In a bitter custody case that has sparked international Jewish concern, an Italian appeals court last week threw out a lower-court decision that granted custody of two Jewish children to their non-observant Israeli-born father, and not their Orthodox mother.
The reversal brought a sigh of relief from American Orthodox Jewish leaders who charged that the lower court in Genoa discriminated against Orthodox Judaism, likening it to a dangerous cult.
A local Polish Jewish organization and an international Jewish group will share jurisdiction over the control of perhaps billions of dollars of Jewish communal properties being returned by the Polish government, according to a tentative deal reached between the two parties.
The proposed agreement over some 6,000 properties seized by the Nazis and communists comes after three years of acrimonious negotiations between the World Jewish Restitution Organization and the Union of Polish Jewish Congregations.
Jews and Catholics are at odds over a new book charging Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII with being pro-Hitler and an anti-Semite.
Vatican supporters are slamming as “scurrilous” the forthcoming book, “Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII,” by British author John Cornwell, whose evidence reportedly includes “secret” documents from the Vatican archives.
Cornwell claims Pius XII, Pope from 1939 to 1958, was a visceral anti-Semite who condoned Hitler’s policy towards the Jews and did nothing to stop the Holocaust.
Taking another step in a lengthy process, the Polish cabinet last weekend approved a draft bill outlining the conditions for restitution for those whose private property was seized by the Nazis and communists.
The bill must be sent to parliament, where debate is expected to be fierce.
Warsaw, Poland — Konstanty Gebert likes to compare this city’s fledgling Jewish community to a sapling cut from a tree, replanted, and now forging its own identity.
What this journalist and Jewish community leader doesn’t like are Jewish critics who state that Poland’s struggling Jewish community is irrelevant or dead.
Like the famous Mark Twain quip, Gebert insists that such reports are highly exaggerated.
Polish lawmakers this week began wrestling with a long-delayed World War II property restitution plan, only weeks after 11 Jews filed an unprecedented federal lawsuit in Brooklyn against the Republic of Poland seeking the return of property seized from their families during the Holocaust.
Polish and American Jewish leaders say last week’s “Mr. Pope” incident between Poland’s chief rabbi and Pope John Paul II has damaged Jewish-Catholic relations in Poland, and could undermine negotiations involving the controversial Auschwitz cross.
And adding to the Auschwitz cross controversy is Riverdale Rabbi Avi Weiss, who on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington for violating his First Amendment rights by barring him from speaking at this week’s biannual board meeting.
During a revealing World War II meeting between Pope Pius XII and the British ambassador to the Vatican, the pontiff said he had no complaints against the Nazis occupying Rome and expressed concern about the trouble his city would encounter when they left, according to a recently declassified U.S. memo obtained by The Jewish Week.
And when the British diplomat details for the pope German abuses, the pope does not directly respond, according to the two-page document which records the Nov. 1, 1943, meeting between Pius XII and British Ambassador Francis D’Arcy Osborne.
The Vatican’s top liaison to Jews has strongly criticized “Jewish agencies” for damaging Catholic-Jewish relations with “aggressive attitudes” against the Church, and has declared that the premier Jewish international interfaith umbrella group is dead.
In a defiant statement, the Vatican has rejected U.S. government appeals to open its secret World War II archives, The Jewish Week has learned. The development is expected to heighten tensions between the Holy See and world Jewish community leaders, experts said.
“It’s disgraceful,” declared Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress of the Vatican’s position, contained in a bold three-page declaration selectively distributed at a Holocaust conference in Washington last week.