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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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  • An elite private academy in Rio is putting pressure on the city’s Jewish day schools

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – One of the hottest topics among Rio Jewish families today sits right across the street from both the city’s largest synagogue and the site of a future Holocaust memorial. It’s a non-Jewish day school, directed by a Cohen with the support of a Levy, that is becoming a magnet to Jewish…

  • Israeli honeymooner killed, wife injured in zip-line accident in Honduras

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – A newly wed Israeli man was killed and his wife seriously injured in a zip-line accident during their honeymoon in Honduras. Egael Tishman, 24, and Shif Fanken, 27, were on a zip line over a treetop canopy near Roatan on the island of Bahia when they crashed into each other…

  • Colombia’s president-elect open to moving embassy to Jerusalem

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Colombia’s newly elected president said he would consider moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem. Ivan Duque, 41, of the right-wing Democratic Center Party, would make Colombia the third Latin American country, and the fourth in total, to follow the example of the United States if he follows through. Israeli officials…

  • Rio mayor sings to raise funds for Holocaust memorial

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Thousands paid to watch the mayor of Rio sing at a concert where the box office was entirely donated to the construction of a Holocaust memorial. Some 4,000 people listened to several gospel songs sung by Marcelo Crivella, who is a fervent Evangelical Christian and a longtime friend of the…

  • Jewish gay activists march together for first time in Sao Paulo pride parade

    SAO PAULO (JTA) — Some 600 Jewish gay activists and supporters marched as a group for the first time at the Sao Paulo gay pride parade. The group, wearing white T-shirts with a Star of David in rainbow colors, was supported by the local Israeli consulate, which was publicizing the Tel Aviv gay parade set for June…

  • Millions of Brazilians hail Israel during March for Jesus

    SAO PAULO (JTA) — About 2 million people cheered for Israel during an annual Christian march in Brazil. Evangelical Christians waved Israeli flags and prayed for the Jewish state during the March for Jesus held Thursday in Sao Paulo. For the first time in nearly 20 years, Jewish officials were invited to attend the event,…

  • Brazilian Jewish day school raises $750,000 in 30-hour campaign blitz

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – A Brazilian Jewish school has raised some $750,000 in donations in a 30-hour campaign blitz to fund scholarships. TTH-Barilan, Rio’s only Orthodox Jewish school, exceeded its initial target by 40 percent with contributions from over 800 donors between Tuesday and Wednesday. One-third of the school’s 400 students have their $1,000 monthly school fee wholly…

  • Rio drug raid yields deadly arsenal — and a Jewish holy book

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Jewish ritual object that initially was believed to be a Torah scroll was seized from criminals during a police raid of a Rio slum. Jewish representatives were called Monday to identify the object, which was determined to be a sefer haftarah, or readings from the books of the prophets…

  • Legendary Brazilian musician cancels concert in Israel over ‘sensitive moment’

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — One of Brazil’s most acclaimed musicians has called off an upcoming show in Israel due to “apprehension” over the current tensions. Singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil, a multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner, announced Tuesday he had canceled a performance scheduled for July 4 in Ra’anana, home to the largest concentration of Brazilian immigrants in…

  • Brazilian synagogue damaged in arson attack

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Vandals set fire to a synagogue in southern Brazil after painting threats to the Jewish community on its walls. Flammable fuel was dumped under the main entrance door of the Israelite Society of Pelotas building on Thursday, and set alight causing minor damage. The criminals also wrote pro-Palestinian messages on…