July 12, 2001
Russian Jews Ink Prison Deal
Representatives from a leading Jewish group will be able to visit and provide religious services to Jews held in Russian prisons, according to a new agreement.
The pact, signed by Russian Justice Ministry officials and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, will allow prisoners to have the "spiritual guidance they need during their incarceration,'' Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar said.
Document: Bush, Salvation Made Deal
The Bush administration will protect the Salvation Army from hiring gays and lesbians if the charity backs the White House's faith-based initiative, according to a Salvation Army document obtained by The Washington Post. In an internal report, the charity says the White House had committed to pursuing a regulation to exempt religious groups, such as the Salvation Army, from state and local efforts to prevent discrimination in hiring and domestic partner benefits. But the White House says no "firm commitment" was made to the group.
German Jews Blast Assad Visit
German Jewish leaders published a full-page newspaper ad condemning Syrian President Bashar Assad's plans to visit Germany and calling on the German government to distance itself from him. "He who seeds hate is an unacceptable negotiation partner for the German government," the Central Council of Jews in Germany said in the ad.
Tornado Strikes Yiddish Concert
The toll of those killed after a tornado struck an open-air Yiddish concert in France grew to 11 over the weekend. More than 50 people remain hospitalized, 17 of them in serious condition, from last Friday's tragedy. The European Center for Yiddish Culture sponsored the concert, which was held in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg.
Hebrew National Owner Dies at 90
Leonard Pines, the longtime owner of Hebrew National Kosher Foods, perhaps the most well-known kosher food company in the United States, died July 4 in Florida at the age of 90. Pines developed the Lower East Side deli meat business he inherited from his father, who emigrated from Romania.
Pines expanded the market for Hebrew National with advertisements that told consumers that his company answered to a "higher authority."
Pole Sentenced for WWII Slayings
A Polish court sentenced a 78-year-old Polish man to eight years in prison last Friday for helping Nazis kill Jews. Henryk Mania was convicted of participating in acts of genocide at the Chelmno camp between December 1941 and April 1943.
It was the first such case brought by a government panel that last year began investigating archives and documents relating to Nazi-era crimes.
Jews Blamed for Murder Climate
Jewish officials who pressed Switzerland to confront its World War II past were responsible for creating the atmosphere that led to the recent murder of a rabbi in Zurich, according to a public relations officer for the Credit Suisse bank.
Roger Schaerer said officials from the World Jewish Congress and Jewish politicians created an anti-Semitic backlash that was responsible for the June 7 shooting death of Rabbi Abraham Greenbaum, a 71-year-old rabbi visiting from Israel.
Jail Offers Interfaith Program
A new interfaith program in an Ohio jail is trying to teach religion and religious tolerance by housing 48 male inmates in a single dorm.
Six Jews, six Muslims and 36 Christians will participate in the 10-month Horizon Interfaith Program at the Marion Correctional Institution, a medium-security facility.
Hitler Retreat to Become Hotel
Hitler's Austrian retreat, where he plotted his assault on Europe, will become a luxury hotel, scheduled to open next year. Bavarian officials built an information center in Obersalzberg in 1999 to show how Nazis commanded their forces from the mountain getaway and planned the destruction of the Jews.
Olmert blasts Wagner performance
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert said the city will have to reconsider its future relations with conductor Daniel Barenboim after he conducted a surprise performance of a piece by Hitler's favorite composer at the Israel Festival
--Briefs courtesy of JTA