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  • U.S. rabbi hosts interfaith effort to end ethnic fighting in Kosovo

    ROME, March 21 (JTA) — Meeting under the auspices of an interfaith group headed by an American rabbi, Islamic, Serbian Orthodox and Roman Catholic religious leaders from Kosovo have signed a declaration calling for dialogue and negotiation to bring peace to Yugoslavia’s strife-torn region. Last week’s meeting in Vienna, convened by the Appeal of Conscience…

  • Poland names envoy to Diaspora

    ROME, March 10 (JTA) — The Polish government has named a former theater critic and Polish consul in Montreal as its new roving ambassador to the Diaspora. Malgorzata Dzieduszycka will replace Krzystof Sliwinski, who was the first person to be appointed to the unprecedented Foreign Ministry post, created in 1995 in an attempt to improve…

  • 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…

  • Rome’s chief rabbi ready to join pope on Israel visit

    ROME, April 20 (JTA) — There are conflicting accounts regarding when — or even if — the pope will visit Israel. An Italian newspaper recently quoted Rome Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff as saying he had agreed to Pope John Paul II’s suggestion that they travel together to Israel within the next two years. In an…

  • German editor specializes in educating about Nazi era

    FRANKFURT, Feb. 18 (JTA) — Walter Pehle has made a career out of educating Germans about the Nazis. Pehle, an editor at the Fischer publishing house here, publishes books delving into every aspect of Nazism and the Holocaust in an attempt to educate fellow Germans about the past and investigate the roots of homegrown evil….

  • Vienna mayor gives go-ahead to disputed Holocaust memorial

    ROME, March 4 (JTA) — When a controversial Holocaust monument is finally built in the heart of Vienna, it will be the city’s first memorial dedicated solely to Jewish victims of the Shoah. Vienna’s mayor, Michael Haupl, announced Tuesday that the city, which is funding the project, would go ahead with construction on Judenplatz —…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Catholic-Jewish dialogue advances amid dismay over Vatican document

    ROME, March 30 (JTA) — Catholic-Jewish relations have made enormous strides over the past three decades — but recent events show that they have far to go. In meetings at the Vatican last week, an international group of Jewish leaders bluntly conveyed their disappointment with a controversial document on the Holocaust recently released by the…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Impending extradition forces Croatia to grapple with its past

    ROME, May 7 (JTA) — The expected extradition and war crimes trial of a Croatian World War II fascist are putting contemporary Croatia’s claim of democracy firmly on the line. Dinko Sakic, now 76, who has lived in Argentina for half a century, was arrested last month after he reminisced on Argentine television about his…

  • Milan erects monument to WWII political deportees

    ROME, Jan. 28 (JTA) — A Roman Catholic cardinal joined Milan’s chief rabbi in a ceremony unveiling the first public monument to the Jews and anti-fascists deported from the Italian city to Nazi death camps. The memorial plaque commemorates the 1,580 people, including 1,237 Jews, who were deported during World War II for political reasons….

  • Year-old magazine aims to catalyze Polish Jewry

    ROME, March 8 (JTA) — Why is Midrasz magazine different from all other Jewish publications? Because Midrasz is the only Jewish monthly published in Poland — and because this Passover it is celebrating its first birthday. This first year has seen Midrasz grow from an optimistic experiment into a respected journal that publishes provocative new…