07.20.05 Update

7.20.2005

Anat Rosenberg, a victim of the July 7th London terrorist bombings, was buried today; relatives say she felt safer in England than in Israel, where she feared Palestinian attacks. Story from Reuters here.

Five days after Alabama governor Bob Riley announces he will lead a trade mission to Israel, Georgia governor Sonny Perdue announces today that he will lead a similar group from his state.

The AP reports that a new study finds Jewish catacombs may have existed for at least 100 years before Christian burials in the underground cemeteries of Rome.

The Conservative movement expressed concern about a proposed two-month extension of Daylight Savings Time. (JTA) In a letter on Wednesday to members of Congress, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism said that the extension proposed in the 2005 Energy Policy Act - which would establish March through November as daylight-savings months - may make it impossible for observant Jews to get to work by 9 a.m. if they want to recite morning prayers. "Part of our morning prayers cannot begin until after sunrise," explained the group's public policy director, Mark Waldman. "With this proposed change, sunrise at the end of November will be approximately 8:30 a.m. in many parts of the country - and even as late as 8:45 a.m." Waldman also said that the proposed extension might mean that children would walk to school in the dark, which caused a previous extension to be repealed after just a year.

Two synagogues were vandalized Tuesday in the Ukrainian city Dnepropetrovsk. (JTA) Anti-Semitic graffiti was painted on the walls of the Small and Central Synagogues and on a building next to one of the shuls. Vandals also painted the word "Zhidovskaya," based on an ethnic slur against Jews, over one of the signboards on Sholom Aleichem Street. Local police and security services are investigating the case. No arrests have been made.

A former Israeli basketball star urged athletes at the Maccabiah Games to make aliyah, as he did years earlier. (JTA) At halftime of the women's basketball final between Israel and the United States - which the U.S. team won in a rout - the former Maccabi Tel Aviv star, Tal Brody, presented a letter at the request of the Jewish Agency for Israel's chairman, Zeev Bielski, titled "We did it. How about you? Hope to meet you soon in Israel." Brody, who made aliyah after the 1965 Maccabiah Games, became a star in Israel's professional basketball league. Also pitching aliyah was David Blatt, who played on the U.S. basketball team at the 1981 Games and stayed to play in Israel for 11 years. Blatt today is coach of the Italian team Benetton Treviso.

Bulgaria's top civil appeals court rejected the Jewish community's claim to land on which a downtown Sofia hotel now stands. (JTA) The news agency Novinite reported the Supreme Cassation Court had ruled against Shalom, a Bulgarian Jewish communal organization, which had sought compensation or joint ownership of the Rila Hotel. The hotel, worth an estimated $34 million, was built on land where a Jewish school stood before World War II. A Bulgarian court ruled in 1992 that Shalom was the legal owner of nearly 50 percent of the property, and it ordered that portion of the hotel's property to be returned. Shalom never received the compensation, however, and in 2000 the hotel was privatized. The Supreme Casssation Court began considering the case in May. Leaders of Shalom said they would appeal.

Five Iraqi children with defective hearts received treatment in Israel. (JTA) The patients and their families came to the Jewish state in recent weeks with the sponsorship of the Save A Child's Heart foundation, and were treated at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Two children remain hospitalized and the rest have returned to Iraq. Save A Child's Heart provides urgently needed pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care for children from Third World and developing countries.

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