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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Polish law on Auschwitz crosses may not end the camp controversy

    OSWIECIM, Poland, May 11 (JTA) — A proposed zone of “peace and silence” that would encircle the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp was anything but peaceful and silent this week. On Sunday, a windy, overcast afternoon, two dozen Polish Catholics gathered defiantly to pray and sing before nearly 300 wooden crosses, planted adjacent to…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Worker for interethnic peace frets as war touches Macedonia

    SKOPJE, Macedonia, April 27 (JTA) — Eran Frankel has a lot invested in the Balkans, and as the Kosovo conflict threatens to widen, he is watching nervously. The Jerusalem-born American works in Macedonia as head of the nonprofit Search for Common Ground. For five years, the group has worked to bring together Macedonians and their…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Macedonia’s Jews worry a wider war would create another exodus

    SKOPJE, Macedonia, April 20 (JTA) — The country implodes due to economic crisis or ethnic conflict and Jews are torn between staying and going. Many leave and the community, still struggling to recover from the Holocaust and communism, suffers irreparable damage. It is, by now, a familiar pattern of Jewish life in the Balkans, and…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israeli medical experts make a difference at Macedonia camps

    STENKOVEC REFUGEE CAMP, Macedonia, April 19 (JTA) — Soaring above the sea of green and white canvas tents in this dusty, wind-swept refugee camp are a handful of Israeli flags. It is a jarring sight whose incongruity is compounded by the fact that just a stone”s throw away are the Germans. Approximately 700,000 Albanians from…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Yugoslav Jews fly to Israel to check out new way of life

    BUDAPEST, April 13 (JTA) — After the Holocaust wiped out 85 percent of their community, some said it was over for Yugoslavia’s Jews. Yet, somehow, they rebounded. But can they survive another cataclysm? With NATO air strikes pounding away at their homeland for a third week, the future of Yugoslav Jewry is embarking for Israel….

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Having fled to nearby Hungary, Yugoslav Jews hold lonely seder

    BUDAPEST, April 4 (JTA) — It was March 31, the first night of Passover, and his native Yugoslavia was again convulsed by war. So it was fitting, perhaps, that young Ismael chose melodies from the repertoire of the old Sephardi rabbis of Bosnia and Kosovo while leading his first seder. In Bosnia, during the Yugoslavian…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Yugoslav Jews find refuge from bombings in Budapest

    BUDAPEST, March 29 (JTA) — In other circumstances, there would be nothing unusual about busloads of Yugoslavs visiting the capital of their northern neighbor, Hungary. But with NATO”s daily assault on Kosovo and other locations throughout Yugoslavia, these are no ordinary “tourists.” Roughly 200 Yugoslav Jews — some of whom arrived one day before NATO…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Seders in Hungary’s countryside signify hope for a Jewish revival

    BUDAPEST, March 7 (JTA) — It was Rosh Hashanah when Adam Balogh first saw her at the university last year. She wore a Star of David around her neck. So Balogh — who as leader of the tiny Szeged branch of the Hungarian Union of Jewish Students makes it his business to unite the local…

  • Extremist party in Hungary poised to enter next Parliament

    BUDAPEST, May 18 (JTA) — An electoral showing of 5.55 percent may seem insignificant. But the number has created a buzz in Budapest — among Jews and non-Jews alike. Because that isthe vote that the extreme-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party garnered in the first round of Hungarian elections May 10 — just surpassing the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Hungarian Jews watch warily as anti-Semites score at polls

    BUDAPEST, May 25 (JTA) — Hungarians have voted for change — despite the uncertainties it will bring. And nowhere are the uncertainties more acute than within the country”s Jewish community. For Hungary”s approximately 100,000 Jews, far more stunning than the ouster of the Socialist-led ruling coalition in Sunday”s second round of parliamentary elections was the…