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Marcus M. Gilban RSS

is JTA's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro. A freelance journalist and columnist, he contributes to Brazilian Jewish newspapers, magazines and news portals.

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  • Oldest synagogue in the Americas is only non-Christian site to join Brazilian religious tourism project

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Kahal Zur Israel, the oldest synagogue in the Americas, has become the first Jewish site to join a Brazilian governmental tourism project. The synagogue is the only non-Christian temple to join the “Sacred Recife” project, which includes another seven churches, chapels and basilicas in the city of Recife, located…

  • Brazilian Jews protest anti-Israel Islamic cleric speaking at anti-terrorism conference

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Brazil’s leading Jewish organizations have called for a boycott of a lecture by an Iranian cleric who openly preaches the destruction of Israel. Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, a Shiite, was announced as keynote speaker at an Arab-led event titled “Muslims and the Fight against Radical Terrorism” to be held July 29 in…

  • Netanyahu meets Mexican-Jewish diplomat fired for protesting UNESCO Jerusalem vote

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Mexico’s former UNESCO ambassador, who was fired last year for walking out of a vote on an anti-Israel resolution effectively denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem. Andres Roemer, who is Jewish, met with Netanyahu in Paris on Monday, just before the prime minister left for…

  • Brazil’s only Jewish congressman accused of Nazi behavior by fellow lawmaker

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Brazilian Jewish congressman was accused by one of his party’s colleagues of Nazi behavior for recommending criminal charges against Brazil’s president. “I will never bow to anyone when the offense pleaded against me is a racist atrocity alluding to my religion, though concealed by a play on words. I…

  • Rio mayor lays cornerstone for Holocaust memorial

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The mayor of Rio laid the cornerstone of a long-awaited Holocaust memorial in Brazil’s second largest city. “The greatest homage we can render to the six million victims of the Nazis is to shout to the world: Holocaust, never again!,” said Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella during Friday’s ceremony, quoting Rio’s…

  • Brazilian ambassador praises Israeli pop idols over blockbuster hit ‘Tudo Bom’

      TEL AVIV (JTA) — Brazil’s newly-appointed ambassador to Tel Aviv has praised the Israeli duo Static & Ben El Tavori, whose latest hit, with a title in Portuguese has taken Israel by storm. Titled “Tudo Bom,” or “Everything is good” in Portuguese, the song has become a summer hit in Israel. The lyrics, full…

  • Soccer legend Ronaldo’s son to play in Israel’s Maccabiah Games

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — The son of Brazil’s legendary soccer player Ronaldo will play for Brazil at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem. Ronaldo’s son Ronald, 17, is not Jewish. But he is a member of Brazil’s Under 18 soccer team participating in the games, the so-called Jewish Olympics. A record 10,000 athletes from 80 countries will be…

  • Brazil denied 16,000 visas to Jews during Nazi regime, research reveals

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Brazilian government denied some 16,000 visas to European Jews attempting to escape the Nazi regime, according to new research looking at thousands of Brazilian documents from the World War II era. The research was undertaken by Brazil’s Virtual Archives on Holocaust and Antisemitism Institute, or Arqshoah. It was made public for…

  • Valentin Pimstein, pioneer of Mexican telenovelas, dies at 91

    (JTA) — Valentin Pimstein, an iconic Mexican telenovela producer whose serial dramas were dubbed and subtitled in dozens of languages and shown around the world, has died. Pimstein died Tuesday at 91, the “Programa Hoy” television show reported. Born in Chile, Valentin Pimstein Wiener was the seventh of nine children of a Russian-Jewish family. His love for…

  • Unable to work in Israel, Brazilian dentists demand employment permits

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — A group of Brazilian immigrants who have been unable to work in their professions in the health field in Israel demanded work permits during a Knesset session. Representatives of the Israeli ministries of health, absorption and education, as well as the Jewish Agency, heard claims Tuesday from dentists, psychologists, physiotherapists, phonologists and…