With preparations under way for Pope John Paul's historic Millennium visit to Jerusalem next March, the question of the Vatican's political position on the future of the Holy City takes on greater significance.Some Jewish leaders may not like what they hear. Talking to Jewish interfaith leaders at recent conference in Washington, D.C., Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran advocated that all the "holy places" in Israel be put under "international guarantees" of access.
If you think fighting City Hall is tough, how about Washington bureaucracy? Vivian Regina Pronin, a counselor and geriatric care manager from Hastings-On-Hudson, Westchester, refused to give up after being told by lawyers, Jewish groups and lawmakers that her fight with Medicaid was just about impossible to win. But a year after she began her campaign, Pronin achieved victory: not only for her parents but also for all Holocaust survivors.
Other than the occasional murder, few newspaper stories, if any, originate from the desolation of East Tremont Avenue; certainly no stories in Jewish newspapers, now that all the Jews have long ago scattered from these Bronx streets. Thereís nothing left on East Tremont, is there? But let it be written, in the words of the biblical Jacob: ìSurely, God is in this place ó and I, I did not know.
Two groups of rabbis were scheduled to converge on police headquarters this week, and if all goes as planned, one group will be arrested while the other is escorted inside to meet with the commissioner.
The events point out the divergent paths taken by segments of the Jewish community as it grapples with the police shooting of an unarmed West African immigrant, and how best to respond.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States rose slightly in 1998, with a 2 percent increase from the previous year, according to the latest audit compiled by the Anti-Defamation League. The annual report attributes the rise to an increase in vandalism against Jewish institutions and property, which drove the total number of incidents to 1,611 in 42 states and the district of Columbia. In 1997, there were 1,571 incidents recorded. New York continues to lead the nation in anti-Semitic incidents, despite a 15 percent decrease to 324 incidents from 380 in 1997.
A congressional race that is nearly two years away already is making waves in the Crown Heights Jewish community, as two of its political allies head for a 2000 showdown.
Rep. Major Owens, who has represented District 11 in central Brooklyn for 16 years, is likely to face a Democratic primary challenge next year from his former protege, Councilwoman Una Clarke. Both have been strong supporters of Jewish causes, leaving activists wondering whom to support, or in a third option, whether to run a Jewish candidate.