We know where Amazon is building next

Posted on November 5th, 2017
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 


While the tech giant searches for a new home in the U.S., it is already planning two new R&D centers in Israel.


This summer, Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters somewhere in North America. That news set off a parlor game du jour, with everyone weighing in on what city the tech giant would pick. Would it be Atlanta, Boston, Denver? Perhaps a small college town in Texas? Bringing with it jobs and infrastructure, the high-stakes move is sure to be a boon for whichever city gets chosen. One Georgia town made news this week when it offered to change its name to Amazon.

While the quest for a new headquarters in the U.S. continues, it seems Amazon has made some decisions on another front. The Seattle-based e-retailer will be opening two R&D centers in Israel – one will be in Tel Aviv and the other in Haifa. The labs, which will employ about 100 engineers, will work exclusively on the company’s Alexa voice-operated device.

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How this pristine 15th-century Hebrew Bible survived the Inquisition

Posted on October 29th, 2017
By Cnaan Liphshiz for JTA


From its mountaintop perch, the University of Coimbra towers majestically over the downtown square that used to be the regional headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition.

It’s a fitting location for the 737-year-old university, the seventh oldest in the world, which outsmarted and outlived the campaign of persecution against Jews and freethinkers unleashed by the Catholic Church and Portugal’s rulers in 1536.

“This place was almost literally an ivory tower of knowledge during those dark times,” António Eugénio Maia do Amaral, assistant director of the university’s 500-year-old library, recently told JTA.

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