Bearing Witness

Staff Writer
One testified with his words. Samuel Hilton, a Holocaust survivor, sat in the witness chair and described how he lived through the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. Others testified with their presence. A dozen recent emigres from the former Soviet Union, also Holocaust survivors, occupied the last two rows of the spectators’ section and listened reverently to Hilton. Most wore Jewish stars, made from yellow paper, on their blouses.

Turin’s Witness

Staff Writer
Turin, Italy At a modest exhibition on “Jewish Life and Culture” in the Piedmont region, which the Turin Jewish community hosted during the Olympics in the hall of the State Archives, the first thing a visitor notices is a glass-covered display case with 14 books in a half-dozen European languages. All are the works of Primo Levi, the city’s native son.

‘I Never Saw A Nazi’

Staff Writer
Miriam Bram heard about the Holocaust at home all her life. Three of her grandparents are survivors. She learned the facts in high school, and visited the death camps last year in Poland. This week, during her summer vacation, Bram’s Holocaust education continued — on the 15th floor of the U.S. Federal District Court in lower Manhattan. Bram, 18, a sophomore at Stern College for Women, attended the denaturalization trial of Jack Reimer, a Ukrainian-born retiree accused of concealing his activities as an SS guard during World War II.

The Last Nazi Trial Of The Century

Staff Writer
It is Poland, the winter of 1941-42. Some four dozen Jews from a labor camp are herded one day to an isolated ravine about 20 miles east-southeast of Lublin, where they are shot to death by SS guards stationed at a nearby training base. After the executions, a high-ranking guard appears at the mass grave. Walking on a wooden plank that spans the bulldozed gully, he notices one man 15 feet beneath him moving, still barely alive, point-ing to his head. The guard aims his rifle at the man and shoots. The man stops moving.

One Campus, Two Countries

Staff Writer
Most visitors to a dried-out riverbed along the Israeli-Jordanian border, halfway between the Dead Sea and Eilat, see only bare dessert. Bernard Lander pictures a university campus there. Lander, president of Touro College, announced this week that the Manhattan-based school will establish a branch, Touro’s third in Israel, in the Jordan Valley.

Summer Of Their Content

Staff Writer
For some students, summer vacation isn’t a vacation from studying or from community service. While many high school and college students spend June through August making money or working on their tans, others use the time giving their time. This summer there were members of the American Jewish Society for Service who built Habitat for Humanity houses in Wyoming, and volunteers from Yeshiva and University Students for the Spiritual Revival of Soviet Jewry group who tutored at Jewish camps in the former Soviet Union.

Fire Destroys Brooklyn Shul

Staff Writer
Firefighters saved the Torah scrolls in the ark of Beth Aaron Temple, but the interior of the Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, congregation was destroyed in a two-alarm fire last week, one month before the start of the High Holy Days. No one was injured in the Aug. 31 blaze at 2261 Bragg St. The fire, which displaced the 150-member congregation, a yeshiva day school that met in the two-story brick building, and homeless people who often found refuge there at night, was not suspicious, a Fire Department spokesman said. A Fire Department investigation is under way.

Triple Threat At Maccabis

Staff Writer
Next week’s JCC Maccabi Games no doubt will have a triple play — in basketball. The Buxbaum triplets, a familiar sight for seven years on intramural teams at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, are members of the center’s basketball team in the international event hosted by the JCC Aug. 20-24. One of five Maccabi Games conducted this summer in cities across the United States, the Staten Island competition, the first-ever in New York City, is affiliated with the worldwide Maccabiah sports movement.

Directory To The Soul

Staff Writer
You’re in synagogue, about to begin the shmoneh esrei, the heart of the prayer service. You’re ready to take the three steps backwards, then three quick steps forward, the ritual that brings each worshiper to a physical and spiritual place standing before God. First, the person leading services speaks: Let us all get up and stand in a comfortable way. We must ensure there is enough space in front of us and in back, so we each can take several steps forward and backward.

Gov’t Pokes Holes In Reimer’s Story

Staff Writer
He buttoned his sweater, straightened his cuffs, took a gulp of bottled water, glanced around the courtroom and began to explain why, after 46 years in the United States, he should not lose his citizenship. “I didn’t do anything to anybody,” Jack Reimer said.
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