August 2004

Tribute to Raoul Wallenberg on his 92 birthday

On August 4, a series of tribute ceremonies for the 92th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat, who saved thousands of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust took place in several cities all over the world. The public ceremonies were sponsored by the IRWF and took place in Nueva York, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem, Santiago de Chile, Miami and Budapest.

Two ceremonies took place in Jerusalem. A tribute in the Wallenberg explanade, Jerusalem forest, took place in the afternoon. Speaches were delivered by Dr. Mario Ablin , IRWF Vicepresident, and Andreu Hajder, Hungarian professor saved by Wallenberg. The ceremony also included a poetic and musical act. That same evening another ceremony took place and was attended by numerous people and several speaches were delivered by the Swedish Ambassador in Israel, His Excellency Mr Robert Rydberg , and the business representative of Hungary, Mr. Csaba Czibere. During the event taped messages delivered by the Chief Rabbi of Israel, H.E Rabbi Yona Metzger and the President of Yad Vashem, Prof. Shevaj Weiss. The ceremony was closed with the performance of musical and poetic exhibitions. The event took place in the Jerusalem Bnei Brith site and organized by the IRWF together with the Reut Movement, the Raoul Wallenberg Honorary Committee and Jerusalem Work Group.

Israeli and Pontifical universities strengthen bonds

The deans of four pontifical universities – Monsignor Remo Fisichella de la Lateranense, Father Franco Imoda de la Gregoriana, Mariano Fazio de la Santa Cruz y Monsignor Giuseppe Cavalloto de la Urbaniana – visited Israel. During their visit they contacted the authorities of the Jerusalem Hebrew University, Tel Aviv and Bar Ilan Universities. The purpose of the visit was to foster greater cooperation between the academic institutions of both countries.

University degree for Interfaith dialogue

”Missioners of the Unity” the Ecumenic Center in Madrid, related with the Oriental and Ecumenic Studies at the Salamanca Pontifical University offers a 100 academic hours course containing an introduction to ecumenic and biblical theology. Said course forms part of the degree named: Expert in ecumenic theology and Interfaith dialogue, studied at the Salamanca University.

Rabbi awarded the British Empire Order

Rabbi David Goldberg belonging to the Liberal Movement (not orthodox), was awarded the British Empire Order from Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to interfaith relations.

Jewish and Moslem leaders from Israel to Sarajevo

Kedem Group (Voices for Religious Reconciliation), patronized by the Israel Interfaith council coordinator, composed by 14 religious leaders (seven rabbies and seven imams), said group participated of an interfaith seminar in Bosnia Herzegovina during the month of July , the purpose of the meeting was to gather religious leaders of different faiths for the shared studies of texts and mutual dialogue.

Interfaith Dialogue course in Colombia

The Theological and Pastoral Institute for Latin America and the Caribbean (ITEPAL), in cooperation with the department for the CELAM common ecclesiastical dialogue has given a course of interfaith and ecumenic dialogue adequate for the challenges and demands of this issue. The course was delivered by theologs from Chile, Panama and Colombia.

Interfaith symposium

The Israel Interfaith Association organized a symposium last July 8 under the title of ”At the entrance of the Eden Garden, a search for G’d in other’s religion”.

The meeting was patronized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation , the writer Yossi Klein Halevi , researcher Mohammad Hourani from the Hartman Institute and Dr. Michael Krupp delivered speaches in the name of the organizing organization.

Catholic Nun live in a Jewish Elder people home

The newspaper The New York Times point out an unusual fact; an elderly Catholic religious woman, the Dominic Mary Rose Thering live in a Third Age home of the Jewish community , The ”Metro West Jewish Center of New York”. The religious, who consecrate all her life to fight against Anti-Semitism, is internee in the medical center of this home.

The secret about Vatican’s document is raised

The Vatican has raised the secret about documents from the World War II period related to the activity of the Holy See in relation to war prisoners. Among these documents there is a letter of the Rumanian Bishop dated in July 21st 1943 where the prelate complaints about the excessive concern of the Vatican about the fate of the Jews. Is possible that the exposed documentation serve for enlighten more completely the attitude of Pope Pius XII in relation to the Nazi regime, that is a controversial subject. In Jewish academic circles is said that Pope Pius XII didn’t pay attention to the Nazi persecution against the Jews, and avoid intervening on behalf of them.

Tendency towards anti-semitism in Hispanic Immigrants

American Jewish leaders express their restlessness respect to a possible outbreak of Anti-Semitic attitude among Hispanic immigrants that recently arrive to USA. A recent poll point out that a 44% of the recent Hispanic immigrants is ”contaminated” with Anti-Semitic attitudes, that they bring from their origin countries. Abraham Fox, Anti-defamation League’s representative, advice that this percentage duplicate the percentage of the Hispanic people that born in USA.

Ecumenism and Interfaith dialogue in Argentina

In occasion of the closure of the International Link Committee between Catholics and Jews, that was celebrated in Buenos Aires in July, was presented the book ”Ecumenism and interfaith dialogue in the third millennium way (2000-2003), printed by New City in collaboration with the ”Episcopal Commission of Ecumenism, relations with Judaism, Islam and religions” of the Argentinean Episcopal Conference.