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Marcus M. Gilban RSS

Marcus M. Gilban 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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  • 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…

  • 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…