Newsletter : 9fax0812.txt
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>JN Aug. 12, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 148
Hints of Anti-Semitism
By ICEJ News Service
Although a peace accord was signed almost five years ago with
Jordan, it seems normalization and acceptance of Israel has yet to
be fully realized on television. In a recent episode of the U.S. TV
show "E.R.," all references to Jews and Judaism were "beeped" out.
In a separate event, Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq reported that Saudi
Arabia will boycott the World Youth Handball Tournament sponsored by
Qatar later this month because Israel will send a team to
participate in the games.
Eclipse Brings Arabs and Jews Together
By Meredith Buel (VOA Jerusalem)
Israelis and Palestinians gathered together in Jerusalem to watch
the solar eclipse and urge their leaders to make progress in
efforts to revive the peace process in the Middle East.
As the sounds of jazz music floated gently over the hills of
Jerusalem, people from throughout the region gathered for what was
billed an -- illumination concert -- an event where people could
safely watch the eclipse, listen to music, and pray for peace.
Sixty-one-year-old Arnie Lawrence -- an American living in
Jerusalem -- came up with the idea for the concert. Lawrence is an
accomplished musician. For years he played in the band for Johnny
Carson and the Tonight Show, and has played with performers ranging
from Louis Armstrong to Elvis Presley. He says music brings people
together - especially in a place like the Middle East.
"Music is a universal language that expresses the feeling of the
inner heart and the soul and also it reflects all forms of prayer."
A Palestinian from the West Bank town of Ramallah -- Leon
Ohannessian -- developed a device allowing those who gathered for
the event to watch the eclipse without looking at the sun and
damaging their eyes.
He says he was inspired by Arnie Lawrence's idea to bring people
together to watch the eclipse and pray for peace in the Middle
"At the crucial time of politics going on in the area, at a time
when people are trying to make peace, governments are trying to
make peace, there comes Arnie with the idea of celebrating the
eclipse phenomena. Which is; as being dark, and how much light you
can see through this dark, and make people see that light through
the music and through the love of your neighbor as Palestinians and
Jews, and other people living in this country."
During the eclipse candles were lit. Prayers were offered for
loved ones and for people who have died trying to make peace in the
The event was held in an area of Jerusalem known as the Peace
Forest -- a high point overlooking the holy sites for Muslims,
Jews, and Christians in the Old City.
So with jazz in the air and against the backdrop of historic holy
sights, Israelis and Palestinians watched the eclipse, prayed and
celebrated together in a symbolic event they hope will promote
New Jewish History Center
By Martin Bush (VOA-New York)
Five major Jewish-American cultural and research institutions in
New York City have combined to dedicate a vast complex built to
advance Jewish scholarship, art and culture in the United
This new cultural landmark consists of five unique yet
complementary institutions. They include the American Jewish
Historical Society, the Leo Baeck (bike) Institute, which
specializes in German-speaking Jewry, the YIVO Institute for Jewish
Research, which focuses on Eastern European Jewry, the American
Sephardi Federation documents Sephardic or Middle Eastern Jewry,
and the Yeshiva University Museum which interprets and exhibits
Jewish art, culture and history.
The still-unfinished Center for Jewish History is housed in five
renovated Manhattan buildings making up a single 100,000 square
foot facility for documentation, preservation, research, teaching,
exhibitions and public programs. The renovation costs, along with
the projected endowment fund, total an about $55 million. The
center is scheduled to open in the year 2000.
The center will house 100-million archival items, along with
500,000 library volumes, and tens of thousands of artifacts and
works of art. Bruce Slovim, the chairman of the Center for Jewish
History, says scholars have described the center as the Jewish
Library of Congress or the Smithsonian Institution of Jewish
New York State is contributing $2 million to the center and New
York City is giving $3 million. Rudolph Giuliani, mayor of New
York - the city with the world's largest Jewish population -
describes the Center for Jewish History as the symbol of the
ongoing strength and vibrancy of the Jewish people of his city.
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