A Year Of Painful Progress
For Jews, the war in Bosnia con-
tinued to raise Holocaust appari-
tions, although with qualified
differences. After initial reluctance,
American Jewish groups began to
speak out. At one point, 16 rabbis
and rabbinical students, affiliated
with an ad hoc group called "Jews
recollections Against Genocide in Bosnia,"
joined another 50 protesters in
Washington, D.C., and were
dragged away to jail in a carefully
orchestrated arrest. They urged
the Clinton administration to lift
the arms embargo against Bosnia,
defend the Muslim enclaves and
convene a war crimes tribunal.
Meanwhile, in Sarajevo, the
city's small Jewish community sus-
tained a remarkable relief effort,
funded in large part by American
Jewry. The Sarajevo Jewish Com-
munity Center, at one point, was
hit by a missile. It was the scene
of a soup kitchen, shortwave radio
communications center and mail
center. Services were not interrupted.
The community also distributed about
40 percent of the city's medical supplies
in three pharmacies and coordinated
the evacuation of about 2,500 residents,
a majority of whom were not Jews.
Top 25 Loose
L L f
I here won't be any
transistor radios in
shul this year."
— Frederic Benamy
of Atlanta's Ahavath
Achim Synagogue, on
the High Holidays
and the baseball
It's 5755 and I'm
still writing 5754 on
on the emergence of a
new Jewish year.
I wish I could give up the
Nobel Prize to get the sol-
— Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin, after the
murder of Cpl. Nachshon
Waxman and another Israeli
soldier trying to rescue him
from Hamas kidnappers.
The peace talks continued
down a bumpy road, but they
helped to burst open diplomat-
ic doors. Arab statesmen rushed
to shake the hands of their Is-
raeli counterparts. The Omani
foreign minister met in Wash-
ington with Israel Foreign Min-
King Hussein, ister Shimon Peres. An Israeli
delegation had visited Oman the
previous April. Earlier that
same October week, Tunisia and
Israel initiated relations by ex-
changing economic liaison offices.
Only seven days earlier, the Gulf
Cooperation Council, including
Saudi Arabia, announced it
would end the secondary and ter-
tiary boycotts of Israel and
pledged to discuss ending the
boycott altogether at the next
Arab League meeting. And the
previous month, Morocco agreed
to an exchange of low-level diplo-
Israel, it seemed, was finally
taking its place among the com-
munity of nations.
American and other Diaspora
Jews continued to help fund the
more than one-half-billion dollar
annual budget of the Jewish
Agency for Israel. But the agency,
responsible for an array of Jew-
ish educational and other pro-
grams in Israel and the Diaspora,
could collapse without funding
restructuring, its leaders warned.
Despite this, few Diaspora
Jews understand the scope and
importance of the organization.
So when a nasty public fight for
its leadership was waged, few
heads turned. Maverick politi-
cian Avraham Burg beat out ri-
val Yehiel Leket; the victor
promised to reshape Diaspora-
A modern Orthodox Jew, Mr.
Burg championed the separation
of religion and politics. The son
of the elder statesman of the Na-
tional Religious Party, which
blends religion and Zionism, the
young Mr. Burg is an outspoken
dove once wounded at a Peace
Now demonstration. The charis-
matic 40-year-old had no prob-
lem relating his vision to
Diaspora leaders. Funding it was
don't fight terror
— Israeli foreign minister
Shimon Peres, on new tactics
to counter Hamas terrorism.
W hy Can't A Man Be
More Like A Woman?"
— Title of an "afternoon tea"
sponsored by the Baltimore
section of the National Con-
ference of Jewish Women.
used to wear a cruci-
fix, a Star of David and an
ankh around his neck ...
He'd say, 'I just don't want
to miss heaven on a techni-
— Linda Thompson, an ex-
girlfriend of Elvis Presley,
who would have turned
60 in January.
Here it is always night."
—Nobel Prize winner
Elie Wiesel, at ceremonies
commemorating the 50th
anniversary of the