USA. George Bush appointed Fred Zeidman head of the Council of the American Memorial Museum of Holocaust Victims. Zeidman, a well-know follower of the today's American President will take this post for the next five years. "I am the first head of the USA Holocaust Museum from the generation that hasn't witnessed the terror of the mass execution of Jews. I feel great responsibility, and my paramount task is to save all the Holocaust history in the people's memory. I will keep on everything that was done before me to correctly reflect the Holocaust history at this new stage of our work", - said Zeidman.
Zeidman is a 55-year old businessmen from Houston, respected and supported by many American Jewish organizations. He superseded rabbi Irving Grinberg as head of the Council.
The Jerusalem Post
Italy. The inauguration ceremony of the new Chief Rabbi of Rome Dr. Ricardo Di Segni took place in Italy. Thousands of Jews gathered to celebrate this event. The 52-year old Di Segni superseded Elio Toaff, who retired in October. He held the post of the Chief Rabbi of Rome for fifty years.
Leone Paserman, head of the 15-thousand Roman community, expressed hope that Di Segni would "brighten" the community with the Torah light.
Great Britain. The only place in Great Britain, where Orthodox rabbis were trained was temporarily saved from closing. It was saved by the Chief Orthodox Rabbi Jonathan Suks. After the meeting, dedicated to discussing the future of the London Jewish Education School, its Headmaster rabbi Abnerweiss left his post. This school, previously known as the "Jewish College", got into a crisis when it became clear that its annual budget necessary for stable work should make up $849 thousand. The college sponsors where given two weeks to find new financial sources. The United Jewish Israeli Appeal and the United Synagogue promised to support the London Rabbi School. The School also has an adult course and master programs.
Germany. Germany calls Israeli and Palestinians to stop violence and return to serious talks. This was said in the statement of Joschka Fischer, Foreign Minister of the FRG announced on March 11 in Berlin. Both sides of the conflict have to "do everything possible to change the situation, abstain from force and agree to stop the fire. Decisive actions should, at long last, follow the words about principal readiness to the dialogue", - states the German Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Ethiopia. Rabbi Alemo is 38. He is the first rabbi in Ethiopia. A few years ago he went to Israel to study in iyeshiva. Previously he studied Jewish tradition on his own. Besides, he did not want to be a rabbi. In Israel he studied in the Shehter Institute - a well-known educational institution, which graduated many famous rabbis.
Since childhood Alemo dreamt to become the spiritual leader of local Jews. But in the beginning he, like his father, had to be satisfied with being a herder. In the age of 17 he married and went to study to Brooklyne, where he was invited by the American Association of Ethiopian Jews Aid. However, he always wanted to visit Israel to touch the Jewish relics, talk to rabbis, and learn Jewish tradition. He returned to Ethiopia and for a long time tried to get a visa to Israel, but for some reason he was always refused. Then Alemo decided to risk. He left his wife and children, and tried to cross the border illegally. He was arrested and imprisoned. "I often prayed to have strength and courage to overcome all difficulties and reach my goal", - remembers Alemo.
After prison he again tried to cross the border, and this time successfully. He moved to Sudan and crossed the country at night, hiding from police, starving and gasping for a drink. His chances to reach Israel were very small. Everywhere he met the police, and $20 was all he had in his pocket. But by a fluke he met an Israeli worker of the Red Chross mission, who helped him to reach Jerusalem.
Now, when Alemo returned to Ethiopia, he wants to dedicate himself to the organization of local Jewish life. There is a lot to be done. Ethiopian Jews obey all Jewish traditions, but they do not have a sense of community life. Rabbi Alemo is planning to create such a community and he has already got quite a few followers.
Khaim Volfberg, Jewish.ru