News Briefs: Maccabi Seeking Athletes, Gal Gadot to Star in Castro Film, and More


Athletes, Coaches and Volunteers Sought by Maccabi USA

Maccabi USA is looking for Jewish athletes, coaches and volunteers to represent the United States in 2019 at the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City from July 5-15, and the 15th European Maccabi Games in Budapest, Hungary, from July 29 through Aug. 7.

Both games are held every four years. The Pan American and European Games are a high-level athletic competition for Jewish athletes all over the world aimed at connecting Jews from the Diaspora.

There will be two individual teams from the United States.

For more information, contact Maccabi USA Program Director Shane Carr at 215-561-6900 or at

Ruling: Israelis Can Sue Facebook in Israeli Courts

Israelis caN FILE claims against Facebook in Israeli courts, according to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court, reported.

That’s contrary to Facebook’s user license agreement, which says members can only sue in California. Allowing multinational corporations to determine jurisdiction in cases involving customers created a power imbalance — regardless of what user agreements say — the court ruled.

Facebook sought to dismiss the suit. It contended that users were informed about the jurisdiction clause when they joined the social media network.

Israeli Chief Rabbi’s Grandson to Marry a Man

Ovadia Cohen, whose late grandfather was Israel’s foremost Sephardic halachic authority and the spiritual leader of the Shas party, reportedly will marry a man this week at a ceremony led by a gay woman, JTA reported.

Cohen was previously married to a woman — and they have two children — but after their divorce, he came out as gay. He met his future husband, Amichai Landsman, in Haifa at a religious Zionist community.

JTA said Cohen has had limited contact with his family since coming out. His grandfather, Ovadia Yosef, died in 2013; Yosef had an active role in his grandson’s upbringing.

World Cup on TV Prohibited for Hamas Prisoners in Israel

Hamas prisonerS IN Israel won’t be allowed to watch the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament when it begins next month, JTA reported.

The Israel Prisons Service was ordered by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to prevent Hamas prisoners from watching the tournament.

“I have no intention to let Hamas terrorists watch the World Cup while the bodies of our soldiers are held in Gaza along with our kidnapped citizens,” Erdan said, according to Haaretz. “Anyone who has removed himself from the family of nations and clings to a culture of murder and terror cannot enjoy international sports competitions that connect different peoples around the world.”

Gal Gadot to Produce, Possibly Star in Movie About Fidel Castro

Israeli film star Gal Gadot, who is best known for Wonder Woman, will produce and potentially star in a movie detailing how American journalist Lisa Howard became one of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s closest confidantes, JTA said.

Israeli Yaron Versano, who is Gadot’s husband, will co-produce the film for Warner Bros., Deadline reported.

The film will focus on how Howard assisted in creating a secret channel between Cuba and Washington, D.C., after the Cuban missile crisis.


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