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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Avian Flu Detected Among Water Fowl at Ramat Gan National Park

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The Ramat Gan National Park has announced that avian flu was detected Thursday morning among some of its water fowl.

Two ducks and a goose died of the disease there.

Officials at the park have consulted with authorities at the local and national level, who say this strain of flu isn’t fatal to human beings.

The park is operating as usual and officials are taking all the necessary precautions while continuing to monitor the situation.

Also known as “bird flu,” the H5N8 virus was also found this week in chickens and ducks in a backyard flock of chickens and elsewhere in other chickens and ducks in Wales. It has already been identified elsewhere in the UK.

Poultry owners across Britain were told they must keep their chickens, ducks and geese away from wild birds until at least Feb. 28, according to The Guardian.

Those with a few backyard hens were told to take the birds indoors to reduce the chances of them coming into contact with wild birds. The restrictions were initially imposed on Dec. 6.

Hana Levi Julian

Prof. John Michael Kosterlitz is 2016 Nobel Laureate in Physics

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three British citizens who today live and work in the United States, and who “revealed the secrets of exotic matter” – David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and John Michael Kosterlitz.

Thouless, 82, is a professor emeritus at University of Washington, and won one half of the award himself. Haldane, 65, is a physics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey, and Kosterlitz, 73, is a physics professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The two men split the second half of the award.

Kosterlitz was born during World War II, in 1942, to German Jewish immigrants in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Together the three British citizens were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” All three of the scientists now work in the United States.

Each worked to use topological concepts in physics, a branch of mathematics used to discover new information about the world around us. Their discovery helps to explain how matter can exist in strange states in some realms, thus providing scientists with the information they need to further explore the potential of new materials.

Jewish Press News Briefs

‘What’s Changed about Being Jewish in Scotland?’ Fear, Study Finds

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities recently issued the final draft of a report titled, “What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland,” the catalyst for which was the huge spike in anti-Semitic incidents in August 2014 (the time of the Gaza War), when SCoJeC received almost as many reports in a single month as in the entire previous year:

“The large increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Scotland during the third quarter of 2014 following the war in Gaza came as an unwelcome shock, not only to the Jewish community, but to civil society at large. During august 2014 alone, SCoJeC received more than 25 reports relating to at least 12 separate anti-Semitic incidents, almost as many as in the whole of 2013, and police in Scotland advised us that they had received reports of threatening phone calls and e-mails, graffiti on synagogues, and two cases of incitement to break the criminal law. In addition, many people told us that they now felt uncomfortable, anxious, and in some cases even afraid, going about their day-to-day activities as Jewish people in Scotland. Although these absolute numbers may not seem high, the most recent Scottish government figures reveal that, when the size of the different faith communities is taken into account, Judaism is almost 8 times, and Islam 3 times as likely as Christianity to be the victim of religious hatred,” SCoJeC related on its website.

Like the 2012 study, the new report provides a comprehensive overview of what Jewish people in Scotland are thinking, feeling, and experiencing, based on responses from a significant cross-section of the Jewish population of Scotland, spread across the entire country “from the Borders to the Shetlands, from members of the larger Jewish communities in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the smaller ones in Dundee and Aberdeen, and also from Jewish people who live very many miles from the any Jewish facilities.”

“We heard from Jewish people whose families had lived in Scotland for generations, and people who had very recently arrived in Scotland from other parts of the world,” the organization says, adding, “We heard from members of the Orthodox, Reform, and Liberal Jewish communities, as well as from people with no connection to formal Judaism, from people who had no interest in the Jewish religion or Jewish ritual, but who, in a wide variety of ways, felt connected to Jewish culture or for whom particular foods or melodies evoked their childhood, as well as from people who only found out they were Jewish as adults.”

The following are quotes from the new report. For the full report click here.

“As a child and teenager growing up in Edinburgh, I was proud to say I was Jewish and it was viewed positively by Edinburgh people who often had memories themselves of growing up alongside Jewish people and spoke enthusiastically of that. I am very wary now to be up front about being Jewish in certain circles, and especially after the events this summer [2014].” (F, 60s, Edinburgh)

“As far as the children are concerned we are telling them to be less open about being Israelis. Two years ago it wasn’t like this. It is a question of safety now.” (M, 40s, Edinburgh)

“As more and more of my friends have moved away, I increasingly feel like a minority. I am not aware of any other Jews in my workplace (it is a large organization). I think this has made it even more important to me to represent my race in Scotland. It has also changed in the last year due to the Scottish reaction to Operation Protective Edge, in particular the raising of the Palestinian flag. I am using social media much more regularly to try and educate friends about the situation in the Middle East. (F, 30s, Glasgow)


PM David Cameron Signs Off; Britain Greets Incoming PM Theresa May

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Conservative Members of the British Parliament gave outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron a standing ovation Wednesday as he completed his final session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. Even some of the Opposition relented with applause.

Cameron has, by and large, enjoyed a positive relationship with Israel and with top Israeli government officials.

“I was the future once,” he told them — a reference to a remark he once made when addressing then-Prime Minister Tony Blair (“He was the future once”) in his first PMQ session as head of the Tory party.

Cameron was photographed with his wife and three young children outside the famous “black door” of Number 10 Downing Street after the session. He said he believed his six-year tenure had left England “much stronger” with an “immeasurably stronger” economy, a reduced deficit, increased international aid spending and reduced National Health Service waiting lists. He spoke with pride about having introduced gay marriage and paid tribute to his wife, who he said “kept [him] vaguely sane.”

Cameron’s successor, former Interior Minister Theresa May, vowed to “build a better Britain, not just for the privileged few,” upon taking office Wednesday afternoon. She kissed the hand of Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace soon after a similar ceremony had taken place with the now-former prime minister.

May spoke of her determination to cement the bond between Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and promised to “rise to the challenge” of forging a “bold new positive role” for the UK in the world after negotiating the exit of the UK from the European Union.

The new prime minister emphasized her intention to serve as a “One Nation” leader, representing all voters and not just the elite and the business world.

May is the country’s second female prime minister, and the first woman to serve in the post since Margaret Thatcher.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Bye Bye Brussels!’ – Britain Votes to Leave the EU

Friday, June 24th, 2016

British citizens are done with being one of many — 28, to be precise — and they made their views clear in a referendum Thursday with a vote to leave the European Union.

They wanted their borders back, their own British Pound Sterling, thank you, and the safety of being able to make their own security decisions.

The vote was called late Thursday night at 52 percent in favor of ‘Brexit’ as the leaving was called, and 48 percent against, according to ITV and the BBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who said his position would be ‘untenable’ if the country chose not to remain within the EU, now finds himself having to decide his next move. Cameron had warned there would be “no turning back” if the UK were to separate itself from the European body, looking at the impact on banks and other financial institutions as well as other issues.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage described a poster showing a line of asylum seekers as “a statement about the whole of the European Union,” according to CNN. Farage delivered a victory speech to supporters upon hearing the news of the final results at a polling station in Birmingham.

The ‘victory’ may be a bit premature, however: Scotland warned from the outset that should England decide to leave the EU, the decision would launch a discussion about whether or not to hold another referendum on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom.

Should Scotland vote for independence, the UK decision to leave the European Union — which may ultimately lead to the disintegration of the EU — will have led to its own dissolution as well.

Analysts around the world are now weighing the effect of the British decision on the world economy and it impacts individual nations along with their currencies, pension funds and banking systems. It is also not clear what effect this will have on the British Jewish community both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

In trading Thursday night, the British pound Sterling fell against the U.S. dollar and against the euro; however, the euro fell against the Japanese yen as well. All three stock markets dropped, and were set to open lower on Friday.

Political leaders in Europe are now deeply concerned that the split that exists in England may continue to divide other member states in the EU, prompting them to leave as well and perhaps lead to the dissolution of the entire European body.

Hana Levi Julian

Official New Kosher Tartan Created by Scottish-born Chabad Rabbi

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The only Scottish-born rabbi north of the border, a Chabad emissary, has created an official kosher tartan after 300 years of Jewish history in the country.

Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, who ministers to an independent Orthodox congregation in Glasgow, said he worked together with Mike Wilson, a registry official, to design the new tartan. It is officially registered with the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.

Better, it’s already available in a variety of prayer shawls, kipas and other items. An invitation has been extended to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK for a fitting with a kilt in the new kosher tartan.

Official kosher Jewish tartan registered to the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.

Official kosher Jewish tartan registered to the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.

The new tartan is a kosher non-wool/linen mix that meets the requirements of shatnez: the Torah law that prohibits Jews from wearing any mixture of wool and linen in garments.

“Jews have always had a positive relationship with Scotland,” Jacobs said. “Scotland is one of the few countries where there is no history of persecutions. There are also a lot of Jewish ex-pats around the world with links to Scotland.”

The design incorporates blue and white, the colors of both the Israeli and the Scottish flags. The central gold line represents the gold from the Ark in the Biblical Tabernacle and the ceremonial vessels. “The silver is to represent the silver that adorns the Scroll of the Law and the color red is for the traditional Kiddush wine.” There are seven lines in the central motif and three in the flag representations – both numbers of great significance in Judaism.

International attention has been drawn to the new tartan, Jacobs said, and to the design which has managed to weave together both Jewish and Scottish culture.

The idea for creating an official Jewish tartan dated back to 2008 with a Glaswegian dentist, Dr. Clive Schmulian, who discussed the possibility with Jewish Telegraph editor Paul Harris at a charity dinner in Glasgow. Schmulian was wearing a Flower of Scotland tartan kilt at the time, and was asked if there had ever been a Jewish kilt or tartan. Eventually one was produced but is no longer made.

The Jewish presence in Scotland dates back to the late 17th century, although the current population is comprised mostly of descendants of immigrants who arrived in the 1800s. Most Jews live in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Hana Levi Julian

Glasgow Holiday Shoppers Struck by ‘Out of Control’ Sanitation Truck

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A sanitation truck in Glasgow appeared Monday night to careen out of control in a popular shopping area in the city center.

The truck slammed into a crowd of holiday shoppers, killing at least six and injuring seven people seriously, possibly more.

Police did not release details about the driver, nor have they yet determined the cause of the tragedy. In a similar incident in France, the driver shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before plowing into a crowd of shoppers also Monday night.

A spokesperson for Scotland’s police service told Sky News the incident occurred in the city’s shopping center, but was unable to say how many people were hurt.

The truck appeared to have driven along a sidewalk for about 70 yards, according to an eyewitness who spoke with Reuters. The area was especially crowded due to the nearby fairground attractions and an ice-skating rink that was placed there for the holiday.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/glasgow-holiday-shoppers-struck-by-out-of-control-sanitation-truck/2014/12/22/

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