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.
The New York Kollel, a 12-year-old adult education program that has met at the Reform movement’s rabbinical seminary in Manhattan and offered advanced yeshiva-style studies from a non-denominational, non-Orthodox perspective, is giving its last classes this summer.
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which has housed and helped support the Kollel since 1995, announced this spring that it would close the program, following a two and a half year “strategic planning process” that found the Kollel to be a financial drain.
Next week, Mr. Singer, teacher in a local day school, will be Samal Zinger, sergeant in an Israeli army unit. Next week, Aharon Singer, who looks outside his apartment window and sees children playing on a cul de sac, will open a tent and see the hills of the West Bank.
Next week, Singer will put on a bulletproof vest and put his life on the line.
Israel Singer: His fiscal woes while at WJC dismissed as "rumors " by AJCongress.
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Israel Singer, who was dismissed from a top post at the World Jewish Congress earlier this year for alleged financial misdeeds, has re-emerged in a lay leadership role for the Council for World Jewry, an offshoot of the American Jewish Congress.
Jack Rosen, chairman of both the AJCongress and the Council, said he appointed Singer as chairman of the latter’s international policy council several weeks ago because “he has the experience and standing in the Jewish community, and a great deal to offer.”
Efforts are under way to resolve a 3-year-old stalemate that has kept the Austrian government from paying a $210 million Holocaust-era property claims settlement and to provide the Austrian Jewish community with the money it needs to continue operating.
Israel Singer, president of the Conference on Jewish and Material Claims Against Germany, said he has proposed funding the Jewish community using unallocated money from a $400 million fund created to pay surviving slave laborers. The deadline for filing slave labor claims expires Dec. 31 and about $150 million remains.
Faced with the prospect of an investigation by New York Attorney General Elliott Spitzer’s office into its financial dealings, the World Jewish Congress is close to working out an agreement with its chief inside critic that would include holding the full and independent audit he has been demanding, The Jewish Week has learned.Sources close to the issue say that Stephen Herbits, transition director of the WJC, met this week in Israel with Isi Leibler, a former leader of the Australian Jewish community living in Israel who WJC officials sought to remove as senior vice president this fal
On the eve of the first World Jewish Congress Assembly in three years, the group’s chief spokesman said he welcomes the prospect of an investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office into its financial dealings but regrets the failure to resolve internally a conflict over past governance.The WJC Assembly will meet in Brussels for three days starting Sunday, with an expected 500 participants representing 88 Jewish communities from around the world.
Both sides in the increasingly nasty World Jewish Congress feud got what they wanted from the organization’s assembly in Brussels this week. The leadership put on a display of solidarity, with the 540 delegates from around the world not only showing their support for Edgar Bronfman and Israel Singer by re-electing them unanimously as president and chairman, respectively, but by fully embracing their version of the internal dispute about alleged financial mismanagement and lack of governance as baseless and harmful.
After weeks of refusing to negotiate Holocaust claims with an Austrian government that includes the anti-immigrant Freedom Party, a Jewish leader has proposed a solution: negotiate with the Austrian National Fund, a body established by Austria's parliament to pay compensation to as many as 30,000 victims of Nazi persecution.