The new top leadership team of the embattled World Jewish Congress will head to Eastern Europe soon to re-energize stalled negotiations over Holocaust-era restitution payments, Michael Schneider, the group’s next secretary general, said this week.
The political discussions will represent a return by the WJC, perceived as rudderless in recent years, to the activity that cemented its reputation as a representative of Jewish interests.
A group of French Jews who made aliyah last week to be part of Israeli life avoided one of the less-enjoyable parts of Israeli life — a nationwide strike, the third in eight months.
Histadrut, Israel’s major labor federation, exempted Ben-Gurion Airport from a general strike that paralyzed the country for 24 hours. Workers at the airport remained on the job to handle the arrival of more than 600 French citizens, the largest single-day aliyah from France since 1972.
Rabbi Abraham Klausner, an American rabbi who as a chaplain in the U.S. Army served as an advocate for the needs of Jewish Holocaust survivors, died June 28 in his Sante Fe, N.M., home of complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 92.
For 25 years he had served as spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, N.Y., retiring in 1989.
The first American Jewish chaplain to arrive at Dachau after its liberation in 1945, he coordinated efforts on behalf of survivors in the American zone of Germany who remained in displaced-persons camps for years after the war.
Forty years ago this week — on the Hebrew calendar — Jerusalem was nervous.
The fighting that came to be known as the Six-Day War was still underway, and the extent of Israel’s lightning victory on three fronts was not yet fully known.
Then Mordechai Gur uttered the words that still ring through the decades, “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” and with the capture of the holiest spot in the Old City, the celebrating began.
Grodno, Belarus — Tsilia Brido remembers her early Belarus Passover in her Polotsk hometown, her grandfather leading the seders in Hebrew, women from the neighborhood baking their matzahs in her family’s large wood stove.
“It was before the war,” she says, referring to World War II. Belarus was the first of the former Soviet Union’s republics to be invaded by the German army.
Brido remembers the seders ending after 1941, first under the Nazis, then under the communists.
Friday, September 11th, 2009
I had a number of calls and emails about my story about Thursday’s Iran advocacy day, and several readers asked the same question: do I believe Jewish leaders are hoping Israel will take military action to forestall the Iranian nuclear threat?
When the latest round of talks were held in Jerusalem this week to resolve Nazi-era insurance claims, a prominent New York Jewish leader was seated at the table. But he was not sitting with the victims.
"I came into this to try to come up with some basis to move the settlement process forward," explained Kenneth Bialkin, who earlier this year became lead counsel in the talks for Italy's largest insurer, Assicurazioni Generali.
At least 17 German banks and industrial firms have agreed to contribute to a fund from which payments will be made to an estimated 100,000 Jews who served as slave laborers during the Holocaust, the German government announced this week. Needy survivors may also be entitled to payments from the fund.
The government hopes the fund will begin making payments to survivors by Sept. 1, the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, according to Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.
Yeshiva University is considering closing its 80-year-old Modern Orthodox boys high school in Washington Heights, once the primary feeder for its undergraduate college for men with which it shares a campus.
Faced with a choice between financial pragmatism and a proud tradition of Torah education, Dr. Norman Lamm, Y.U.'s president, will have to decide later this year whether or not to phase out the school over several years.