On a freezing Friday night in Brooklyn, a group of 18 Crown Heights residents scurry through the crowds of Jews leaving synagogue and make their way to a second-story apartment on Rogers Avenue for Shabbat dinner.
Leon Wildes sits in a polished conference room on Madison Avenue, where the walls are festooned with news articles and enlarged photographs of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and…Leon Wildes. He may not be the fifth Beatle, but it was the legal artistry of this HIAS board member that masterfully secured Lennon’s U.S. residency back in 1976.
Israel is trying to atone for a decision to bar a tour by the Beatles 43 years ago. Israel's ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, has written a letter to relatives of the late Beatles singer John Lennon and guitarist George Harrison apologizing for a 1965 government ban on the British pop group and inviting its surviving members -- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- to play in the Jewish state.
"We should like to take this opportunity to correct the historic error which to our great regret occurred in 1965, when you were invited to Israel," Yediot Achronot quoted the letter as saying. "We should like to see you sing in Israel."