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Indian-American executive of Zara sued for discrimination

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New York: An Indian-American country manager of the famous Spanish fashion retail brand Zara, has been sued by a former employee for discrimination.

Ian Jack Miller, a former general counsel of Zara, has filed a discrimination lawsuit in a New York court against the retailer’s US country manager Dilip Patel and its former chief executive officer Moises Costas Rodriguez, claiming he was fired in March because he is “Jewish, American, and gay”, Spanish news agency Efe reported.

Patel is the country manager for Zara USA and works at Zara’s Manhattan office, while Rodriguez is a former CEO of Zara USA and the current director of expansion for North and South America.

The lawsuit alleged that Patel had a strong personal connection to the company’s founder and as a result of this personal connection, he engaged in discriminatory and harassing conduct with impunity.

“Miller is seeking damages totalling over $40 million for a hostile work environment, pay discrimination, and discriminatory and retaliatory termination,” said a spokesman for the plaintiff’s law firm.

When Zara USA’s top executives learned that Miller was Jewish, he was shut out of meetings, annual increases to his salary and bonus dropped sharply, and ultimately he was “unceremoniously” fired after seven years of service, the lawsuit further added.

In a statement, Zara USA said that the accusations by its former employee were “shocking” and that it would vigorously defend itself in court.

The brand faced similar accusations most recently when last year the company was forced to issue an apology in response to an uproar over a T-shirt it produced that resembled a Nazi concentration camp uniform. (IANS)

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Israeli Shepherdess Uses Modern Sheep Breed to Revive Ancient Shofar Sound

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shofar
Shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky holds a lamb from the Jacob sheep breed, in Ramot Naftali, Israel, Feb. 21, 2018. VOA

The piercing note of a shofar – a ram’s horn used in Jewish religious ceremonies – cuts through the mountain air of the Galilee.

Here in northern Israel, shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky is raising a flock of Jacob Sheep, pictured here, as a religious calling.

With anything up to six horns on each animal, the breed is ideally suited for the manufacture of the horn traditionally blown during the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

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Shofar
Jacob sheep stand in their barn in Ramot Naftali, Israel, Feb. 21, 2018. VOA

The spotted breed of Jacob Sheep was bred in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, and this flock was brought to Israel from Canada by Lewinsky in 2016.

But sheep have been recorded since antiquity across the Middle East, and the modern breed’s name echoes the ancient Biblical story from Genesis in which the patriarch Jacob took “every speckled and spotted sheep” as wages from his father-in-law, Laban.

Turning her flock’s horns into shofars is part of God’s plan, says Lewinsky, who calls herself a “traditional and God-fearing Jew.”

“The Jacob Sheep horns can probably be processed anywhere in the world but what makes the horns special is that we are processing them in Israel, which gives them a holiness,” she said.

ALSO READ: What India could learn from Israel

Shofar
A print of an orthodox Jewish man sounding the Shofar, a ram’s horn, is seen on the shirt of Shofar maker Robert Weinger, in his workshop in Rishon Lezion, Israel, Feb. 27, 2018. VOA

Robert Weinger, a shofar-maker who works with the horns from Lewinsky’s farm, said that a ram’s horn made from the breed can sell for $500 to $20,000 or more, depending on its sound quality, as it produces a wider range of musical notes than other shofars. (VOA)

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