It refers to the fact that G-d “passed over” the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt.

The holiday is also known as Chag Ha Aviv (the Spring Festival), Chag Ha-Matzot, (the Festival of Matzahs), and Z’man Cheiruteinu, (the Time of Our Freedom.

The most significant observance related to the festival involves the removal of chametz from our homes. This commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. It includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) that has not been completely cooked within 18 minutes after coming into contact with water. Ashkenazic Jews also avoid rice, corn, peanuts, and legumes (beans) as if they were chametz. All of these items are common-

ly used to make bread, thus use of them was prohibited to avoid any confusion. Such additional items are known as kitniyot.

All chametz, including utensils used to cook chametz, must either be disposed of or sold to a non-Jew (they can be repurchased after the holiday). The process of cleaning the home of all chametz in preparation is an enormous task and spend several days scrubbing and covering all surfaces that come into contact with food. The morning before the Seder, a formal search of the house for chametz is undertaken, and any remaining chametz is burned.

The festival is marked by the celebration of an elaborate

Seder on the first two nights (in Israel, on the first night only). The Seder is designed to give each Jew the experience of “going from slavery into freedom.” The text of the Pesach Seder is written in a book called the Haggadah, that tells the story of the Exodus and explains some of the practices and symbols of the holiday. We recount the Ten Plagues. We eat symbols of slavery and freedom, and partake in a festive meal. The day before the festival is the Fast of the Firstborn, a minor fast for all firstborn males, commemorating the fact that the firstborn Jewish males in Egypt were not killed during the final plague. During the holiday we eat symbolic food such as Matzah, which is unleavened bread, made simply from flour and water and cooked very quickly. This is the bread that the Jews made for their flight from Egypt. The Seder is comprised of 15 sequential steps. Supplied by Judaism 101 website: www.


KADESH: To begin we make Kiddush and sanctify the day. URCHATZ: Wash our hands without a blessing. KARPAS: We take a green vegetable and bless G-d for creating fruits from the ground. YACHATZ: We break the middle matzah, and put it aside. MAGGID: The power of speech given to humanity. RACHTZAH: We wash our hands. MOTZI: We make a blessing to thank G-d for bread. MATZAH: We eat the unleavend bread. MARROR: We eat the bitter herbs in combination with matzah. KORECH: The Hillel Sandwich “bricks-and-mortar:” SHULCHAN ORECH: A festive meal. TZAFUN: The last thing we eat is the Afikoman. BARECH: Grace After Meals. HALLEL : We recite Hallel. NIRTZAH: Conclusion

Jewish Times Asia April 2012


April Parashas 7 April 2012 / 15 Nisan 5772: SHABBAT – FIRST DAY PESACH

21 April 2012 / 29 Nisan 5772: SHEMINI – SHABBAT MEVARECHIM

On the first day of Pesach we read from the Book of Exodus Chapters 12:21-51. The Parsha specifically deals with this festival, with the bringing of the Passover Offering in Egypt, the plague of the Firstborn at the stroke of midnight, and how G-d took the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

The Parsha begins with the seven-day inauguration of Aharon and his sons. The ceremonies for the Mishkan consecration had begun. Over 40 offerings would be brought on that first day. Aharon blessed the nation with the standard priestly blessing. The deaths of Nadav and Avihu are recorded at the very same time that fire descended from heaven to light the Mishkan. Moshe instructs Aharon and his two remaining sons, Elazar and Isamar, that they are forbidden to overtly mourn the deaths of Nadav and Avihu in the standard manner. It is from here that we are taught the standard practices of tearing Kriyah and of mourners not cutting their hair. The basic laws of kosher and non-kosher animals, fish, and fowl are recorded. The basic laws of purity and impurity are recorded.

14 April 2012 / 22 Nisan 5772: SHABBAT – EIGHT DAY PESACH On the eighth day of Pesach we read from the Book of Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17. Like the reading for the second day, it catalogues the annual cycle of festivals, their special observances, and the offerings brought on these occasions to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The eighth day’s special connection with the Future Redemption is reflected in the Haftorah (reading from the Prophets) for this day (Isaiah 10:32-12:6).

HOLIDAYS/ FASTS/ ROSH CHODESH/ SPECIAL DAYS Fast of the First Born: 6 April 2012 (14 Nisan 5772)

Pesach (First Night Seder 6 April):

Rosh Chodesh: 22 April 2012 (30 Nisan 5772) 23 April 2012 (1 Iyar 5772)

6 April 2012 (14 Nisan 5772) to 13 April 2012 (21 Nisan 5772)

Yom Hazikaron:

Yom Hashoah:

Yom Ha’atzmaut:

19 April 2012 (27 Nisan 5772)

25 April 2012 (3 Iyar 5772) 26 April 2012 (4 Iyar 5772)

28 April 2012 / 6 Iyan 5772: TAZRIA – METZORA Two types of bodily spiritual impurity are described. The first occurs after childbirth. After a period of 33 days in the case of a boy, and after 66 days in the case of a girl, the mother would complete this period by bringing an offering to the Temple. The second, which is incorrectly termed as leprosy, comes in several forms affecting the body and the home. Our sages deduce the cause of Tzara’as is Lashon HaRah – speaking badly about others, which can have the effect of excluding the target of such talk from the community. The remedy is to exclude the speaker himself while he or she undergoes spiritual purification. The Parasha continues with the purification process for the metzora, the person afflicted with Tzara’as and then the home afflicted with Tzara’as. The portion ends with the purification process for discharges from the flesh. The disease progressively afflicted home, clothes and then one’s skin -unless the individual corrected his ways and followed the purification process stated in the Torah.

Candle Lighting Times Countries

6 April

13 April

20 April

27 April

6:12 6:25 6:26 6:22 6:06 6:06 5:51 6:36 5:49 5:58 6:53 6:41 5:54 5:48

6:13 6:32 6:29 6:25 6:10 6:11 5:52 6:38 5:40 6:03 6:51 6:47 5:57 5:54

6:14 6:39 6:32 6:27 6:13 6:17 5:53 6:39 5:32 6:08 6:50 6:54 6:01 6:00

6:15 6:47 6:35 6:30 6:17 6:22 5:54 6:42 5:25 6:12 6:49 7:00 6:04 6:06

Bangkok Beijing Guangzhou Hong Kong Katmandu Kobe Manila Mumbai Perth Shanghai Singapore Seoul Taipei Tokyo Candlelighting times are taken from


Chabad Jewish Center House # 32, Street 228, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: (855) 85 807 205


Chabad of Hong Kong: 1/F Hoover Court, 7-9 Macdonell Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 9770 Ohel Leah Synagogue: 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2589 2621

Beijing Chabad House and Community centre: Fang Yuan Xi Lu, next to the south gate of Si De Park, Beijing, PR China Tel: (8610) 8470 8238 ext. 210, (86) 13910740109

United Jewish Congregation (Reform): Jewish Community Centre, One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2523 2985

Chabad of Ya Bao Lu: Jian Guo Men Diplomatic Bldg, Building 3, 2/F, 223 Chaoyangmennei Street, Beijing, PR China TeL: (86) 1352 2016 427 Email:

Kowloon Kehilat Zion (Orthodox): Unit 105, 1/F, Wing on Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon Tel: (852) 2368 0061

Kehillat Beijing (Reform): Capital Club Athletic Center, 3/F., Ballroom, Capital Mansion, 6 Xinyuan Nanlu Chaoyang District, Beijing, PR China Tel: (86) 10 6467 2225

Chabad of Kowloon: 11 Hart Avenue, 2/F, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Tel: (852) 2366 5770 Email:

Guangzhou Guangzhou Chabad: 31 He Ping Lu, Overseas Village, Guangzhou, China Tel: (86) 137 1050 5049

Magen David Synagogue: 340 Sir J.J. Rd, Byculla, Mumbai Tel: (91) 22 23006675

Shanghai Shanghai Chabad (Shanghai Jewish Center): Shang-Mira Garden Villa #1, 1720 Hong Qiao Road, Shanghai, 200336, PR China Tel: (86) 21 6278 0225 Chabad of Pudong: Vila # 69, 2255 Luoshan Road, Shanghai, 200135, PR China Tel: (86) 21 5878 2008 Sephardi Shanghai Center: Building B. Apt. 3 (Room 103), 1000 Gubei Road, Shanghai, PR China 201103 Tel: (86) 21 6208 8327 Mobile: (86) 15900808733 Email:, Shenzhen Shenzhen Chabad: No.4, Block A, Guishan Xiaozhu Yanshan Road, Industrial Area, Shekou Nanshan District, Shenzhen, PR China Tel: (86) 755 8207 0712

Hong Kong

Jewish Community Centre: One Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2801 5440

Shuva Israel (Orthodox): 2/F Fortune House, 61 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2851 6300

India (Mumbai)

Kenesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, 43 Dr V.B. Gandhi Marg, Fort, Mumbai Tel: (91) 22 22831502 / 22839617


Chesed-El Synagogue: 2 Oxley Rise, Singapore 238693 Jacob Ballas Community Centre & Maghain Aboth Synagogue: 24-26 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187950 Tel: (65) 6337 2189 United Hebrew Congregation (Reform):

South Korea

Chabad: 744-18 Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul 140-893, South Korea Tel: (82) 107 730 3770


Taipei Jewish Center: 2/F No. 8, Lane 180, Songde Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City 110, Taiwan Tel: (886) 9 2392 3770 Taipei Jewish Community: 16 Min Tsu East Road, Second Floor, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC Tel: (886) 2 2591 3565 Taipei Jewish Services: Sheraton Taipei Hotel, 12, Zhang Xiao East Road, Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: (886) 2 2321 5511, (886) 2 2394 4240


Jewish Association of Thailand: 121 Soi Sai Nam Thip 2, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok, Thailand Tel: (662) 663 0244

Kurla Bene Israel: 275 C.S.T. Rd, Jewish Colony, Kurla (W) Mumbai, India Tel: (91) 22 511-2132

Chabad of Thailand: 96 Rambutttri St. Banglamphu, 102000 Bangkok, Thailand Tel: (662) 629 2770


Bet Sefer Chabad: 221 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Bangkok, 10110 Thailand Tel: (662) 258 3434

Kobe Ohel Shelomoh Synagogue and Community Center: 4-12-12, Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650, Japan Tel: (81) 78 221 7236 Tokyo Tokyo Chabad: 1-5-23 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan 108-0073 Tel: (813) 5789 2846 JCC Japan: Tokyo Jewish Community Centre, 8-8 Hiroo 3-Chome, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150 0012, Japan Tel: (813) 3400 2559


Chabad House: GHA-2-516-4 Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: (977) 980 324 1294


Beth Yaacov Synagogue: 110 H.V. de la Costa cnr, Tordesillas West, Salcedo Village, Makati City, Metro Manila 1227, The Philippines Tel: (632) 815 0265

Chabad of Phuket 52/32 Ratch U-thit Song Roy Pee Rd. (opposite Patong Post Office), Second row of town houses, Patong, Katu District, Phuket 83150 Chiang Mai 189/15 Chang-Clan Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, On street of Night Bazaar, 100 Meters before The Empress hotel Tel: (66) 81 870 2249


Chabad: 5A (villa) Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Dakao ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Tel: (84) 90 9166770


Jewish Times Asia April 2012

April 2012 • Volume 7 • Issue 1 • Nisan / lyar 5772  

Jewish Times Asia, was established in 2006, and is the regions first independent community newspaper for Jewish residents, business travelle...

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