David L. Neale, a prominent bankruptcy attorney and major donor to AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), was stunned when the call came from Brazil in late 1999: His younger brother, John (not his real name), then in his mid-30s and previously robust, was gravely ill in Rio de Janeiro.
I have outrage envy. For nearly two weeks, more than a million citizens across Brazil have taken to the streets to protest political corruption, economic injustice, poor health care, inadequate schools, lousy mass transit, a crumbling infrastructure and – yes, in the land of Pelé – billions blown on sports.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that "the Holocaust is repeated when denied, relativized or softened."
A Brazilian newspaper has published an opinion article by an Iranian diplomat asserting that “there will soon be no place for Zionists in the Middle East.”
Brazil's Jewish community sent directors of five Brazilian schools named after Anne Frank on a Holocaust study tour in Amsterdam.
The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo – which has more than 11 million people -- declared Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Ramadan as official holidays.
Representatives of Brazil’s Jewish communities urged the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, not to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to Brazil.
Israel's government has set up a task force to secure the country's critical computer systems against possible cyber attacks. The task force will "encourage and develop the field of cybernetics and turn the State of Israel into a global center of knowledge, in cooperation with academia, industry, the security establishment and other public bodies," according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.
The terrorist organization al-Qaida is active in Brazil, including planning attacks and recruiting followers, a Brazilian magazine reported. The revelation published over the weekend in Veja is causing serious concern in Brazil and Argentina.
It’s time for the West to woo Latin America -- some will say it's about time. The United States and Israel appear to be heading toward increasing their focus on the area following years of neglect that has resulted in closer ties between Latin America and Iran -- and gains for the Palestinians. The shift comes amid Iran’s deepening influence in the region, as well as the successes of a Palestinian diplomatic offensive that has seen eight Latin American nations agree to recognize a Palestinian “state” in recent months.
Brazil's highest court will have its first Jewish member. Judge Luiz Fux, 57, was approved Wednesday by the South American country's Senate to be seated on the Supreme Federal Court, an 11-member panel that decides constitutional and other matters, as well as final appeals.
New Brazilian President Dilma Russeff said at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony that "The Holocaust is not and will never be just a historic moment."
Argentina has recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, according to a note sent from President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to Mahmoud Abbas.
A pioneering free-trade agreement between Israel and a bloc of South American countries began operating.
Israel is the first country outside South America to sign such agreement with Mercosur, a regional bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and produces over $3 trillion in Gross Domestic Product. With the agreement, which came into effect Sunday, bilateral trade is expected to increase threefold in the next five years.
Brazil's president laid a wreath at Yasser Arafat's grave after refusing to visit the grave of Theodor Herzl.
President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva met with Palestinian Authority leaders Wednesday in Ramallah.
Thousands of Brazilian Jews rallied to protest next month's scheduled visit to their country by Iran's president and to remember the Holocaust.
An ancient Japanese legend holds that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish. If three L.A.-area day schools were to get one, it might be for peace and understanding.
Dean Kamen, the multimillionaire inventor renowned for the Segway personal transporter, traveled to Israel with a message for teenagers: Careers in science will help make them the rock stars of their generation
Vast slums perch precariously in the hills overlooking Rio de Janeiro, each made up of thousands of sukkot -- flimsy shacks in which people live
In "Manda Bala" ("Send a Bullet"), Jason Kohn portrays a dystopian nation where the rich steal from the poor and the poor literally "steal" the rich. The movie won best documentary and documentary cinematography awards at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and "is as well directed as a thriller," according to a review in The Hollywood Reporter.
The film "City of God" shed light on a long-neglected subject, the Third World conditions and inescapable warfare existing in Rio de Janeiro's slums. Now comes "Favela Rising," a documentary that not only limns the tragedy of the favelas, the Brazilian ghettoes, but also tells the inspirational tale of Anderson Sá, a black Messiah figure who founds a reggae music club that offers a nonviolent alternative to their rampant drug and gang activity.
The pleasant smell drifted not heavenward but into the O Shil Beit Chabad Itaim Synagogue, distracting the faithful from their prayers.
Next door, the Bolinha restaurant was gearing up for its usual barrage of patrons on Saturday, when Brazilians traditionally partake of their national dish, a black bean stew called feijoada. Unfortunately for the davening Jews, the recipe for feijoada includes pork chops, pork trotters, pork tails, pork ears, pork sausage and bacon.
According to some historians, feijoada was concocted by Brazilian slaves who transformed scraps from the big house into a slave-quarters delicacy.
But the owners of Bolinha, which is nationally famous for its feijoada, cite scholarly sources to make the case that the dish is really a Brazilian variation of European fare like the Spanish cassoulet and the Portuguese caldeirada.
Whatever its origin, feijoada stands as an important symbol of Brazilian heritage. That creates "tension between Jewish and Brazilian expressions of identity," according to the anthropologist Misha Klein of the University of Oklahoma.
"Brazilians with a strong Jewish identity, including some who are somewhat religiously observant," will indulge in the occasional feijoada, although it's not kosher, Klein said.
A major new tool can help Brazilians learn about their possible Iberian Jewish origins: the "Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames," a 528-page tome featuring some 17,000 surnames of Sephardic Jewish families from Portugal, Spain and Italy and their descendants.