Jews in Thailand

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Shuki (second from right) demonstrates the techniques for a 'flying elbow' to Eran (right) while Ilya (left) train with punching bags in Rompo Muay Thai Gym, Khlong Toei, Bangkok city, Thailand on 14th December 2009..Shuki Rosenzweig, aged 40, is a professional Muay Thai Boxing fighter (champion) and trainer who has lived for 9 years in Thailand. He is famous in Israel as the authority of this sport. Started at the age of 12 in boxing in Israel, Jerusalem. Used to work in the fish market. His father is a 'legend' in Jerusalem fish market. Shuki stopped working with his dad about 13 years ago. He has opened some muay thai gyms in Thailand in the past. He currently has about 5 Israeli fighters under his training in Bangkok, besides fighters of other nationalities. Shuki found religion in Bangkok with Chabad about 4 years ago. He never misses Shabbat and loves to sing the songs of prayer, priding himself with a good voice. "Chabad integrates all Jews. it keeps us together. When at Chabad, we are at home, united with people of the same culture, language and beliefs"..Eran Schwartz, aged 30, from Jerusalem, has been training for 8 years. He trains for endurance, fitness and fun, although he has fought in one competition in Bangkok the last time he was here. "Eran is very talented, technically adept, wise and has a 'good eye' for fights" says Shuki. This time Eran is staying 3 and a half months in Thailand to train, travel, and write scripts for a TV show and a cartoon series. He had studied economics and used to work in a bank in Israel before he came here. Eran's grandparents are religious but he grew up being secular. "Chabad never pushes you to be religious. It is a relaxed place, they accept you for what you are" says Eran. "It is important to go for Shabbat for all Jews on travel.".Ilya Bashes, aged 27, from Herzeliya, Israel, has been fighting seriously for 5 years. He met Shuki in a muay thai seminar in Israel and decided immediately that he would come to Thailand