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  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Commemoration of Vilna Gaon prompts debate over Lithuania

    NEW YORK, Aug. 26 (JTA) — A Lithuanian Talmudic scholar is stirring up controversy among Jews 200 years after his death. September marks the 200th yahrzeit of the Vilna Gaon, the renowned commentator on the Talmud and the Torah and the major opponent of the burgeoning Chasidic movement in the Baltic area during the late…

  • Teen immigrant from Moldova wins annual HIAS poster contest

    NEW YORK, Aug. 20 (JTA) — Images of hope and a country full of promise were the prominent motifs of the more than 500 entries to this year’s poster contest for new immigrant youth sponsored by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. HIAS has announced the 1997 winner of the annual contest: 10-year- old Kseniya Tuchinskaya…

  • Soros gives CJF $1.3 million to fund citizenship programs

    NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (JTA) — Jewish federations across the country will soon receive funding to help immigrants become U.S. citizens. The Open Society’s Emma Lazarus Fund recently awarded $1.3 million to the Council of Jewish Federations to fund naturalization programs. The CJF will disburse funds to qualified federations that can use the money to…

  • Poland agrees to enhance Jewish property restitution

    NEW YORK, July 22 (JTA) — Jewish groups and the Polish government have reached an agreement that will expand the restitution of communal property in Poland. Under the agreement, a foundation comprised of the World Jewish Restitution Organization and Jewish communities in Poland will be established to deal with the government on property restitution. Last…

  • Annual report on anti-Semitism shows decline around the world

    NEW YORK, July 22 (JTA) — Anti-Semitism is down around the world, according to the latest survey of the subject. “Overall, the news is encouraging,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, which, together with the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research, issued its annual report on anti-Semitism. He warned, however, that…

  • YIVO librarian embodies history of East European Jewish life

    NEW YORK, July 23 (JTA) — Her white hair and tiny frame might make her appear insignificant, but visitors to the YIVO library know that Dina Abramowicz is a fountain of historical data. Brothers Philip Shapiro of Albany, N.Y., and David Shapiro of Baltimore recently came to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research before leaving…

  • Hadassah establishes research institute to study Jewish women

    NEW YORK, July 21 (JTA) — Hadassah women overwhelmingly support religious pluralism in Israel, but they do not support the separation of church and state in the Jewish state. These are among the results of a study, conducted among 700 of the delegates at Hadassah’s national convention in Chicago last week. The study was the…

  • Puerto Rican, Jewish leaders recall Israeli airport massacre

    NEW YORK, July 10 (JTA) — Puerto Rican and Jewish community leaders gathered here last week to commemorate the 25th anniversary of a terrorist attack in Israel that affected both communities. The ties created by their shared tragedy was evidenced in the reading of the names during the July 8 ceremony: Zvi Guttman followed Esther…

  • Jewish volunteers span globe to aid developing communities

    NEW YORK, July 9 (JTA) — The people Saul Carliner dined with during his seven-week trip usually began every meal with a Christian prayer. But for his farewell dinner, he was glad that they remained “sensitive to the other” at the table and did not pray to Jesus. For some dinner guests, this omission was…

  • Survivors organization presses Germany to pay for health care

    NEW YORK, July 2 (JTA) — An organization for children of Holocaust survivors is pressing the German government to compensate survivors for their health care costs. The initiative comes in the wake of revelations that Germany has been paying war disability pensions to more than a million of its World War II veterans, including non-German…