National

Interfaith Scholars To Study Vatican War Archives

10/22/1999
Staff Writer
Nineteen months after it was first proposed, an “unusual” agreement was reached this week between the Vatican and Jewish leaders to assemble a team of scholars to study World War II-era Vatican records that have been publicly available for more than 30 years. Jewish leaders cautioned it is only a first step in answering questions about the Vatican’s response to the Holocaust. A key area of inquiry will be the actions of Pope Pius XII, whom critics say kept silent during the Holocaust.

Dollars For ‘Dollar Bill’

10/08/1999
Staff Writer
Bill Bradley may have gained a step on rival Al Gore in the race for cash for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the former New Jersey senator and New York Knick apparently will have to rally to catch the vice president in Jewish campaign contributions. Bradley raised an estimated $6.7 million from July to September, according to the latest figures released by the Federal Election Commission, nipping Gore’s total of $6.5 million for the period.

A Six-Sided Star Is Born

08/27/1999
Staff Writer
The six-pointed star — the so-called Star of David — has been many things to many people over past several thousand years. But it only became a universal symbol for Jews — known as the Magen David — during the past 200 years, many scholars say. The hexagram, formed by two superimposed equilateral triangles, is known to scholars from the Bronze Age, when it had magical implications for both Jews and non-Jews. It first appeared on a Jewish seal found at Sidon from the seventh century BCE, according to the Encyclopedia Judaica.

A Star Of David

08/27/1999
Staff Writer
When 15-year-old Ryan Green wore his new Star of David necklace to the first day of class at Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Miss., it drew the attention of wary school officials. The school superintendent, backed by the entire local school board barred the carrot-topped, freckle-faced boy from wearing the silver pendant, citing a school policy that prohibits students from wearing gang symbols. The case swiftly gained national attention, spurring a federal lawsuit, charges of anti-Semitism and raising new questions about religious freedom in public schools.

‘People Have Turned Away From Us’

08/27/1999
Staff Writer
Synagogue officials across the country this week struggled with how to handle security arrangements for the High Holy Days, while bizarre bias acts occurred at two synagogues in Connecticut and in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, two weeks after a white supremacist gunman went on a shooting rampage at Los Angeles Jewish Community Center wounding five people, including three children, JCC officials are issuing a plea for help, saying they are feeling abandoned by the Jewish community.

Attacks Rise Amid Nat’l Outcry

08/20/1999
Staff Writer
Hate crimes against Jews continued across the nation this week even as political leaders from New York’s City Hall to the White House were promising stepped-up protection and renewed attempts to push tougher anti-hate and gun control laws. The moves come in response to the shootings at a Los Angeles-area Jewish community center in which five people were wounded, including a 5-year-old boy and two 6-year-olds.

JCC Rampage Part Of ‘Pattern’ Of Hate

08/13/1999
Staff Writer
New York-area Jewish community centers moved swiftly Tuesday to increase security in response to the day’s shooting rampage at North Valley Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles area. One Jewish leader declared the incident — the third attack on Jews and Jewish property in the United States in the last two months — to be part of a frightening trend.

Escalating The War Against Hate

07/16/1999
Staff Writer
Authorities are stepping up the pressure on the World Church of the Creator, an Illinois-based white supremacist group that law enforcement officials are linking to three synagogue fires in Sacramento, Calif., and a shooting rampage in the Midwest that targeted blacks, Jews and Asian Americans, leaving two dead. In Illinois, state tax officials have launched a tax-evasion probe. Sacramento police have increased the monitoring of members and followers of the group.

Synagogue Fires Forge Unity In Calif.

06/25/1999
Staff Writer
In the wake of the worst attack on synagogues in the United States in at least two decades, federal investigators are feverishly tracking leads in last week’s coordinated firebombings of three of the five temples in Sacramento, Calif. Meanwhile, an unprecedented outpouring of support continues to stream into the California state capital’s Jewish community from local citizens, national politicians and horrified American Jewish organizations, all vowing to help rebuild the severely damaged buildings torched in a pre-dawn raid last Friday by still unknown persons.
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