Newsletter : 8fax0616.txt
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>JN June 16, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 104
Postal Workers Find Porcupine in Mailbag
IsraelWire News Service
Postal workers in Tel Aviv were somewhat surprised when they found
a porcupine in a mail sack that had arrived from Latvia. Security
agents employed by the Postal Authority called Nature Reserve
Authority experts to deal with the porcupine that was inside the
bag, among hundreds of letters. The animal experts said the
condition of the animal was not too good, but it showed significant
improvement after it was taken out of the mailbag.
Wiesenthal Center Defends Report
Israel Faxx Staff Report
The Simon Wiesenthal Center defended its latest Holocaust report
after a backlash by the Swiss government and even by the famed Nazi
hunter for whom the center is named. "We are not backing down. This
is not a report about the Swiss people of 1942 or the Swiss
government or people of today," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of
the Wiesenthal Center.
Hier said historian Alan Schom's report, "Survey of Nazi and
Pro-Nazi Groups in Switzerland, 1930-1945," was a survey of
extremist groups. It was also very critical of the Swiss government
during World War 2. Schom's report has raised a storm of criticism
in Switzerland, where Swiss President Flavio Cotti said it "insults
an entire generation."
Auschwitz Town Synagogue to be Restored by Elaine Johanson (VOA-New York)
A private Jewish organization in New York Monday announced plans to
restore the last remaining synagogue in the town of Oswiecim,
Poland -- better known by its German name, Auschwitz. Hundreds of
thousands of Jews were brought to the Nazi death camp in Auschwitz
during World War 2 and died in its gas chambers.
There were at one time about a dozen synagogues in the town of
Auschwitz. All but one disappeared -- along with Oswiecim's entire
Jewish population. The newly-restored synagogue will be the first
Jewish presence in the town in over 50 years.
The organization called Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation is
dedicated to restoring the synagogue and a nearby building as a
religious and cultural center so visitors can mourn loved ones lost
in the Holocaust. And -- by being at the scene -- they can
reconstruct for themselves a sense of Jewish life in Poland before
World War 2.
US Rep. Thomas Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor elected to
Congress, says the restoration of the synagogue in Auschwitz is
about more than a remembrance of things past. He warns of present
dangers, including the rise of extreme right wing political groups
all over Europe.
"After years of having been excluded from parliament, the
anti-Semitic far-right next week will re-enter the parliament of
Hungary. This -- in a country where some 600,000 of our brothers
and sisters were massacred, many of them in Auschwitz."
The legislator -- born in Hungary -- says Auschwitz today is a
bridge of sorts that Jews must cross to protect their future.
"Auschwitz is needed, not just a place for prayer, reflection,
remembrance, but to make the connection between the nightmares of
the past, the dangers of the present and our hopes for the future."
Lantos plans to visit Oswiecim next month to see first-hand the
reconstruction plans. The New York group hopes to have the project
completed within one year.
The government of Poland is fully supportive. In March this year,
the synagogue -- most recently used as a carpet warehouse -- become
the first facility returned to the Polish Jewish community under a
government program set up to make restitution for seized Jewish
Canadian Church Calls for Halt to Proselytizing Jews
IsraelWire News Service
The United Church of Canada, the country's largest Protestant
denomination with over 700,000 members, has called upon its
membership to realize that Christianity is not superior to or a
replacement for Judaism.
The United Church has called upon its followers to cease all
activities related to the converting of Jews to Christianity.
Canadian Jewish leaders have welcomed the church's position.
By Arutz-7 News Service
Almost half of the immigrants to Israel from the countries of the
former Soviet Union last year were not Jewish according to Jewish
Law. According to Halakhah, one born to a Jewish mother, or one who
has converted, is Jewish; Israel's Law of Return, which allows any
Jew to immigrate to Israel, also recognizes anyone with a Jewish
spouse, father, or grandparent (if he is accompanied by the Jewish
parent or grandparent).
Other statistics released recently show that Jerusalem's Arab
population is growing almost four times faster than the Jewish
population. In 1967, Arabs made up about 25% of the city's
population, while today it is approximately 30%. The Arab
population in Jerusalem increased by 3.7% in 1996, while the Jewish
population there increased by 1%. It was also found that the main
reason for Jewish residents moving out of Jerusalem is the high
cost of housing.
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