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Empty strollers in London call attention to child hostages in Gaza as families head to the UN

(JTA) — Empty strollers in London and Shabbat tables with empty seats in at least half a dozen cities represent the latest efforts to bring attention to the hundreds of Israelis held hostage in Gaza since Oct. 7 through striking visuals in public spaces.

Hamas released two hostages, a mother and daughter who were American citizens, on Friday night. Since then, number known to be held hostage has risen, from 203 to 222. Dozens of the hostages are children, including several thought to be held alone after their families were murdered during Hamas’ attack on Israel.

On Sunday, two weeks after the attack, Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with family members of 80 hostages, vowing to “do everything to bring your loved ones home.”

Israel’s foreign minister, Eli Cohen, is flying with representatives of the families to New York City, where he is scheduled to speak at the United Nations on Tuesday. Among those traveling with him are Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin, whose U.S.-born son Hersh Goldberg-Polin was abducted from the site of the outdoor party where 260 people were killed.

Hundreds of Jerusalemites gathered outside the home of Hersh Goldberg-Polin’s parents to farewell them to the US on their journey to seek his freedom

Few dry eyes

— Ittay Flescher (@ittay78) October 23, 2023

The United States has reportedly urged Israel to refrain from a ground invasion in Gaza while negotiations, through a third party in Qatar, are underway to secure the release of additional hostages, particularly those with foreign passports.

Activists with the #BringThemHome movement — which aims to make sure the hostages are not forgotten as Israel strikes back against Hamas and leaders discuss humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza — have bought billboards in city centers and plastered public walls with “Kidnapped” posters showcasing the people known to be held hostage.

In New York City, where the posters tend to be removed quickly, often by pro-Palestinian activists, a kosher barbecue company covered its food truck with them before a festival on the Upper West Side Sunday. “Real estate billboards in New York City are a fortune,” Wandering ‘Que wrote on Instagram. “Today we are taking full advantage of every square foot we have.”

Less than a mile away on Sunday, as part of the advocacy efforts, Israeli singer David Broza played a free concert at B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue, which is collecting 201 pairs of used shoes to represent the hostages.

An empty Shabbat table for 200, with high chairs for the toddlers known to be held hostage, drew worldwide attention after it was set outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on Friday. Similar tables appeared in Australia and Rome and were subsequently set in other locations, including Paris; Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill; and Los Angeles.

A Shabbat table for the Israeli hostages appears in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2023. (Courtesy Scott Lasensky); a similar table, showcasing the names and faces of the hostages, appears in Paris, Oct. 22, 2023. (Remon Haazen/Getty Images)

The post Empty strollers in London call attention to child hostages in Gaza as families head to the UN appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Israeli Actress Shira Haas Wins Award for Role in Upcoming TV Series ‘Night Therapy’

Shira Haas on the set of “Night Therapy.” Photo: Nati Levi

Israeli actress Shira Haas was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Monte Carlo Television Festival on Tuesday night for her role in an upcoming Israeli television series titled “Night Therapy” that will premiere later this month.

Haas stars in the 10-part psychological drama alongside Yousef Sweid (“Munich Games,” “Game of Thrones”), as well as Lucy Ayoub, Yaakov Zada Daniel, and Firas Nassar, all of whom have starred in the popular Israeli series “Fauda.”

Haas, who accepted her award from the Monte Carlo Television Festival via video because she was in the United States filming, took to Instagram to thank the festival for her award.

“This is such a special project for me, a personal and genuinely (ongoing) healing one, and I can’t wait for you all to meet Yasmin very soon,” she wrote, referencing her character’s name in the show.

Written and created by Raanan Caspi, “Night Therapy” is about an Arab-Israeli psychologist named Louie (Sweid) who struggles to raise his two children after his Jewish-Israeli wife commits suicide. To be more present for his children during the day and to better balance his work and home life, Louie decides to shift his practice so he sees patients at night. Haas plays one of his patients — a computer genius named Yasmin who rarely leaves her home and prefers to spend her time in the virtual world instead of the real one.

“Through the gateway and magic of the late clinic hours, and flashback scenes where Louie acts as an unseen observer to their problems, the series depicts refreshing points of view on life, which often require unusual treatments,” according to a synopsis provided by Yes Studios, which is distributing the show. “Combining absorbing therapy sessions — written with the input of practicing psychologists — with storylines and characters from Louie’s personal life, ‘Night Therapy’ is a touching, emotional and sexy new drama series.”

The show premieres on Yes TV in Israel on June 30 and is being sold internationally by Yes Studios. The series is directed by Gabriel Bibliowicz and produced by Dafna Danenberg, Aviram Avraham, and Benny Menache at Eight Productions.

Haas previously had starring roles in the hit Israeli television series “Shtisel” as well as the film “Unorthodox,” for which she won an award. She also became the first Israeli television actress nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in “Unorthodox.” Haas Tribeca Film Festival for starring in “Asia,” in which she played a terminally ill character, and additionally won two best supporting actress awards at the Israeli Academy Awards. She is reportedly scheduled to appear in Marvel’s upcoming film “Captain America: Brave New World” as an Israeli superhero named Sabra.

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Swiss Museum Sells Monet Painting in Settlement With Heirs of Former Jewish Owner Forced to Sell Artwork During WWII

A partial view of Monet’s “L’Homme à l’ombrelle.” Photo: Kunsthaus Zürich via Wikimedia Commons

The largest art museum in Switzerland announced on Wednesday that it is selling a painting by Claude Monet as part of an agreement with heirs of the artwork’s original Jewish owner, who was forced to sell it during World War II when he fled Nazi Germany.

The Kunsthaus Zürich said it reached a “fair and just solution” and “amicable settlement” with the heirs of Jewish entrepreneur Carl Sachs regarding the painting “L’Homme à l’ombrelle” (“Man with a Parasol”) from the late 19th century. Proceeds from the sale will be allocated between the museum and Sachs’ family.

Sachs and his wife fled Nazi persecution in Germany and moved to Switzerland in 1939. He was forced to sell “L’Homme à l’ombrelle,” and several other pieces from his art collection, to the Kunsthaus Zürich in order to make a living. “The sale of Monet’s ‘L’Homme à l’ombrelle’ to the Kunsthaus Zürich was the first work that Sachs had to sell due to the acute financial emergency just a few weeks after fleeing Nazi Germany to Switzerland,” the museum explained.

“A swift sale was needed to provide the couple with money to live on, and he was therefore acting under duress,” the Kunsthaus Zürich said. Sachs died shortly afterward in December 1943 and by that point he had sold 13 artworks from his collection.

Philipp Hildebrand, the chair of Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, said: “Of course we regret that this wonderful painting will leave the Kunsthaus. At the same time, this step underpins the seriousness of our provenance strategy and our fundamental attitude towards a transparent and solution-oriented approach to works in our collection in which there are substantiated references to Nazis [or] there is a situation of a persecution-related predicament.”

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United Against Hate Canada is a new nonprofit founded by Marvin Rotrand, a former Montreal city councillor who once led B’nai Brith

Marvin Rotrand, a former Montreal city councillor and former leader of B’nai Brith Canada, announced the incorporation of a new nonprofit dedicated to combating hate earlier this week. At a press conference on June 19, Rotrand outlined the priorities of the newly formed United Against Hate Canada (UAHC) organization. A press release from the group […]

The post United Against Hate Canada is a new nonprofit founded by Marvin Rotrand, a former Montreal city councillor who once led B’nai Brith appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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