Who Could Have Known?: A Most Unlikely Simcha

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I officiated at a wedding not quite two weeks ago that, by all external criteria, looked much like many of the hundreds of weddings I’ve officiated at over the last thirty years.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Kirstein v. Blum: A Jewish Ballet Battle

Every time you watch the New York City Ballet, you are under the heal of George Balanchine, the company's founding choreographer and the 20th century's greatest dance-maker.  Many people know how he got there: Lincoln Kirstein, the son of a wealthy Jewish businessman and the company's co-founder, brought him over from Europe.  But what many don't know is that there was another heir to a Jewish fortune--Rene Blum--who tried to get him first. 

U.S. Holocaust Museum Presenting Roll Call of Victims


(JTA) -- Holocaust survivors and members of the public are reading the names of Holocaust victims at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

The reading at the museum's Hall of Remembrance began Sunday and will last through May 8.

During the Days of Remembrance, May 1-8, the museum is commemorating the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, with observances in Washington and throughout the United States.

A Thoroughbred, Rosa Robota, And The Great Auschwitz Uprising Of 1944

Once upon a time in a magical town called Ciechanow there was an gutsy Zionist family. Faige Trombka, in Czarist times, "risked giving her home for a Zionist library, for Hebrew courses... She raised her children as staunch Jews, fought for the establishment of Israel," said those who remember.

Germany Donates $80 Million to Maintain Auschwitz


BERLIN (JTA) -- Germany has committed to a donation of $80 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, for the preservation and restoration of the memorial at the site of the Nazi concentration camp.

Germany’s contribution will be split between the federal government and the states, and will be disbursed in five annual installments, according to the German Foreign Ministry.

The contribution is by far the largest to the new foundation, which was established in 2009 with the aim of securing long-term financing for upkeep of the memorial.

Three Charged in Auschwitz Sign Theft


(JTA) -- Polish prosecutors charged a Swedish man and two Polish men in the theft of the "Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from the front gate of Auschwitz.

The Swede, Anders Hogstrom, a neo-Nazi leader who allegedly organized the theft as a middleman between a neo-Nazi buyer and five Polish thieves, reportedly struck a plea bargain with Polish prosecutors on Thursday. Under the terms of the deal, Hogstrum will serve 32 months in jail in his native Sweden, the French news service AFP reported Thursday.

For A Kenyan Child, A Swedish-Jewish ‘Angel’

The power of generosity, and the connections it forges, plays out in ‘A Small Act.’

Special To The Jewish Week

In Talmud Yerushalmi it is written, “I myself found fully grown carob trees in the world; as my fathers planted for me before I was born so do I plant for those who will come after me.”

There is a retired schoolteacher living in Stockholm, Hilde Back, who may never have read that sentence, although she is Jewish.

Hilde Back

From Inner-City To Auschwitz


Nothing prepared Ariel Villaruel for what she saw at Auschwitz, the 15-year-old said last week, only a few days after returning from Eastern Europe.

“When you read about it, you don’t think it would ever have that much of an effect on you,” she explained. “You feel sad for a while. But when you see it, you feel different. It’s horrifying.”

Sharing a light moment in Eastern Europe are Diana Cabrera, left, Amanda Remy, Ariel Villaruel, Natasha Flowers and Tasia Sharpe

Auschwitz Talks Set To Resume

Washington Correspondent

Negotiations over the future of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in Poland could begin in a matter of weeks now that hundreds of crosses erected by Polish Catholic extremists have been removed, according to the chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and the head of the coalition negotiating with the government in Warsaw.

Proposed No-Building Zone Near Camps Stirs Protests

Staff Writer
Despite a demonstration by hundreds of protesters, the Polish government Tuesday supported a proposal to establish a 100-yard no-development zone around nine former Nazi death camps, thereby thwarting plans to open a mini-mall adjacent to Auschwitz.
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