Writes To Israel
Brussels/JTA — Belgium's foreign
minister wrote an open letter to Israel,
expressing regret over the deterioration
in relations between the two countries
over a Belgian court decision enabling
the prosecution of Israelis involved in
the 1982 Lebanon War.
In a letter addressed to "my Israeli
friends" that was published in Israeli and
Belgian newspapers, Louis Michel said a
Belgian law that grants judges universal
jurisdiction for war crimes is not specifi-
cally aimed against Israel. He also
promised to "vigorously oppose" anti-
Earlier, Israel recalled its ambassador
over the court ruling, which would
authorize the Belgian court system to
try Ariel Sharon in connection with
the 1982 killing of Palestinians by.
Christian Phalangists in the Sabra and
Shatila refugee camps after Sharon
steps down as prime minister.
Bush Sends Sharon
Washington/JTA — President Bush
told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon that a successful Iraq war
would lead to progress in resolving the
Bush called Sharon on the occasion
of his 75th birthday and congratulated
him on his election victory last month.
The two discussed Israel's support for
the "road map" toward Middle East
peace and plans for a U.S. aid package
for Israel. Bush is likely to speak fur-
ther about U.S. plans for the Middle
East after an Iraq war when he address-
es the American Enterprise Institute.
Great Britain Warns
Against Israel Travel
London/JTA — Great Britain's
Foreign Office advised its citizens to
avoid all non-essential travel to Israel.
The Feb. 19 advisory also cautioned
British citizens already in Israel to
"maintain a high level of vigilance and
consider whether your presence and
that of your dependants is essential."
In addition, British citizens were
warned to leave Iraq immediately
because of "increasing regional tension
and the risk of terrorist action," and
they were also advised to leave Kuwait
unless their presence there is essential.
Los Angeles/JTA — The father of
slain journalist Daniel Pearl publicly ,
commemorated the first anniversary of
his son's death.
"Hatred killed our son and hatred
we will fight for the rest of our lives
with vengeance and tenacity," Judea
Pearl told 350 people last Friday at the
Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
The consul general of Pakistan, along
with Buddhist and Muslim leaders, also
spoke at the commemoration for Pearl.
In a videotape released last year,
Pearl affirmed his Jewish heritage
before being executed by his terrorist
abductors in Pakistan. Services are also
being held in Jerusalem, New York,
Toronto, London and Paris.
Had Jewish Start
New York/JTA — Norah Jones, who
won five Grammys at the music awards
ceremony, had her start at a Jewish
community center in Manhattan.
Jones performed at Makor some two
dozen times, according to Brice
Rosenbloom, director of Makor's
music programming. "Makor was, at
one time, the biggest place she was
performing," Rosenbloom said.
Makor was where Blue Note
Records saw Jones perform before
signing her. It was also where her
father, Ravi Shankar, a popular Indian
musician, first saw her perform.
Millions For Elderly
New York/JTA — The United Jewish
Communities has garnered nearly $6
million in U.S. funds for programs
that serve the elderly.
The money will be used for
Naturally Occurring Retirement
Communities, areas where large popu-
lations of senior citizens have resided
for a long period of time.
The program allows the elderly to
receive federal services while remaining
in their communities. The money will
be distributed to Jewish federations in
Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta;
Baltimore; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio;
Detroit; southeast Florida; Las Vegas,
Nev.; Los Angeles; Minneapolis;
Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; and
Paris/JTA — A film about a Jewish
musician's survival during the Nazi
occupation of Warsaw won the British
and French equivalents of the Oscar
awards for best picture.
Overall, The Pianist won seven
awards at the Cesar Awards in Paris.
The film, which is based on a memoir,
won the best picture award at the British
Academy Film Awards. Amen, a film
about the Catholic Church's complicity
in the Holocaust, won the award for
best screenplay at the French awards.
Baltimore/JTA — American and
Canadian officials warned Jewish lead-
ers that anti-Semitic incidents could
increase around the world.
Canadian legislator Irwin Cotler
told delegates at the Jewish Council
for Public Affairs' plenum in
Baltimore that he fears an increase in
Detroit Federation Responds To Israel Crisis
he Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit has
declared March "Israel
Emergency Month," issuing
a challenge to Detroit's Jews to display
solidarity in action and to raise funds
dedicated directly to rescue, recovery
and humanitarian relief in Israel.
Under the umbrella of its 2003
Annual Campaign, Federation has
planned a full calendar of community-
wide events, culminating in Campaign
Countdown, a five-day phone-a-thon
starting Sunday, March 30. Hundreds
of phone-a-thon volunteers will make
thousands of calls to encourage
increased gifts to the Campaign and to
solicit one-time gifts to the Grand
Challenge, Israel Emergency Fund.
Through the generosity of Stephen
and Nancy Grand, one-time gifts to
the Grand Challenge Israel Emergency
Fund will be matched dollar for dollar.
Federation's Campaign goal for
2003 is $35.5 million, which includes
the Grand Challenge goal of $4 mil-
lion. To boost the Grand Challenge
Israel Emergency Fund and to further
raise awareness of Israel's economic
plight, Federation has enlisted the
support and leadership of the commu-
nity in two special initiatives:
• The Israel Children's Camp Fund
II will draw from the success of last
year's program, which brought more
than 300 Israeli teens to Michigan for
a summer respite. Fund-raising efforts
are now under way to support the
program to bring 190 Israeli teens in
two sessions at Camp Tamarack for
summer 2003. The cost for sponsor-
ship per 'camper is $2,500.
• The School-to-School Program
will engage congregational schools and
day schools in the community in an
immediate hands-on effort to support
Israeli school children in need.
Through designated gifts to the Grand
Challenge Emergency Fund, congrega-
tions will support Israel's extended day
programs, which provide a safe haven
and hot meals to some 2,100 children
in Detroit's Partnership 2000 region of
the Central Galilee. With the support
of the Michigan Board of Rabbis, the
School-to-School Program will run
from Purim to Passover, with the stat-
ed goal 100 percent participation from
To further raise the community's
level of awareness and response to
"Israel Emergency Month," Federation
has planned a full calendar of educa-
tional events, featuring prominent