Jerusalem — Having successfully recovered millions of dollars worth of Jewish property lost in the Holocaust, restitution experts in Israel and the U.S. are now setting their sights on the Arab world.
The Knesset Parliamentary Committee on the Restitution of Jewish Property announced plans this month to create a national center to register documents and testimony about the possibly “tens of billions of dollars” in property left behind by Jews who emigrated to Israel from Arab/Muslim countries.
JERUSALEM How many casualties are too many casualties? How much destruction is too much destruction? And how long should Israel continue its military assault on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in order to achieve at least part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s stated goal of destroying “every terrorist infrastructure, everywhere?”
Vacationing in Israel two years ago, my family went on a two-day tour of Jordan, our first venture to an Arab nation. Our guide hustled us from site to site, but I had a moment of solitary reflection while on the Citadel in Amman, overlooking the white expanse of the stone city clinging to the hills below, so reminiscent of Jerusalem. The noises of the city were muffled by the arid air and summer heat. For the first time, the seal in my mind between Israel and the rest of the Middle East was punctured, and a question seeped through: What is this world beyond? But the moment was fleeting.
Now in its 17th year, the New York Jewish Film Festival, which opens Jan. 9, is truly a fixture on the local film calendar, so much so that this year’s event includes one world premiere, 10 U.S. premieres and 12 New York premieres. If you subtract the seven retrospectives (see sidebar), that means that all but one of the 32 films in this year’s festival are so new that the prints are still wet from the lab.
It can be frustrating or awkward “to see people involved in a peace walk one week and the same people involved in an anti-Israel protest the next week,” said Rabbi Micah Kelber of the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, a small Conservative synagogue in the midst of one of the nation’s largest Arab communities.
The controversy aroused last year by the publication of his latest book, “Defeating Hitler,” and a lengthy interview in one of Israel’s daily papers continues to trail Avram Burg, as suggested by forum here last week.
The controversy aroused last year by the publication of his latest book, "Defeating Hitler," and a lengthy interview in one of Israel's daily papers continues to trail Avram Burg, as suggested by a Tuesday night forum in New York.
Far from letting recent events in Israel dampen his mood or keep him away from this year’s Salute to Israel Parade, Marc Fein, a senior at Yeshiva University, suggested that now was an especially important time to show his love and support for the Jewish state.
Standing in front of the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, near the start of the parade route, Fein said that, if anything, he believed that concerns over Israeli security “galvanized support to a certain degree. People have realized the existential threat to Israel.”
About 12 years ago, Joel Chasnoff had a personal crisis. Fresh out of the University of Pennsylvania, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. His father’s success as a doctor in Chicago made him insecure, feeling like he had too big a pair of shoes to fill. And his passions — acting, stand-up comedy — hardly promised a stable alternative. But Chasnoff did have a strong Jewish identity, the result of a day school education, and an especially romantic vision of Israelis.