Lawrence Cohler-Esses

Jews Step Into ‘Dung’ Wars

Staff Writer
Next time, it could be a Sefer Torah with elephant dung dabbed on it. That vision is what the head of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations says motivated him to denounce the “Sensation” exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art this week and, as he said in a press release, “support those civic leaders who have questioned whether public funds should support this exhibition.”

Vanished Iranian Jews Now Adding To Crisis

Staff Writer
Even as efforts continue to gain freedom for 13 Iranian Jews jailed by their government on suspicion of spying, new information is surfacing about 11 other Jews who vanished while attempting to flee Iran illegally between 1994 and 1997. The information, some of which emerged at a public meeting in Los Angeles last month, is threatening to further fracture an Iranian Jewish community in the United States caught between the impulse to protest, and to stick to silent diplomacy in its efforts to help imperiled brethren.

Reversal Of Fortune

Staff Writer
New York State Assemblyman and former kingmaker Dov Hikind survived a criminal indictment and massive legal fees — and still came out in the black to the tune of $400,000, thanks in part to a bang-up legal defense fund. Now, Noach Dear, his longtime rival for top Orthodox pol in Brooklyn, has been hit hard, thanks to problems he has had with federal campaign finance law.

Holocaust Museum’s Management Woes

Staff Writer
Millions flock each year to The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, making its exhibitions on systematic, state-sponsored mass murder the surprise success of the national Mall. But according to Sheldon S. Cohen, the chair of a committee that has just finished a major study of the museum’s governance, this popular acclaim masks serious problems behind the scenes.

An Anthem For Kosovo

Staff Writer
A vibrato chord. A splash of cymbal. And then a drum beat and bass introduce a spooky voice with a warning: The malicious gossip and envious backbiting of “normal” life, sings Mark Star, is but the tip of human darkness; just beneath this lie horrors such as the murders and mass ethnic expulsions now taking place in Kosovo.

Teitelbaum’s Dov-ish Tone

Staff Writer
Is Bruce Teitelbaum, the mayor’s chief of staff, sending out peace feelers to acquitted Assemblyman Dov Hikind? During Hikind’s two-year fight against federal bribery charges, the Brooklyn Democrat more than once laid the blame for his prosecution at Teitelbaum’s feet, though he publicly never cited him by name. Teitelbaum vigorously denied any involvement in the case, but made little effort to hide his disdain for Hikind, who once tried to get him fired.


Staff Writer

Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.: Francelia Morales, a 36-year-old Mexican immigrant living in a roach-infested, leaky apartment with mildewed walls, has been thinking a lot about the crisis in the Middle East lately. "I feel a link to the Palestinians I never knew before," she said as she sat with her husband and three children amid the cardboard storage boxes, children's toys and English-language instruction video cassettes that crowd her small living room. Her neighbor from just a few doors down feels similarly.

Ramon Fires Back On Pluralism

Staff Writer
Haim Ramon says he wants to make one thing perfectly clear: “I am a pluralist,” the Israeli cabinet minister told The Jewish Week repeatedly in a phone interview Tuesday. After reading others’ account of his remarks at a Sept. 30 meeting with dovish American Jewish activists, he denounced them as “lies.” The private meeting was reported on the front page of last week’s Jewish Week.

Shakeup Near At Holocaust Museum?


Lawrence Cohler-Esses is a staff writer and James D.Besser is a Washington correspondent.
Will the diplomatic fiasco of the on-again, off-again Yasir Arafat visit to the U.S. Holocaust Museum be the last straw for Dr. Walter Reich’s tenure as director? Some senior staffers of the museum who have had longstanding complaints about Reich’s management style appeared to be taking advantage of his current vulnerability this week to push for his ouster.

Olmert Emphasizes His Efforts For Arabs

Staff Writer
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert last week staunchly rejected Palestinian vows to make east Jerusalem their capital while declaring his commitment to equal rights for Palestinian city residents under Israel’s exclusive rule.
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