News

Hail To The Uzbeki Chief

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
What does a Brooklyn yeshiva have to do with the president of Uzbekistan? Plenty, if you ask Pearl Kaufman, executive director of Be’er Hagolah Yeshiva, an oasis of Jewish learning for 1,000 kids from the former Soviet Union, located just off the Belt Parkway in the Starrett City section. Be’er Hagolah, Hebrew for “well in the diaspora,” planned to give President Islam Karimov its “international leader award” at a gala Plaza Hotel reception Wednesday night.

‘Enough Is Enough’

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
Last Passover, as Jeffrey Rubin and his son Benjamin were heading for early morning prayers at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, they discussed how to help Israel as the Palestinian attacks against the nation increased. Benjamin, then a 15-year-old junior at Long Island’s Hebrew Academy for the Five Towns and Rockaway, came up with the idea to unite American yeshiva teens to show support. With the help of fellow student Baruch Danziger, they formed the National Council of Yeshivot in Support of Israel.

Survivors Seek Polish Rent

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
Poland should pay $40 million in monthly “rent” to Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors for property they once owned that is now managed by the Polish government. So says a new initiative put forth by a coalition of Holocaust survivor groups who fear Poland’s continued delay in passing a private property restitution law will mean that sick and elderly survivors with property claims may wind up with nothing.

Thumbs-Up For Therapeutic Cloning

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
After months of deliberation, a group of Orthodox scientists and Jewish law experts this week announced its endorsement of cloning cells for therapeutic purposes, but opposed cell cloning for reproductive purposes. The ruling, by a team of Orthodox experts assembled by the nation’s two largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella groups — the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America — appears to put all three major Jewish denominations in agreement on the complicated issue of cloning research.

Graham Apology Not Enough

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
The revelation of anti-Semitic sniping by the Rev. Billy Graham during a private taped conversation with President Richard Nixon in 1972 has stung Jewish and non-Jewish interfaith leaders, who say they feel betrayed by one of America’s most respected religious leaders. And despite the ailing 83-year-old Rev. Graham’s speedy apology, critics said the tape is still disturbing because it apparently sheds light on his true feelings about Jews, even as he was acting like their friend and supporting the Soviet Jewry movement and Israel.

Pearl Killing: ‘Wake-Up Call’

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
In the wake of the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who reportedly died with the words “I am a Jew” on his lips, several experts on Islamic terrorism and Jewish leaders are warning that Islamic militants have declared a war against Jews. In issuing what they say is a “wake-up call” to Jews, the experts cautioned that ignoring the warning will mean more innocent people like Pearl, who suspects say was targeted because he was Jewish, will be murdered.

Archives Release Hailed, Questioned

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
Nearly 40 years ago, Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” accused Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII of moral cowardice and indifference while millions of Europe’s Jews were being murdered. The German playwright’s work triggered a worldwide wave of anti-Pius XII criticism, prompting the Vatican — in an unprecedented move — to unlock some of its secret wartime archives in an attempt to refute the charges, arguing he worked behind the scenes to save Jews and did not speak out for fear of a backlash against Catholics and Jews.

Israeli Court OKs Conversions By Non-Orthodox

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
In a historic decision that will likely widen the secular-religious gulf in the Jewish state, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that people converted in Israel by non-Orthodox rabbis must be officially recognized as Jews by the Israeli government. The court did not address the question of whether Reform or Conservative conversions were valid according to Jewish religious law. In practical terms the ruling leaves the Orthodox rabbinate in charge of lifecycle events such as weddings and funerals.

Influential Rabbi Stepping Down

02/08/2002
Staff Writer
Rabbi Ronald Sobel, who has led Manhattan’s majestic Temple Emanu-El — thought to be the largest synagogue in the world — for 28 years and became a leading figure in New York City religious life, will retire this summer. “I wanted to take my departure at a time when my congregants would say they are so sad and that’s exactly what I’m hearing,” a laughing Rabbi Sobel told the Jewish Week Wednesday. “If they said they were not sad, I would be profoundly sad.

Did Church Set Stage For Shoah?

09/21/2001
Staff Writer
David L. Kertzer’s explosive new book “The Popes Against The Jews” already has tongues wagging among interfaith experts, and it hasn’t even officially come out yet. They say the disturbing revelations and conclusions by the respected Brown University historian is sure to cause further tension in an already stressful relationship between the Vatican and Jewish leaders.
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