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  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Yugoslav Jews welcome peace, face daunting job of reconstruction

    ROME, June 6 (JTA) — When Yechiel Bar Chaim, the Paris-based Yugoslavia program director for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, checked his e-mail last week he found an emotion-laden message from a Yugoslav correspondent. “PEAAACCCE!” the message said. The Yugoslav “Parliament accepted!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOO HAPPPYYY THAT IT IS PEACE!” The prospect of a…

  • Ariel Sharon and pope discuss millennium, conflict in Nazareth

    ROME, April 27 (JTA) — Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon has met with Pope John Paul II and other top church officials for more than two hours on what Vatican insiders termed “cordial but difficult” talks on issues largely relating to the millennium. However, no agreement from Monday’s meeting emerged on a papal trip to…

  • Jewish leader in Poland loses job in ‘financial irregularities’ scandal

    ROME, April 25 (JTA) — The Jewish community in Poland is being wracked by a scandal that has forced the country’s umbrella Jewish organization to fire its treasurer and downgrade the status of the Jewish communities in Gdansk and Poznan. It involves what the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland termed “very serious financial irregularities”…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Yugoslav Jews send e-mails to describe the crisis they face

    ROME, April 12 (JTA) — A former leader of the Yugoslav Jewish community plays tennis with a group of friends two times a week in Belgrade. When they play now, the men wear bull”s-eye targets pinned to their backs — a symbol worn by Yugoslav citizens protesting NATO bombs. Last week they had to cut…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Yugoslav Jews send e-mails to describe the crisis they face

    ROME, April 11 (JTA) — A former leader of the Yugoslav Jewish community plays tennis with a group of friends two times a week in Belgrade. When they play now, the men wear bull”s-eye targets pinned to their backs — a symbol worn by Yugoslav citizens protesting NATO bombs. Last week they had to cut…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Balkan crisis evokes images from the Holocaust and Exodus

    BUDAPEST, April 5 (JTA) — The NATO attack on Yugoslavia, and the horrific Kosovo refugee crisis that now affects several Balkan states, have sent echoes of both the Holocaust and the Exodus from Egypt resounding through the world this Passover. Jews themselves play only an incidental role in the current conflict, but the symbolism of…

  • Unhealed wounds opening up as Italy marks wartime massacre

    ROME, March 24 (JTA) — Controversy stalked this year’s commemoration of Italy’s worst World War II massacre. As part of the annual commemoration, Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Rome Mayor Francesco Rutelli and other top government officials marked the anniversary of the March 24, 1944, Ardeatine Caves massacre with a solemn ceremony Wednesday morning presided…

  • Jewish groups to hold summit as Vatican questions dialogue

    ROME, March 23 (JTA) — American Jewish groups involved in interfaith dialogue will hold a “summit” next month, following criticism by a leading Vatican official that “aggressive” anti-church attitudes by some Jewish organizations are threatening Jewish-Catholic relations. The summit was called after Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations With the…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Public seders, once nostalgic, propel Eastern European Jewry

    ROME, March 7 (JTA) — Amir Shaviv grew up in Israel as an only child in a small family and often celebrated Passover with a brief — and uncomfortable — evening he describes as “dinner-cum-Haggadah.” It was only when he began working for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and began traveling to needy, far-flung…

  • Leader of Italian rightists makes overtures to Israel

    ROME, March 2 (JTA) — A leader of an Italian party with neo-fascist roots has been busy building bridges to the Jewish world. But his actions have raised questions among some regarding whether his moves have been made in an effort solely to improve his party’s image. At a three-day convention ending Sunday, Gianfranco Fini…