December 18, 2003
Vandals Burn Survivor's Chanukah Banner
Chabad of the Conejo installed a 6-foot menorah on the front lawn of Victoria Monina's North Ranch home on Dec. 16, after vandals burnt a Chanukah banner that she hung over her garage.
Monina told The Journal that she hung the banner in anticipation of an upcoming Chanukah party, and that it was burnt sometime on Sunday night. The banner was the only item on her property that was damaged.
"Two-thirds of the flag had been burnt, and there was only one piece left," said Monina, 71. "I am really scared, I can't sleep."
A Holocaust survivor, Monina said she wanted the menorah erected to send a message to the arsonists.
"I had to hide the fact that I am Jewish once when I was hiding from Nazis," she said, "but I am only going to hide it once."
Rabbi Moshe Bryski of Chabad of the Conejo, where Monina attends classes, told The Journal that he put up two more banners as well as the menorah.
"We decided to respond in the best way we knew how," he said. "So we doubled our efforts, and put up two banners -- one to replace the burnt one and one to make a statement that this Holocaust survivor would not be intimidated." -- Gaby Wenig, Staff Writer
Little Accord on Geneva
More Israelis and Palestinians oppose the unofficial "Geneva accord" peace proposal than support it, a new poll says. Thirty-four percent of Israelis and 19 percent of Palestinians support the Geneva proposal, and 43 percent of Israelis and 44 percent of Palestinians oppose the plan, according to the poll, carried out by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and Hebrew University's Truman Institute.
The poll of 1,319 Palestinians and 504 Israelis was conducted in early December. The Palestinian side of the poll had a margin of error of 3 percent; the Israeli side, 4.5 percent.
Jewish Dating Behavior Eyed
Nearly half of college-aged Jews have one non-Jewish parent and don't exclusively date Jews.
Those are among the findings from the latest National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) about Jews ages 18 to 29, presented Sunday to officials of Hillel, who were meeting for a professional staff conference in Princeton, N.J. The NJPS 2000-01 showed dating and social patterns differing, sometimes dramatically, between students who have one or two Jewish parents.
While the report shows that less than 1 percent of students with only one Jewish parent exclusively date Jews, 36 percent of those with two Jewish parents date only Jews. According to the NJPS, 48 percent of college-aged Jewish students have two Jewish parents, 45 percent have one Jewish parent and 7 percent said neither parent was Jewish.
Gehry Pulls Out of Museum
Architect Frank Gehry quit designing a planned museum for Polish Jewry. Details about Gehry's departure from the Museum of the History of Polish Jewry, to be built on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto, were not released.
A design competition for the museum now will be held. The Polish government has pledged to fund one-quarter of the museum's $63 million price tag.
Sen. Clinton: Israeli Tactics Bad for Iraq
Israeli military tactics haven't worked against the Palestinians and shouldn't be used in Iraq, Sen. Hillary Clinton said. The U.S. military has blockaded troublesome villages with barbed wire fence and has demolished buildings suspected to be sniper nests. Reports have said that Israeli advisers were involved in training U.S. troops in such tactics, though the Pentagon will not confirm that.
"Many of us were taken aback when we saw that article and we saw the barbed wire and the fence," the New York Democrat told the Council on Foreign Relations last week. "It is very hard to build any fence that's going to keep a terrorist out. That is certainly the tragic lesson of Israel's efforts against terrorism over all these years."
Where's the Menorah?
A Christmas tree controversy erupted at Indiana University. The dean of the university's law school replaced a Christmas tree with two smaller trees and a sleigh after some students and professor Florence Roitman, a Jewish professor at IU's law school, complained that the tree constituted a religious display.
The dean says the new display represents Indiana woods and has no religious meaning. But both Roitman and students who support a Christmas-tree display say the new display is not much of a change.
Ads Seek Info on Nazi-Era Criminals
Advertisements will begin running in Austria this week for a campaign aimed at finding Nazi-era war criminals. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance," which began last year in the Baltic states, offers financial rewards for information on suspected war criminals from World War II. Ads will be launched in Poland and Romania in coming weeks.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.