Nineteen months after it was first proposed, an “unusual” agreement was reached this week between the Vatican and Jewish leaders to assemble a team of scholars to study World War II-era Vatican records that have been publicly available for more than 30 years.
Jewish leaders cautioned it is only a first step in answering questions about the Vatican’s response to the Holocaust. A key area of inquiry will be the actions of Pope Pius XII, whom critics say kept silent during the Holocaust.
There will be no kosher meals. No Jewish holiday observances. And many — perhaps even most — of the students won’t be Jewish. But if philanthropist Michael Steinhardt has his way, New York City’s first publicly funded school devoted to Hebrew language and culture will open its doors in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, in September 2009.
Representatives for a powerful roster of academics and writers this week rejected the Anti-Defamation League's invitation to meet and discuss their charge that the ADL applied pressure to shut down a prominent critic of Israel's New York lecture.
Professors Mark Lilla and Richard Sennett, organizers of a protest letter to ADL signed by 113 intellectuals, rejected ADL's denial that it had not, in fact, threatened or pressured the Polish Consulate to deny a platform to New York University historian Tony Judt.
Israeli Eyal Milles has been around Palestinians much of his life: fellow students at Tel Aviv University and co-workers at the two urban weekly newspapers he edits. But, says the 35-year-old self-described pro-peace left-winger, they've never been more than passing acquaintances.
Shvut Rachel, West Bank — When Yaakov Teitel first applied to join this West Bank settlement about a decade ago, the American Jewish immigrant passed the admissions committee with flying colors.
The bachelor computer technician impressed Shvut Rachel’s leaders as a “mensch” with a love of the Land of Israel who was looking to settle down and start a family, said committee member Rabbi Baruch Barron.
Arnold M. Eisen has 15 months before he starts his new job as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, but even on the day the appointment was announced, he was making significant changes at the Conservative movement’s flagship institution.
Pop into a greasy spoon or a McDonald’s on the Upper West Side, and you may spy a bearish, bearded man sitting in a booth by himself, sipping a Coke while he concentrates on his laptop and the papers fanned out on the table.
From the outside, it looked like Kenneth Cohen had it all. A founding executive of the software giant Oracle Corporation, Cohen worked for an innovative company in California’s Silicon Valley. With a wife and young daughter at home, life should have felt complete.
But something, Cohen says, was missing.
“It’s just inevitable that you say to yourself, ‘What do I want to pass on to this kid other than my stock certificates?’ I had to have a higher goal,” he says.
Full-scale wars, which Israel has fought many times in the past, and major army operations, which Israel has found itself in during recent weeks in Gaza and Lebanon, usually bring stories of troop maneuvers and military analysis, call-ups of the reserves, and civilian sacrifices. The human side of war is often hard to picture from a distance, particularly when the fighting involves Israel, a country that few Americans, even American Jews, have visited.
Rabbi Seymour Fox, a prominent Jewish educator in the United States and Israel for a half-century, died of heart failure July 10 in his Jerusalem home, two weeks after announcing his plans to retire from administration and return to teaching. He was 77.
Known in Israel by his Hebrew name, Shlomo, he had served with the educational Mandel Foundation at the time of his death. A prolific author, he was known as an inspirational teacher and manager.