Queens community college’s brand-new Holocaust center links new generation to aging area Jews.
Huddled inside a bus station in Bayside, Queens, last December, Paul Cavalieri shuddered in the cold air and watched the snow come down around him, hoping his bus would soon roll into sight. But then his brain reeled back 15 minutes to his interview with Queens Holocaust survivor Ethel Katz, who told him of her two-year escape from the Nazis. It was a perilous trek that at one point took her through knee-deep snow in nothing but a nightgown.
Prague, Czech Republic — Pavel Dostal could hardly contain his anger. The nattily attired Czech minister of culture sat in his conference room, arms folded and jaw tight, as he explained how he felt betrayed by the Jewish community he was trying to help.
Dostal, bearing a resemblance to Kurt Vonnegut and dressed in gray bow tie, matching silk shirt and jacket, spoke with reserved bitterness last week while relating through a translator how he had become the victim of a worldwide misinformation campaign by the haredi and Orthodox Jewish communities.
U.S. officials are condemning as “discriminatory” a draft bill by Poland’s parliament that would block Holocaust survivors from reclaiming billions of dollars in private property confiscated by the Nazis and Communists 50 years ago.
The proposed legislation by Poland’s Sejm, or lower house of parliament, would restrict property claims to Polish citizens who have lived in the country for the last five years — effectively barring claims from Jewish and non-Jewish Polish survivors, or their heirs, now living in America or elsewhere.
Taking another step in a lengthy process, the Polish cabinet last weekend approved a draft bill outlining the conditions for restitution for those whose private property was seized by the Nazis and communists.
The bill must be sent to parliament, where debate is expected to be fierce.
The Ford Foundation, one of the country’s largest private foundations, has set a course of late to influence the religious debate in America, and this week its largesse reached to the world’s largest gay and lesbian synagogue.
“I have been funding a number of projects to bring new voices into theological discussions and debate,” said Ford program director Constance Buchanan, explaining the $250,000 grant to Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Greenwich Village, believed to be the first time Ford has funded an individual synagogue.
The recent rash of cases in which rabbis have allegedly molested young children going back decades has moved one group that usually bristles at government involvement in Orthodox schools to envision shifting its stance.
With some 53,000 residents in the state’s rural north-central flatlands, Monroe, La., is not the kind of town that would normally expect to play host to the mayor of Jerusalem. But in October 2002, Ehud Olmert came to the county seat of Ouachita Parish to urge 500 to 1,000 Evangelical Christians to give, and give generously, to support victims of terrorism in the Holy City he then governed.
Anne Lown, a Jewish woman from Boston, had worked nearly 25 years for the Salvation Army's children's services arm in New York when she was thrust into the world of faith-based initiatives.
Lown, associate director of the local Salvation Army's government-funded Social Services for Children, was one of 18 employees to leave or be dismissed in 2003-04 for allegedly refusing to sign forms swearing loyalty to the group's Christian principles.
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.
One finds great pride among older leaders in the community for the young activists and entrepreneurs and a great eagerness to embrace them and bring them into the federation world. But while the young Turks are enthusiastic about approaching the federa
Editor and Publisher
One of the fascinating dynamics in American Jewish life today involves the complex and evolving relationship among three key groups: the Establishment organizations, symbolized by the federations, the primary engine that drives the organized Jewish community; the family foundations, which have generated great sums of philanthropic money in recent years; and the hundreds of emerging start-ups, or small, independent and youth-driven nonprofit ventures that have become increasingly popular in the last decade, especially among Generations X and Y.
A strong but subtle combination of admiration, support and resistance among those groups was just under the surface of a number of discussions — public and private — last week in Washington at the GA (the annual General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America).