Two influential American Jews praised and criticized for their assertive, sometimes aggressive, style in the public arena died this week. One was a champion of Jewish causes, the other far more problematic.
Elan Steinberg’s cogent arguments and advocacy secured billions on behalf of Holocaust survivors.
Elan Steinberg was remembered this week as the master wordsmith of the World Jewish Congress whose ability to craft pithy sound bites and cogently argue on behalf of Holocaust survivors helped the organization win billions in settlements from Swiss banks and Germany, as well as expose the Nazi past of former United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.
Mr. Steinberg died Friday morning of complications while battling lymphatic cancer, according to his wife, Sharon. He was 59.
Government cites economy in scrapping restitution plan.
Jewish organizations here are promising to mount a major fight — exerting political and diplomatic pressure — to prevent the Polish government from abandoning its compensation of Jews and others whose private property was stolen by the Nazis and then confiscated by the Communists.
(JTA) -- Jewish organizations are hailing Pope Benedict XVI's unequivocal repudiation of the claim that the Jewish people can be held forever responsible for the death of Jesus.
The Vatican already rejected the claim in general terms in 1965 with the landmark Nostra Aetate document issued by the Vatican II Conference, opening the door to formal Catholic-Jewish dialogue. But in a new volume of his book, "Jesus of Nazareth," Benedict employs a detailed scholarly analysis of Catholic teaching to make the point clear.
(JTA) – Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas said the Jews did not have to leave postwar Europe because they weren’t persecuted.
In an interview Wednesday on CNN’s “Joy Behar” program, Thomas told Behar that once World War II ended, the Jews “didn’t have to go anywhere really, because they weren’t being persecuted anymore. But they were taking other people’s land.”
By most accounts, Edgar Bronfman, the Seagrams heir and former head of the World Jewish Congress, was the hero of the historic Swiss bank deal. He is widely credited with launching the initiative that eventually led Swiss banks to agree to a $1.25 billion settlement to resolve claims that they hoarded bank accounts opened by Jews who were murdered by the Nazis.
But with the death of Richard Holbrooke last week has come fresh details of the U.S. diplomat’s pivotal and secret efforts in 1996 to convince Swiss banks to take the steps that led to that settlement.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Fox News provocateur Glenn Beck spent spent several days taking aim at billionaire businessman and philanthropist George Soros, but so far -- at least within Jewish circles -- the barrage appears to be backfiring.