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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

January 17, 2014  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

Text: T T T

Just a nosh...

Complied from JTA news service

Kerry asks Vatican to help secure release from Cuba for Alan Gross

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked the Vatican to intercede in helping free American-Jewish contractor Alan Gross from a Cuban jail. Kerry said in a meeting Jan. 14 with the Vatican’s secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, they discussed Cuba and the need for respect for freedom of religion

“I raised the issue of Alan Gross and his captivity, and we hope very much that they might be able to be of assistance with respect to that issue,” Kerry said.

Gross, 64, a subcontractor for the State Department on a mission to hook up Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet, was arrested in December 2009 as he was leaving Cuba. The Maryland resident is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”

Edward Alex Lee, the U.S. acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, met with Gross recently while in Havana for migration talks with Cuba. Lee said that during the talks, the United States demanded that Cuba release Gross, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.

American-born rabbi honored by Queen Elizabeth II

An American-born rabbi was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. Rabbi Mark Winer, a British subject and a U.S. citizen, is believed to be the first American rabbi to be so honored. Rabbi Winer, 71, received the honor for services to interfaith dialogue and social cohesion in the United Kingdom. He said in a statement that he was “humbled and thrilled” to accept the honor.

For 30 years, he led congregations in the United States before moving in 1998 to London, where he spent 12 years as senior rabbi of the Reform West London Synagogue of British Jews. Winer is founder of the international charitable initiative FAITH: The Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony.

Palestinian film up for Oscar

The Palestinian film Omar, directed by Hany Abu- Assad, has just been nominated for an Academy Award in the Foreign Language Film category. It’s the second nomination for Abu-Assad, whose Paradise Now was up for the prize in 2005.

Omar is a romantic thriller about a baker arrested and beaten by Israeli intelligence agents following the murder of an Israeli soldier. He is then forced to become a double agent for Israeli intelligence.

Nazareth-born Abu-Assad has Israeli citizenship but identifies as a Palestinian, The Times of Israel reports. Apparently the film itself has a similar slippery identity. Local media has questioned whether it should be labeled a Palestinian film, as it was filmed in the Israeli town of Nazareth and features several Israeli Arab actors. Abu-Assad, who made the film with an entirely Palestinian crew and had mostly Palestinian funding, says there’s no debating the fact that it is an entirely Palestinian film.


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