Germany. The new Berlin Jewish Museum became the most visited one in Germany. According to its Director Michael Blumental, the museum had already been visited by more than 217 thousand people. The Museum was opened in September 2001. Julian Nida-Rumelin, Minister of Culture of Germany, was elected the President of the Fund Council, established by the Museum. The Council members are also Paul Spigel, Head of the German Jewish community, and Michael Newmann, the former Minister of Culture, now newspaper publisher.
USA. Five out of seven Jewish community centers in Los-Angeles will be closed this year because of the financial deficit of $3 million. The Jewish Federation of Big Los-Angeles, which was for a long time the main sponsor of the Jewish community centers, failed its annual campaign to collect funds and fired 40 out of 150 employees.
USA. The menorah of the XIII century was exhibited in the New York Metropolitan Museum all Hanukkah up to January 6. An inscription on the two-meter high menorah makes it possible to think that it was used in a synagogue in Eastern Europe, possibly in Poland. The menorah was borrowed from the collection of Michael and Judy Steinhardt.
Belgium. Belgian court received the second sue against the Head of the Palestinian National Administration Yasif Arafat with charges for genocide and outrages upon humanity. Plaintiffs are 17 people - Jews living in Israel, USA and France. The sue was filed according to the Belgian law of 1993, which allows suing foreigners, charged for genocide and outrages upon humanity. The Brussels court has already received three similar sues against the Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon. The first sue against Yasif Arafat was filed about a month ago in Belgium.
Germany. The festival of Jewish folk song was its first big success in the postwar period in North Germany in Hamburg. The atmosphere of joy and benevolence reigned in the local synagogue hall. The festival was attended by visitors not only from Hamburg, but also from Delmenhorst, Kiel, Bremen, Lubek. The audience appreciated the vocal skills of a Bremen choir, a fancy-dress play of a Delmenhorst ensemble, duets of Mark Geikhman and Grigoriy Styskin (Lubek), Yakov Kanelsky and Eugeniy Kosyakin (Kiel), Eugeniy Diner and Marina Rott (Lubek). The Hamburg choir "Klezmerleh" sang a few songs together with the "Israeli Dance" group and the musical duet of Rostislav Golod (violin) and Galina Zharkova (piano).
USA. Rabbi Meir Khager read a funeral prayer for those, who perished during the terrorist act on September 11. It took place in the synagogue on Wall-Street in New York. The synagogue building, situated in a few quarters from the tragedy place, was nearly smashed by the wave of concrete dust after the explosion.
Rabbi remembered about Khaim Shlomo, who "lived every day to help other Jews, and spent part of his fortune for charity". Sandler Onil, a founder of a law firm, also died on September 11. He helped not only local Jews, but also the Israeli symphony orchestra, looked for young talents and provided them with a possibility to study. "He loved music very much, - said rabbi Khager, - and wanted people to pay more attention to spiritual development. Music helps a person to develop and think about himself".
A miracle rescued the rabbi himself on September 11. That morning he was in a Jewish center in one of the skyscrapers. The moment he came out of the building, the first plane crashed into the tower. Meir Khager looked up and saw fire and smoke. He remembers it with pain and says he will never forget his feelings. "The most terrible started when I realized I would never see many of my friends again. This horrible tragedy must not repeat and today we pray for it".
After the tragedy the synagogue was left without electricity, but rabbi decided not to cancel the planned prayers. The building was illuminated by a portative generator. "We will manage to withstand all troubles, - he said. - But in order to escape the repetition of these events, we need to rebuild our society, improve it in the first place spiritually. People should not think all the time about profit and solve everyday problems. We must remember about our calling, our traditions and faith".
Alexander Steinman. Jewish.ru