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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.

Latest

  • 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…

  • Brazil’s Christ Redeemer statue illuminated in blue and white for Israel’s 70th anniversary

    (JTA) — National landmarks in Brazil and Poland were illuminated in blue and white to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary. The Christ Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, which is managed by the Catholic Church, glowed in white and blue on Monday. Commenting on the Rio tribute, Israel’s honorary consul there, Osias Wurman, told JTA: “It…

  • This Brazilian reality TV show couldn’t get a rabbi to officiate an interfaith wedding

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Brazilian reality TV show “Wedding Factory” gives 15 couples seven days to prepare for their dream wedding. The show, now in its second season, also gives each pair around $300,000 to spend on the happy occasion. An episode of the show that aired Saturday got dramatic, and not because…

  • Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho opens academy in Israel

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Brazilian soccer idol Ronaldinho has launched a soccer school in Israel aimed at both native-born and immigrant children and youths. Ronaldinho, who spent last week in the Jewish state, announced Thursday the establishment of the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy for children aged 6 to 16. The goal is to combine the passion…

  • Brazilian governor apologizes for welcoming Hezbollah official

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The governor of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state apologized to the Jewish community for welcoming a Muslim clergyman accused of having ties with Hezbollah. Gov. Marcio Franca welcomed Sheikh Bilal Mohsen Wehbe as part of a Lebanese delegation visiting the state government headquarters on April 17. On Saturday, Veja magazine’s online…

  • Message for Holocaust Remembrance Day projected on Brazil’s National Congress buildings

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The words “Holocaust Never Again” in Portuguese were projected on Brazil’s iconic National Congress buildings to mark Yom Hashoah, or Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. The green block letters covered the 300-foot tall facade of both twin towers of the Congress, Brasilia’s most famous landmark, on Wednesday night for for four…

  • Brazilian rabbi apologizes for publicly supporting ex-president jailed for corruption

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Brazilian rabbi who supported an iconic ex-president convicted of corruption has apologized after being slammed for acting as if he represented the Jewish community. Rabbi Alexandre Leone has been under fire since the release of videos and photos of him protesting on a sound truck in favor of Luis…

  • Latin America’s biggest airline to kick off direct flights to Israel

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Latin America’s largest airline will begin direct flights between Brazil and Israel by the end of the year, it announced. Latam, the merger between Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM completed in 2012, will fly from Sao Paulo to Tel Aviv in 11 hours. Since El Al terminated the only direct flight…

  • Peru’s president, son of Jewish refugee who fled Nazis, resigns over vote-buying scandal

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Peru’s president, whose father was a Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis, offered his resignation a day after the release of videos that showed key allies trying to buy the support of opposition lawmakers. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 79, spent months fighting off attempts to oust him and had vowed not…