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Jewish Journal

Ruth E. Gruber

  • Will Successor Tread Pope’s Jewish Path?

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    As the College of Cardinals prepared to begin secret deliberations next week to choose a successor, the question remained to what extent John Paul's exceptionally proactive policy regarding Jews would endure.

    "It seems unlikely that the next pope will have the same interest in...

  • Pope’s Jewish Legacy

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm



    Though a staunch conservative on most Catholic issues, Pope John Paul II made bettering Jewish-Catholic relations a centerpiece of his policy and took revolutionary strides toward this goal during his more than 26-year reign. The pope repeatedly condemned anti-Semitism,...

  • Milestones in Pope’s Relations With Jews

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm



    During his papacy, Pope John Paul II repeatedly condemned anti-Semitism and met frequently with Jewish religious and lay leaders. He also took certain steps that Jews criticized. Following are some of the milestones in his relations with Jews and Israel:

    1920s-1930s -- Karol...

  • Heading Toward Normal in Bosnia

    October 14, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Jakob Finci, longtime leader of the Bosnian Jewish community, took a swallow of local draft beer and gestured at the mellow crowd enjoying dinner in an upscale new restaurant not far from the city's synagogue.

    The tables were full, and, Finci said, there were probably Serbs and...

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  • Church Honors Gibson ‘Inspiration’

    October 7, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Mel Gibson's "muse" is on the path to sainthood. Pope John Paul II this week beatified Anna Katharina Emmerick, a 19th-century German nun whose mystic visions inspired Gibson's gory depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ."

    Sunday's move dismayed some...

  • Church Honors Gibson ‘Inspiration’

    October 7, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Mel Gibson's "muse" is on the path to sainthood. Pope John Paul II this week beatified Anna Katharina Emmerick, a 19th-century German nun whose mystic visions inspired Gibson's gory depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ."

    Sunday's move dismayed some...

  • Italy Jewish History Richer Than Gelato

    January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Twenty years ago, an Italian television channel hired Annie Sacerdoti, a Jewish writer and editor in Milan, to produce a documentary about Jewish history in Italy's northern Lombardy region.

    At the time, Sacerdoti had long been an active member of the 10,000-strong Jewish community...

  • Commemorating the Warsaw Uprising

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    On April 19, 1943, heavily armed Nazi troops penetrated into the Warsaw Ghetto with a grim goal: the liquidation of the ghetto and the deportation of the last remnants of Warsaw's Jews -- some 40,000 men, women and children.

    The German forces were met by something unexpected: a...

  • History Comes Alive

    August 29, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Italian scholar Francesco Spagnolo is keenly aware of the long-standing Jewish presence in Italy.

    "Never before the creation of the State of Israel did Jews of so many varied origins live together, and in such a stimulating, if at times threatening, environment as in the land they...

  • Klezmer in Krakow

    July 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Henryk Halkowski flops down in an armchair in the Klezmer Hois restaurant and orders a bowl of chicken soup with kreplach.

    The Klezmer Hois, located in a building that once housed a mikvah, is one of a score of upscale new "Jewish-style" restaurants and cafes that dot Kazimierz, the...

  • When in Rome

    December 6, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    The election of Dr. Riccardo Di Segni as the new chief rabbi of Rome opens the latest chapter in the tumultuous life of a Jewish community that traces its history back to the days of the Maccabees.

    Di Segni was elected earlier this month to replace Elio Toaff, who is retiring at age...

  • White Wedding

    August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The Riemer family is something of a rarity in the Jewish world of post-Communist Central Europe.

    Not only are Daniel Riemer and his wife Magda both Jewish, but both of their 20-something daughters, Zuzana and Sandra, have found Jewish men to marry.

    This is no easy feat in a part of...

  • Poles Remember Massacre

    July 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Sixty years after hundreds of Jews in a Polish village were slaughtered by their neighbors, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski offered an apology.

    "For this crime, we should beg the souls of the dead and their families for forgiveness," Kwasniewski told about 3,000 people...

  • Pope Pays Homage at Babi Yar

    June 28, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In his first visit to a Jewish site since a controversial May appearance in Syria, Pope John Paul II paid tribute this week to thousands of Ukrainian Jews killed by the Nazis in one of the bloodiest slaughters of the Holocaust.

    The 81-year-old pope bowed his head and prayed in...

  • ‘Neighbors’

    March 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Responding to widespread debate over Poles' participation in a 1941 massacre of Jews, Poland's political and religious leaders are calling on Polish citizens to confront their past.

    "We have an obligation to honor the memory of the victims and to establish the truth," Prime Minister...

  • Echoes of Conflict 1

    October 19, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Fearing that the crisis in the Middle East could spill over into a wave of terrorism in Europe, Jewish communities and police across Europe are on their highest state of alert in a decade.

    Already, scores of anti-Semitic incidents ranging from graffiti to street demonstrations to...

  • Echoes of Conflict 2

    October 19, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Fearing that the crisis in the Middle East could spill over into a wave of terrorism in Europe, Jewish communities and police across Europe are on their highest state of alert in a decade.

    Already, scores of anti-Semitic incidents ranging from graffiti to street demonstrations to...

  • Restoring Hope

    September 21, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    A prayer and study center honoring Jewish life has opened near the place that for more than half a century has been the paramount symbol of Jewish death.

    Jordan's Prince Hassan joined Roman Catholic clergy, Polish, U.S. and Israeli officials and Holocaust survivors in an emotional...

  • Cultural Connection

    August 31, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    An ancient mikvah in Sicily. The Jewish cemetery in Sarajevo. The oldest synagogue in Great Britain.These are just a few of the hundreds of Jewish heritage sites in 16 European countries that will be open to the public Sept. 3 in a "European Day of Jewish Culture."

    The scope of this...

  • Rebirth in Wroclaw

    July 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    When Curt Fissel stomped on the glass after his wedding in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw, the congregation erupted into loud applause and a resounding chorus of "Mazel tov!"But the joyous response went far beyond heartfelt good wishes to Fissel and his bride, Ellen...

  • Seeking Forgiveness

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Pope John Paul II will act this month on two prominent themes that have colored his papacy: seeking forgiveness for past Catholic errors, including the treatment of Jews, and his intense personal dream of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

    But his actions on these issues are coming...

  • Grand Illusion

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Joerg Haider's unexpected resignation as head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party is widely seen as a strategic ploy that may ultimately win him more political power -- including the nation's leadership.

    "It is important not to overestimate" the move, Marta Halpert, director of the...

  • Watching and Waiting

    February 10, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A rabbi and three guests walked home through the streets of the city center after having a Shabbat dinner last Friday, when they were stopped by a man in his 60s.

    "I am a Roman Catholic," he told the rabbi, who with his long beard, and black coat and hat was clearly identifiable as...

  • Defiant Actions

    February 3, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A far-right party has forged an agreement to share power in Austria's government in defiance of an unprecedented European Union threat to penalize the country.

    The strong condemnation of Freedom Party leader Jorg Haider by the Europeans and the world community brought back memories of...

  • Connecting the Dots

    December 23, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A name and date in a yellowing ledger. An inscription on a crumbling tombstone. A birth certificate. A walk along a dusty street in an Eastern European village. A faded family photograph. Sometimes a newly discovered relative.

    These are rich prizes for tens of thousands of Jews...

  • Ten Years After the Wall

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    On a frosty November morning, I walked around the two massive, ruined synagogues that form a unique surviving Jewish complex in Kalvarija, a small, sleepy town in southern Lithuania near the border with Poland.

    One of the synagogues was built in the early 18th century. Its roof had...

  • A Jewish Revival

    November 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For European leaders, the recent inauguration of three Jewish schools in Central Europe symbolizes far more than a Jewish revival.

    They also reflect hopes for a return to normalcy in the heart of Europe more than 50 years after the Holocaust -- and 10 years after the fall of...

  • Nation/World Briefs

    October 7, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    From the beginning, there were clear indications of the kind of year that lay ahead.

    As the Days of Awe approached last September, President Clinton reached for a High Holidays prayer book and turned to the Yom Kippur liturgy in his search for the right words of contrition following...

  • A Jewish Renaissance

    September 30, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    A decade ago, the Jewish communities in communist-dominated Eastern and Central Europe were generally written off as dying remnants of the pre-Holocaust past. Forty years of communist restrictions -- and decades more than that in what was then the Soviet Union -- had compounded the...
  • Jewish Open House

    September 30, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    An unused, 18th-century synagogue in the northern Italian town of Cherasco, whose elegant canopied bimah features gilded carving, painted decoration and slim spiral columns. A 13th-century mikvah in the heart of Strasbourg, France, and a former synagogue in nearby Pfaffenhoffen that...
  • Cardinal Repentance

    September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In a High Holiday letter to Jewish friends, New York's Roman Catholic cardinal has expressed "abject sorrow" for centuries of anti-Semitism, and called for a new era of respect and love between Christians and Jews.

    The powerfully worded letter from Cardinal John O'Connor echoed...

  • Security Lapse

    August 19, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Armed police stand guard 24 hours a day outside the main synagogues in Rome and Vienna. Worshipers in Rome and Milan must have their bags searched before entering synagogue for High Holiday services. Visitors to Budapest's main synagogue and Jewish museum -- and also to Jewish...
  • European Jews Debate Identity

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Nearly 600 Jewish community leaders and representatives from 39 countries gathered here over the weekend for what they described as a major step toward the goal of creating a new European Jewish identity.

    Organizers and participants at the first General Assembly of the European...

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