Pope’s German Trip Important, Spokesman Says


Rome (JTA) — Pope Benedict XVI’s trip last week to his native Germany, the first since he was designated pope in 2005, afforded the opportunity to reflect on the lessons drawn from the Nazi regime and the Holocaust, the chief Vatican spokesman said.

“One cannot pass through Berlin without feeling the weight of the darkest page in the history of Germany and Europe in the last century: the madness for power and murder that marked the Nazi era,” the Rev. Federico Lombardo, the director of the Vatican press office, said on Vatican Television.

U.S. Holocaust Museum Receives Largest Single Gift


(JTA) — In the largest single gift ever to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the estate of Eric F. Ross donated $17.2 million.

The bequest brings Ross and his late wife, Lore’s total donations to the museum to more than $30 million. While they were alive the Rosses — both refugees from Nazi Germany — had donated more than $12 million to the institution.

Nazi Compensation Fund Recipient Produces Anti-Semitic Booklet


(JTA) – A German fund established to compensate victims of forced labor under the Nazis sponsored a project that produced anti-Semitic propaganda.

The Memory, Responsibility and Future Fund, which was established 11 years ago, sponsored a student exchange program between high school students in Nazareth and eastern Germany. The students prepared a booklet full of anti-Semitic propaganda and drawings at the end of the program, the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Achronot reported.

Women’s Group Creates Domestic Violence Misheberach Prayer


(JTA) – Jewish Women International has created a misheberach prayer to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Created by JWI's Clergy Task Force, the prayer is multidenominational and written in Hebrew and English. It directs healing specifically to the victims of domestic abuse; the misheberach prayer calls for complete healingof the body and spirit.

AJC Slams Pro-Israel Group's Attack On Obama


(JTA) – The American Jewish Committee slammed a pro-Israel group for its ad campaign questioning President Obama's Israel commitment.

“This ad is highly objectionable, indeed counter-productive, to its stated aim of supporting Israel," David Harris, the AJC's director, said in a statement Monday after the Emergency Committee for Israel’s full-page ad appeared in The New York Times.

iTunes Labels Jewish Music As 'Christian & Gospel'


(JTA) – Apple’s iTunes has put some of the most well-known Jewish and chasidic singers in the online music store “Christian & Gospel" section.

The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that musicians such as Avraham Fried, an Orthodox Jew; Mordechai Ben-David; and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach all have some albums categorized in iTunes’ “Christian & Gospel” genre section.

Obama Outreach To Jews Launching With Conference Call


(JTA) – The Obama re-election campaign is launching its outreach to Jews with a mass conference call.

Top campaign officials will address listeners in the call, which is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, a top Jewish outreach official told JTA.

Jewish supporters will be alerted to the call's details Monday afternoon, the official said.

The call is taking place now to arm Obama supporters with arguments ahead of the Jewish High Holidays, the official said.

Report: Pollard Offered To Spy For Australia


(JTA) – Jonathan Pollard, the Jewish American jailed for spying for Israel, first offered classified information to Australia, according to a report.

Lydia Jechorek, an FBI agent assigned to the Pollard case after his arrest in 1985, told Newsmax, a conservative American news organization, that Pollard had attempted to spy for another “friendly country” before spying for Israel. Jechorek said that he had admitted this to her after his arrest.

Director Retracts Apology For Hitler Sympathy


(JTA) — Director Lars von Trier has retracted his apology for saying at the Cannes Film Festival that he had sympathy for Hitler.

In an interview in this month's GQ magazine, von Trier said his apologies at and immediately after Cannes, where he was declared a persona non grata and removed from the festival in May, were not sincere and forced, the Toronto Sun reported.

Rabbis, Scholars Compile Materials To Guide Civility Drive


(JTA) — A group of leading rabbis and scholars has compiled sermons and other materials to help Jewish leaders talk about civility during the High Holidays and all year.

The civility materials, which include religious texts and study materials, were prepared by a working group composed of rabbis and scholars from across the Jewish religious spectrum under the auspices of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

They are part of the Campaign for Civility that JCPA launched in 2010 and can be found on the JCPA website.

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