Wearing tefillin in Jordan
may invite terrorist attack
TEL AVIV (WJC)—Jordan has denied an Israeli citizen entry into the country after border guards noticed that the traveler was carrying a prayer shawl and phylacteries (tefilin), ‘Israel Radio’ reports. After initially being stopped by Jordanian authorities at the border crossing near Eilat, the tourist reportedly offered to leave the traditional prayer items on the Israeli side, but to no avail.
Upon his return home, he sent a letter of protest to the Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv, who responded that security concerns required that travelers entering the Hashemite Kingdom not do so with prayer shawls and phylacteries.
Three years ago, Jordan prevented Orthodox Jewish Israelis from entering the country on the grounds that they would become the targets of terrorist attacks.
G8 gives Iran the summer
to mull nuclear negotiations
L'AQUILA, Italy (WJC)—At the G8 summit of major world powers in L’Aquila, Italy, Iran was given until September to accept negotiations over its nuclear program or else face tougher sanctions. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said countries would review the situation at a G20 meeting of developed and developing countries in Pittsburgh on 24/25 September. "If there is no progress by then we will have to take decisions," said Sarkozy after discussions with G8 partners.
The United States and Canada said the world's main industrialized nations were growing increasingly impatient. "All G8 nations are united. There is a strong consensus at the table that unless things change soon, there will be further action," said Canadian spokesman Dimitri Soudas.
Sarkozy also warned that a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be an “absolute catastrophe” for the world. "Israel should know that it is not alone and look at all this calmly. If I have fought so hard in the name of France to get people talking about Iran it's also a message to the Israelis that they are not alone," the French president said.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
Bruce Kesler recommends this article by Jennifer Rubin on Commentary Magazine's website about President Obama's scheduled meeting with Jewish leadership. Here's the link.
Jay Jacobson in Minneapolis forwards this link from the Wall Street Journal in which writer Jeff Robbins considers the impacts of President Barack Obama distancing himself from Israel. Here's the link.
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Venture capitalist Mouli Cohen
supports orphanage in Odessa
ODESSA, Ukraine (Press Release)—Launched ten years ago by the local Jewish community, an orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine, has experienced growth and success in recent months thanks to donations by philanthropist Mouli Cohen and his wife Stacy Cohen.
The orphanage currently provides a home to 55 South Ukrainian boys and girls whose parents were either alcoholics, drug addicts or generally unwell. Some of the children have suffered from violence, others have been orphaned by one of their parents and their relatives are unable to raise them.
"These children have nowhere else to go, so as a community we must continue to support a home for them," says Rabbi Abraham Wolff, chief rabbi of Odessa, a city where around 50,000 Jews live.
The story of the Jewish community orphanage began in September 1999 when the rabbi was approached by a woman who pleaded with him to take her two grandchildren. Her request was peculiar, but her explanation was heartbreaking. She told the rabbi: "My daughter was murdered in her yard... these are her children, who are students in your school. With my very small monthly pension, I am not capable of raising them, to supply them with meals or with the necessary clothing they need. Please take them!"
The orphanage, which provides the children with the most basic physical and medical needs, and organizes weekly trips and events, currently employs a team of educators, counselors, doctors and psychologists to tend to the needs of the children.
Without the support of Mouli Cohen, an Israeli-born American entrepreneur and philanthropist, and his wife Stacy Cohen, an author, the Jewish community would not have the resources needed to continue to expand the orphanage and take on more children.
"With Mr. and Ms. Cohen's important donations and interest for the orphanage, there is a brighter future for the Jewish children of Odessa," stresses Rabbi Wolff.
"It is an absolute honor that I can be involved in any way to help the orphanage. I have been amazed at the development of the kids at the orphanage, and seeing our children attaining top positions in local and regional English and Mathematics contests shows that our efforts are worth it," says Mouli Cohen.
Graduating students are granted matriculation certificates recognized by the local Ministry of Education that provides them with the option to continue their studies in academic institutes within the Community of Independent States or elsewhere in the world.
Cohen is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Voltage Capital and Ecast who has developed ventures in biotechnology, high technology, digital media and entertainment sectors.