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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…

  • 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…

  • Vatican document focus of Catholic-Jewish talks

    ROME, March 24 (JTA) — A Jewish leader who played a key role in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust has denied Vatican claims that the wartime pope, Pius XII, saved hundreds of thousands of Jews. Gerhart Riegner, honorary vice president of the World Jewish Congress, spoke Monday night at the opening of talks between the…

  • In annual Easter sermon, pope slams Christian teaching

    ROME, April 13 (JTA) — Pope John Paul II’s Easter message criticized the Christian teaching that Jews bear responsibility for the death of Jesus. But the pope also criticized the Israeli policy of building Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem, saying peace is being threatened by “dangerous political decisions.” The self-criticism came during the traditional Way…

  • Poles mark 30th anniversary of 1968 anti-Semitic campaign

    ROME, March 4 (JTA) — Hundreds of people in Poland marked this week the 30th anniversary of the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign that forced 20,000 Polish Jews to emigrate. A standing-room-only crowd of more than 350 people filled a downtown Warsaw auditorium Sunday to hear a panel discussion and take part in a question-and-answer session on…

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

    ROME, March 29 (JTA) — The Vatican’s recent document on the Holocaust, and a series of meetings it hosted last week with Jewish leaders, show how far relations between the two faiths have come in recent years — but also how far they have to go. At an audience last week with Pope John Paul…

  • 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….