Berkeley Commission Rejects Israel Divestment Resolution

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A Berkeley, Calif., commission rejected a resolution to divest from companies that do business with Israel. The Berkeley City Human Welfare and Community Action Commission voted 5-2 against the resolution, with one abstention, on Oct. 21. City Attorney Zach Cowan said the issue was not within the purview of the commission, which generally addresses issues… Read More

MSNBC Apologizes for ‘Not Factually Accurate’ Maps of Israel

(Screenshot)

MSNBC apologized for using “not factually accurate” maps in a segment discussing the violence that has erupted across Israel in recent weeks. “MSNBC Live” host Kate Snow acknowledged last week that her show displayed maps describing present-day Israel as a Palestinian state in 1946, when the area was under British mandate rule. The series of… Read More

Portugal Issues First Passport Under New Sephardic Law

Portuguese Passport (biometric)

Officials in Lisbon approved the naturalization of a Panamanian national who applied for a Portuguese passport under recent legislation benefiting the descendants of Sephardic Jews. Alfonso Paredes was the first applicant to obtain Portuguese nationality since new regulations for the naturalization of Sephardic Jews went into effect in March, according to the Jewish Community of… Read More

Israel is Leading in Google Space Competition

(RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS/Newscom)

A team of Israeli engineers is leading in a Google-sponsored international contest to send a privately funded spacecraft to the moon. SpaceIL, a nonprofit Israeli group working out of Tel Aviv University, is the first of 16 groups vying in the Lunar XPrize competition to finalize a contract with a launch provider and have technical… Read More

SodaStream Offers to Take in Syrian Refugees

A dinghy carrying refugees arrives 
at a beach on the island of Lesbos 
in northern Greece.

JERUSALEM — The Israeli company SodaStream has offered to take in Syrian refugees and employ them in its new factory in the Negev Desert. In an announcement last week, SodaStream and the mayor of Rahat, which is near the home beverage maker’s factory, said they can absorb up to 200 families. Some 3­0 percent of… Read More

New Australian PM Reportedly HAS Jewish Roots

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull, a multimillionaire who reportedly has Jewish roots, has been sworn in as Australia’s new prime minister. Turnbull became the country’s new leader Sept. 15, defeating Tony Abbott in a Labor Party leadership ballot the day before. The pro-Israel Abbott resigned after the vote. Turnbull spoke about his Jewish roots in a 2013 interview… Read More

Tennessee Governor and First Lady Visit Rambam Health Care in Haifa

Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.), right, with Zvi Peleg, director general of Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools.

A delegation of leading government, business, health care and Jewish community leaders from Tennessee, including Gov. Bill Haslam and his wife Crissy, visited the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa to see the latest innovations in health care and discuss collaboration between the state and the hospital. The Rambam Health Care Campus is Northern Israel’s… Read More

Chinese Conglomerate Paying $76.5M for Ahava

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China’s largest privately owned conglomerate will pay nearly $76.5 million to become the majority shareholder of the Israeli Ahava cosmetics company. The number of shares that Fosun International will buy has yet to be determined, but the company signed an agreement to become the majority owner, Globes reported. Ahava, which makes skin care products from… Read More

Brazilian ‘Model Knesset’ Event Draws 120 Young Applicants

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The Jewish Agency for Israel is organizing a Model Knesset event in Brazil for 120 young Jews and non-Jews who will simulate the work of the parliament in Jerusalem. The event, which is scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo next month for the second consecutive year, will feature two days of mock votes and… Read More