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May 22, 1992 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-05-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Interfaith Success
/And Quarrels

Major progress — and some feuding — at last
week's Catholic-Jewish meeting in Baltimore.


Special to The Jewish News


ast week's meeting in
Baltimore between top
Jewish and Catholic
\ representatives possibly ac-
celerated full diplomatic re-
lations between Israel and
the Vatican and the Holy
See's drafting of a broad
statement on the Holocaust
and anti-Semitism. But
some members of the Jewish
delegation claim the
meeting may also have
• highlighted the limits of the
official link between the
Vatican and the world-wide
Jewish community.
Although the four-day
meeting was off-limits to the
press, the Baltimore Jewish
Times learned that certain
Catholic and Jewish dele-
gates were frustrated at be-
ing unable to address the
theological and biblical
issues which divide their two
( Orthodox rabbis follow a
self-imposed ban on formal

theological discussions with
Christians. And since Or-
thodox rabbis make up part
of the International Jewish
Committee on Interreligious
Consultations (IJCIC), the
official Jewish liaison to the
Vatican, this is a source of
friction with some non-
Orthodox members, who

One rabbi was
"mortified" at how
few Jews remained
at the conference
by Wednesday

would prefer to discuss theo-
logy with Catholic leaders.
Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld,
an Orthodox spokesman,
said he was embarrassed
last week when another
rabbi mocked him, in front of
their Catholic counterparts,
for seeking to steer the
discussion clear of theology.
"The non-Orthodox com-
munity is really fighting to

get into this," said Rabbi
Schonfeld. "But their
knowledge is limited and
their training is very diff-
erent from ours. And the
Catholics want to talk to the
Orthodox more than to the
others. They want to talk
with authentic Judaism."

In a closed-door caucus
Thursday morning, Catholic
delegates voiced their
frustrations that IJCIC gave
higher priority to the subject
of the Holocaust than the
theological roots of anti-
Semitism or of Jews' pas-
sionate allegiance to Israel.

The Catholics also discuss-
ed their displeasure that the
majority of Jewish delegates
had left Baltimore before the
conference had officially
concluded. Among these
were IJCIC's chairman
Edgar Bronfman, who is also
the president of the World
Jewish Congress, which is
the current coordinating
group for IJCIC. (Such coor-
dination is done on a two-
year rotating basis among

IJCIC's institutional mem-
Leaving with Mr. Bronf-
man were the World Jewish
Congress' secretary general
Dr. Israel Singer, and ex-
ecutive director Elan
Several Jews at the con-
ference told the Baltimore
Jewish Times that they con-
sidered the early departure
of top IJCIC leaders "an af-
front to the Catholics" and
an "insult to the process."
One said he was "mortified"
at how few Jews remained at
the conference by Wednes-
day evening.
But Jewish spokesmen
said the early departures
were unavoidable and did
not indicate a lack of inter-
Some of the Catholic par-
ticipants took exception to
Dr. Joseph Burg's assertion,
in his keynote address, that
to Catholics, the Holocaust
was "a drama," and to Jews,
"a trauma."
Dr. Eugene Fisher of the
National Conference of
Catholic Bishops said the
statement by the former
Israeli Minister of Religion
"very severely
underestimates the Catholic
experience of World War II.
A 'drama' is terribly un-
Yet, overall, both sides
agreed that the mood at the
14th meeting of the Interna-
tional Catholic-Jewish

Artwork from Ndromtioy by Arr yD Adanwo. Copyright. 1990. Nommioy.

Dina:mud by Los Mgr. Tones Symicato.

Committee was much more
cordial and friendly than at
its previous session in
Prague in September, 1990.
Occurring in the shadow of
the bitter dispute over the
Carmelite convent at
Auschwitz, that session was
marked by wariness on both
Key issues agreed on at
the meeting included:
• The desirability of full
diplomatic relations bet-
ween the Vatican and Israel,
which conferees agreed is a
matter only for discussion
between the Israeli govern-


• You Got The Wrong
One Baby, Uh-Huh

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Pepsi
Cola's ad campaign in Israel
hit the wrong spot with an
Orthodox court, which is
/ threatening the soft drink
> company with loss of its
kashrut certificate on the
eve of its roll-out there.
The advertisement,
headlined "10 million years
of evolution led to this,"
featured a row of creatures,
from apes to cave man to a
• modern athlete holding a
can of the American soft
drink, which has just been
licensed to the local Tempo
N beverage company.
% When the Eda Haredi rab-
\_ binical court saw the ad, it
• went ape. The Eda Haredi
denounced the Darwinian ad
as "abomination,"
"blasphemy," and
"catastrophe," and pulled
> the kashrut certificate from
Pepsi and all other Tempo
• products.
Avraham Bornstein,
owner of Tempo and himself

Orthodox, quickly apologiz-
ed and said he would
withdraw the ads. But it was
too late to pull them from
the weekend papers, which
already had been printed.

Beverage Battles
Busy Bottlers

And speaking of cola crises
in Israel, Advertising Age
reports that Central Bot-
tlers, which has just begun
marketing Carlsberg Beer,
is going head-to-head (or cap-
to-cap) with Tempo In-
dustries, which markets
Goldstar and Maccabee
beers in Israel.
Central, which also sells
Coca-Cola in Israel, began
marketing Carlsberg last
March. Tempo subsequently
announced that it will award
a new car each month to a
Maccabee drinker.
Tempo also is "trying to
persuade the nation's bars
and restaurants to sign a
five-year agreement that
they will sell only Tempo's

UAHC Contacts
Boy Scouts

beer brands in exchange for
free beer and co-op promo-
tion ," Advertising
Age reports.
Tempo controls 90 percent
of Israel's beer market,
estimated at $50 million,
while Central controls 70
percent of the country's $100
million soft-drink market.

The Union of American
Hebrew Congregations has
urged the Boy Scouts of
America to reverse its policy
of barring gays from becom-
ing scouts or adult vol-

First Wallenberg
Signature Sold

How much is a letter wor-
Swann Galleries in New
York recently sold, for at
least $4,000 each, several
correspondences of interest
to the Jewish community.
The signature of Raoul
Wallenberg, the Swedish
diplomate who saved
thousands of Jews during
World War II, went for
$4,180. The first Wallenberg
autograph ever auctioned, it
was on a typed business
letter, written in August
Albert Einstein's

Raoul Wallenberg

signature, on a letter to col-
league Dr. Walter Mayer,
went for $5,500. Written in
June 1933, the letter
discussed the pair's work on
the unified field theory.
The third letter, written in
1916 by President Woodrow
Wilson to journalist Herman
Bernstein, focused on the
Jewish role in America. It
sold for $4,400.

In a letter to Richard Leet,
president of the Boy Scouts
of America, UAHC Presi-
dent Rabbi Alexander
Schindler said, "I am
writing to you because of a
conflict in policy between
our two organizations which
creates ramifications for
members of our community.

"I refer to our strongly
held and public position in
support of human rights, in-
cluding the rights of lesbians
and gay men, and specifical-
ly in support of full inclusion
of lesbian and gay Jews in
all aspects of synagogue

Compiled by
Elizabeth Applebaum


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