Random Facts No. 1

Here is my first collection of random facts that just one day might come in handy (all from reading the Feb 4 issue of Washington Jewish Week)

  1.  The Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel 91-0.  Sounds good, right?  But apparently there were 9 Democratic members of the House who left the chamber to avoid voting.  What’s that all about?
  2. How many individuals have been proclaimed as Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem?  Apparently, it is 25,600.  Not a small number.
  3. Some of you may have seen the remarkable film made about Sir Nicholas Winton, the British businessman who organized kindertransports from Prague to bring Jewish children to England just before the start of World War II.  How many people alive today are descendants of those young Jewish survivors?  Over 6,000.
  4. Many military families living in the United States suffer from “food insecurity” and rely on food banks to obtain enough food to feed their families.
  5. There’s an active Jewish community of about 8,000 in the majority Muslim Russian city of Kazan.  Its size and its development as a community is due the success and popularity of a Klezmer band founded there in 1987.
  6. When the Washington Post published a chart entitled “A Visual Guide to 75 Years of Major Refugee Crises Around the World” (in December), it omitted any mention of the approximately 800,000 Jewish refugees from Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, of whom the majority settled in Israel.
  7. A group of 71 British physician members of the World Medical Association suggested that the Association kick the Israel Medical Association out of the organization, making collaboration between Israeli medical institutions and other medical institutions impossible.  After stirring up some controversy, the proposal is apparently going nowhere.  All part of the BDS movement.
  8. In 1942, the Struma, a ship carrying about 800 to Palestine and flailing in the Black Sea was sunk by a Russian torpedo.  Of the 800, there was apparently only one survivor, a Romanian Jew named David Stoliar.  He recently passed away at 91.  He lived in Bend, Oregon, of all places (an area best known today for the Bundy occupation).

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