Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Academy Award-winning producer of Holocaust-related documentaries, has called for a letter-writing campaign to block sainthood for Pope Pius XII, saying it would desecrate the memory of the Shoah because of his silence during World War II.
"Such a nomination demeans the meaning of sainthood for countless others who are truly deserving of such a tribute," he declared during his State of World Jewry address last week at the 92nd Street Y.
Social scientist Gary Tobin acknowledges that some Jewish leaders think his bold idea to help save the future of American Jewry is part of a "lunatic conversation.
"Having said that, the San Francisco-based demographer launches into a carefully reasoned presentation of his multibillion-dollar proposal called "proactive conversion" to make Judaism more attractive to Christians, agnostics, non-Jewish spouses of Jews and children of mixed marriages.
The New York Jewish community is preparing to resettle "hundreds" of ethnic Albanian refugees here in coming weeks and to raise an estimated $200 to $600 for each refugee to supplement government grants, The Jewish Week has learned.
Beneath the angst among American Jews about how we, of all people, can relate to whatís happening in Kosovo, and how much we, of all people, are doing to alleviate the horror, many Israelis are saying that we, of all people, should be slower to jump atop a propaganda bandwagon in which refugees are pawns.
If diplomacy is the art of accenting the positive, the distinguished speakers at a formal dinner Tuesday evening commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s admission to the United Nations deserved the highest diplomatic marks. One would hardly have known from listening to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, or former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban that for most of the last five decades Israel has been treated as a pariah in the world body.
He may be trailing in Israel, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a straw poll of sorts in Brooklyn this week. Along a Middle Eastern shopping strip of Brooklyn's Kings Highway on Monday, native Israelis overwhelmingly gave the Likud incumbent a vote of confidence.
"I am 100 percent for Netanyahu," said Oded Hakabyov, a native of Eilat, now working as a contractor, as he waited for his wife at the Cholon Market. "If Barak wins, Arafat is going to win," said Hakabyov, referring to Labor Party candidate Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.