Officials of UJA-Federation of New York are taking a cautiously optimistic view of Birthright Israel, the $300 million effort to provide a free, 10-day trip to Israel for diaspora youth.
“We share their goals and look forward to the opportunity to sit down with the Birthright leadership to learn the specifics of the project as it evolves,” said John Ruskay, UJA-Federation’s chief operating officer.
Jews and Catholics are at odds over a new book charging Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII with being pro-Hitler and an anti-Semite.
Vatican supporters are slamming as “scurrilous” the forthcoming book, “Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII,” by British author John Cornwell, whose evidence reportedly includes “secret” documents from the Vatican archives.
Cornwell claims Pius XII, Pope from 1939 to 1958, was a visceral anti-Semite who condoned Hitler’s policy towards the Jews and did nothing to stop the Holocaust.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses |
Implicitly rebutting several senior government authorities, the Central Jewish Committee of Iran last week publicly asserted for the first time that 13 Iranian Jews currently imprisoned on suspicion of spying for Israel and the United States are innocent.
Putting its own resources on the line, the committee, which serves as the umbrella group for Iran’s 25,000 Jews, also announced it was prepared to raise money for attorneys to defend the imprisoned Jews.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses |
Ambassador Bagher Asadi of Iran’s UN Mission joined the Likud Party’s former representative in the United States in a ritual dipping of apples in honey to welcome the Jewish New Year Monday.
For some, the breakfast meeting seemed downright messianic — especially when a tardy Israeli Consul General Shmuel Sisso joined the affair, which was sponsored by a new, self-described peace group backed by large Israeli businesses such as El Al and Bezek. Staunchly anti-Zionist, Iran has yet to even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
Warsaw, Poland — Konstanty Gebert likes to compare this city’s fledgling Jewish community to a sapling cut from a tree, replanted, and now forging its own identity.
What this journalist and Jewish community leader doesn’t like are Jewish critics who state that Poland’s struggling Jewish community is irrelevant or dead.
Like the famous Mark Twain quip, Gebert insists that such reports are highly exaggerated.
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.