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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 30, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 62

Yad Vashem Launches Campaign for Holocaust Names

By IsraelWire

The Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum has undertaken a new campaign aimed at increasing its database of names of Holocaust victims. Forms will be distributed to leaders of Jewish communities around the world in the hope that relatives of those who perished will complete them, thereby adding names to the comprehensive Holocaust database. To date, the museum has amassed 3 million names.

Iraqi-Serb Alliance Reported

Israel Faxx Staff Report

The London Sunday Telegraph reports Iraq and Yugoslavia reached an understanding in the face of Western military assaults against the two countries. The agreement was reached during a recent visit to Baghdad by a Serbian delegation, before last week's NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia began.

Yugoslavia would help rebuild Iraq's air defenses and upgrade its aging fighter jets, while Iraq would contribute cash and oil to the battered Serb economy, the report says. It quotes a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office as essentially confirming the information was accurate. A senior diplomat was quoted as saying: "Saddam and Milosevic see themselves as international outcasts who must support each other if they are to survive."

The Israeli Embassy in Belgrade was ordered evacuated in light of the continued NATO offensive in the area. Ambassador David Sasson left the facility this weekend, shutting the facility. Other members of the staff were ordered out earlier in the week.

Between 200-300 Jews have fled the area and are being hosted by the Budapest Jewish community.

Pre-Passover Strike Takes Toll on Passengers, Hygiene

By Arutz 7 News Service

Israel's four-day public sector strike ended Monday, two days before the Passover holiday, with an agreement between the Treasury and trade unions over wage increases. Israel's streets are overflowing with reeking garbage and air passengers have suffered lengthy delays, while hospitals and clinics operated partially, and most government offices were closed. Telephone, postal and train services were also affected.

Those who tried to flee the chaos -- or simply to travel abroad for Pesach, a popular custom for Israelis -- faced disruptions, delays and long queues at Ben Gurion airport. Some 400,000 workers were on strike, in a move intended to pressure the government to accede to a wage increase that unions said was needed to counter inflation. It was announced Monday a 4.8 percent pay rise was agreed upon. The deal, reached after lengthy negotiations, also has the Histadrut agreeing it will organize no more strikes before September this year.

Israelis Will Drink 16 Million Bottles of Wine

By IsraelWire

During the one-week holiday of Passover, Israelis will consume some 16 million bottles of wine. According to statistics released by Manufacturers Association, 90 percent of that number will be wine produced in Israel. The wine sales will generate about NIS 100 million.

Wine is an important part of the traditional seder ceremony celebrating Passover -- and for most Jews that means kosher wine. For years, however, the best thing wine lovers could say about kosher wine was that the sweet flavor from Concord grapes could help evoke sweet thoughts of the people and events important to our lives.

Many people still sip these sweet wines at different times during the seder for just that reason, but joining them at the table are kosher wines that oenophiles can appreciate for more than sentimental reasons. The quality of kosher wines has advanced so much in recent years that Jews and non-Jews alike are drinking them at any time of the year.

For non-Jews as well as Jews, knowing that a wine is kosher is a guarantee that it is carefully made. Labels will indicate when wines are kosher. There will be a description on the label, or there may just be an OU symbol with a small P to indicate kosher for Passover as certified by the Orthodox Union of rabbis.

Kosher wine is made like any other wine, except that the grapes and wine must be handled by Sabbath-observant Jews under strict rabbinical supervision. The equipment must be used exclusively for production of kosher wine, or it must be thoroughly cleaned if it has been used to make other wine. Other certified kosher products, such as yeasts and fining agents, also must be used.

Most kosher wines go through one additional step, making the wines mevushal. A mevushal wine is one that can be handled by anyone -- such as a non-Jewish waiter -- and remain kosher. In this step, the grape juice is flash pasteurized before fermentation for white wines and blush wine, and just after fermentation for red wines. Before pasteurization, only Sabbath-observant Jews may touch the wines during production.

Some others remain suspicious of flash pasteurization, questioning especially its affect on aging. But the proof is in the bottle, and so far, what is coming out of the bottle is only getting better.

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