Newsdesk March 25, 2005

Putin To Visit Israel

Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a historic visit to Israel in late April. The trip will be the first to Israel by a Russian leader, officials said Wednesday. As well as meeting with officials in Jerusalem, Putin plans to visit the Palestinian Authority. The move is being seen as a bid by Russia to counter Israeli ire at its support of Iran’s nuclear program and its willingness to supply Syria with weaponry.

Jury Case Proceeds

A former prosecutor in the United States testified that he worked with a judge to keep Jews off juries in death penalty cases. On Tuesday, John Quatman told a California court that now-deceased judge Stanley Golde told him he wanted to keep Jews off juries in capital cases because they never would vote for the death penalty. Quatman’s testimony will be forwarded to the Supreme Court of California, which is considering whether to grant a new trial for Fred Freeman, an inmate who was convicted of murder and robbery at a bar in 1987.

Shooter Had Nazi Views

Jeff Weise, the teenager who committed multiple murders on a Minnesota Indian reservation Monday, apparently held neo-Nazi beliefs.

A person identifying himself as Jeff Weise had expressed admiration for Hitler in a chat room hosted by Nazi.org, the Web site of a neo-Nazi party, according to media reports. Weise reportedly posted messages on the site under the names “NativeNazi” and “Todesengel” (German for “Angel of Death”).

Weise killed nine people before shooting himself.

Reform Arm Missing Cash

The Reform movement’s rabbinical arm is making major budget cuts after discovering that it is missing $1 million. The money was apparently taken from specially designated accounts by the former comptroller for the Central Conference of American Rabbis and used for other CCAR expenses, New York’s Jewish Week reported. There is “no reason to suspect” that the missing money was used for anything but “legitimate CCAR expenses,” said Rabbi Paul Menitoff, the executive vice president, in an interview with the Jewish Week.

Menitoff said an independent accountant had been hired to look into the matter.

Rabbi Harry Danziger will be installed as the volunteer head of the Reform movement’s rabbinical arm. Danziger will take up his new post March 30 at the annual CCAR convention in Houston.

Plan To Honor Anne Frank

An American representative launched an initiative to make the late Anne Frank an honorary American citizen. Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Republican, launched the congressional initiative Monday to honor the Jewish teenage diarist from Amsterdam, who died in the Holocaust.

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Newsdesk March 25, 2005

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