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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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  • Israel’s outgoing ambassador awarded highest Guatemalan honor for strengthening ties

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The outgoing Israeli ambassador to Guatemala was awarded the country’s highest honor in recognition of his cooperation in strengthening the political dialogue between the Central American nation and the Jewish state. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales decorated Amb. Moshe Bachar with the Order of Quetzal on the Grand Cross degree last…

  • Brazilian Israelis launch group to help growing stream of newcomers

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Amid growing immigration from Brazil to Israel, Brazilian Jews living in the Jewish state established an organization devoted to facilitating the absorption of the newcomers. Olim MeBrasil, or Immigrants from Brazil, was registered Tuesday as a nongovernmental association in Israel. “The idea came with the increase in olim coming from…

  • 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…