JTA: German Jewry to honor Merkel
Published: 08/31/2007
The Central Council of Jews in Germany will present its highest prize to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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JTA: Holocaust museum to cite righteous gentile

Published: 08/30/2007
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will honor a non-Jewish Ukrainian who helped save a Jewish woman from the Nazis.

In conjunction with the Israeli embassy, the museum will present the Medal of the Righteous Among the Nations on Tuesday to the son of Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko, a Ukrainian who with her roommate obtained false papers for a Jewish woman and allowed her to share their apartment. The medal was awarded by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, the institution that makes the determination in these cases. MORE.

AP:Associated Press
Israeli Museum Launches Art Database
By MATTI FRIEDMAN 08.28.07, 8:55 PM ET

JERUSALEM – Israel’s national museum has launched an Internet catalog of more than 1,000 pieces of art looted by the Nazis to allow Holocaust survivors and their heirs to identify and reclaim property.

The release of the database followed a spat between the Israel Museum and a group, formed by the Israeli government to locate the property of Holocaust victims, that accused the museum of not doing enough to return pieces to their rightful owners. The group hailed the database on Tuesday as a “very positive sign

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HAARETZ: In face of criticism, Foreign Min. campaign to explain refugee policy
By Nurit Wurgaft

The Foreign Ministry has launched a campaign to justify Israel’s policy on refugees from Darfur who entered Israel but were deported to Egypt.

A great deal of international criticism has been leveled at Israel, mainly by American Jewish organizations, for its treatment of asylum-seekers in general and Darfurians in particular.

The campaign includes disseminating a dossier already sent to Israeli embassies worldwide, meetings with Jewish and American leaders and media campaigns.
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JPOST: US Jews unimpressed by Israel’s PR on refugees
By SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL

A new public relations campaign to justify government policy on African refugees was branded as “too little, too late,” by American Jewish Organizations Thursday.

The campaign was launched this week, following a decision by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to deport the majority of the African refugees currently in Israel and bar any further refugees from entering the country through its porous southern border with Egypt.

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Foreign Ministry launches campaign to promote policy on illegal Africans
By Israel Insider staff August 30, 2007

In response to bad press about Israel’s policy on illegal African immigrants, the Foreign Ministry launched a campaign justifying Israel’s actions regarding refugees from Darfur, Haaretz reported.

Israel’s main critics are American Jewish organizations, which condemn the Jewish state for its treatment of people seeking refuge.

The government has recently agreed to absorb 500 refugees in Israel who escaped from Darfur, and will deport the rest of the roughly 3,000 Africans, most of whom did not come from the genocide-torn city. Israel last week deported 50 Africans, mostly from Darfur but not included in the 500, to Egypt for the first time.

“There is a special sensitivity to this subject and as a result, in an extraordinary step, the state has accepted the responsibility to absorb 500 refugees who have escaped terrible murder in Darfur. We call upon the international community to adopt similar steps to find places, safe havens, and permanent homes for people escaping genocide,” the ministry’s English language website reads, according to Ynet.

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JTA: Berlin rededicates synagogue

Published: 08/31/2007
Berlin rededicated its only major synagogue to survive the Holocaust.

The Rykestrasse Synagogue, which holds up to 2,000 worshippers, is located in former east Berlin. The dedication ceremony Friday also kicked off the 21st annual Jewish cultural festival here.

Among the guests at the ceremony were Rita Rubinstein, 85, whose parents – Morris and Esla Kindermann – were married in the synagogue in 1905, one year after it opened.

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