October 17, 2002
Settlers Protest Outpost Dismantling
Jewish settlers protested at an illegal outpost in the West Bank to oppose army plans to dismantle mobile homes there. According to witnesses, protesters beat up journalists and stoned their cars Wednesday, damaging camera equipment. At midday, Moshe Zar, who founded Havat Gilad, called on the protesters to leave peacefully, saying his family had decided to leave the outpost. Havat Gilad was set up last year after Zar's son, Gilad, was killed by Palestinian terrorists.
Israel Remembers Rabin
Commemorations marking the seventh anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination were to begin Wednesday evening with a ceremony at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. The events, which are being held on the Hebrew anniversary of the assassination, were to include memorial ceremonies in Israeli cities and a special Knesset session Thursday. Rabin was killed on Nov. 4, 1995, by Yigal Amir, a right-wing religious student opposed to Rabin's land-for-peace policies with the Palestinians.
HUC-JIR Inagurates President
Rabbi David Ellenson was inaugurated Sunday Oct. 13 as president of the Reform movement's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. Ellenson, 55, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and lecturer at Hebrew University and UCLA, will become the eighth president in HUC-JIR's 127-year history. Ellenson has written extensively on modern Jewish history, ethics and thought.
Hungarian Jew Wins Nobel
Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian who survived Auschwitz, won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The prize committee singled out his 1975 debut novel, "Fateless," about a young man deported to a concentration camp.
"For him, Auschwitz is not an exceptional occurrence," the committee said. "It is the ultimate truth about human degradation in modern experience."
Kertesz, a 72-year-old Jew born in Budapest, was deported to Auschwitz in 1944, then to Buchenwald, where he was liberated in 1945.
Georgia Jew Sues County
A Georgia Jew is suing his school district for challenging the theory of evolution. Jeffrey Selman filed the lawsuit against Atlanta's suburban Cobb County School District, following the school board's decision in August to place stickers in science textbooks calling evolution a scientific theory, not a fact. Then, the seven-member boarded unanimously voted in September to allow educators to teach both creationism and evolution. Selman, who has the backing of the Anti-Defamation League, may expand the lawsuit to include the September vote, which he said kowtows to a "vocal, myopic, sectarian minority."
IBM Used at Auschwitz?
IBM technology was used at Auschwitz, according to a journalist. Until now, Edwin Black has built a case against the giant computer company because of the role IBM technology played during the Holocaust. But there was no link to Auschwitz, the most infamous concentration camp.
A recent discovery prompted by a coincidental finding in a phone book from the 1940s, however, shows that machines produced by IBM -- such as punch card machines, sorters and tabulators -- were in fact used at Auschwitz's slave labor camp, according to Black, author of "IBM and the Holocaust." IBM denies aiding the Nazi regime, but acknowledges that the Nazis used equipment manufactured by IBM's German subsidiary.
Federation Drops Nimoy Over Book
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle dropped actor Leonard Nimoy from its Oct. 23 fundraiser because of images in his book of photographs. The cover for Nimoy's book, "Shekhina," shows a woman wearing tefillin and her right breast visible through a translucent garment. The work is entirely "reverential," Nimoy told The Associated Press. "It's a photographic essay on the subject of the Shekhina, which is the feminine presence of God, the feminine aspect of divinity."
Federation director Barry Goren told The Seattle Times that he dropped the former star of "Star Trek" after receiving "some expressions of concern." He added that he had little choice. "If you were running a charity fundraising dinner and there were going to be images of naked women or naked women with Jewish ritual objects draped on them, that might be offensive to some folks," he said.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.