In the weeks before Reform rabbis met to sanction officiating at gay and lesbian unions, rabbis on both sides of the issue waged a spirited debate on Web chat rooms.
“The amount of vituperation on the Internet became unbearable,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of the Community Synagogue in Port Washington, L.I. “There were personal attacks, professional attacks, outright lies and innuendoes.”
Jewish organizations are turning their attention to Austria following agreement last week on how to divide a $5.2 billion German fund to compensate Nazi-era laborers and those whose bank accounts, insurance policies and property were stolen by the Nazis.
“It’s 60 years too late, but it brings a measure of justice,” said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, of the German settlement.
Amman, Jordan — Jews who continue to oppose the Vatican’s desire to make a saint of World War II Pope Pius XII are causing an anti-Semitic backlash among Catholics, warned William Cardinal Keeler, one of America’s foremost interfaith leaders.
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.
Jerusalem — At about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff in the history of Catholicism to recognize a State of Israel on its own soil.
Clutching his wooden staff under a steady rain, the stooped, white-robed Pope stood at a lectern at a festively decorated Ben-Gurion Airport landing strip, and in a hoarse voice said in English: “I greet all the people of the State of Israel.”
Prague, Czech Republic — Under gray, rainy skies, dozens of curious onlookers huddled together Wednesday to watch the unveiling of a new addition to the gleaming centuries-old crucifixion statue overlooking the historic Charles Bridge — the first in more than 300 years.
And some hope it could signal improved relations between the city’s Christians and its small, struggling Jewish community.