World Report Jewish group gives $1.3 million in Russia

According to its just-published first annual report, the RJC gave more than $500,000 last year to support Russian Jewish schools.

The congress donated $350,000 to synagogues, and some $275,000 to charitable and social projects in the Russian Jewish community. Cultural projects received $170,000.

Projects seeking to counter anti-Semitism, which RJC President Vladimir Goussinsky has described as a priority for the organization's efforts, received only $14,000.

Holocaust survivor awards Czech kids

PRAGUE (JTA) — Fifty-five years after being interned at Terezin, Holocaust survivor Hana Greenfield returned recently to present awards to Czech schoolchildren.

The 70-year-old Israeli handed out cash prizes last month to a dozen students ranging in age from 6 to 16 for their paintings and essays on intolerance and anti-Semitism.

Greenfield, who was deported to Terezin from her hometown of Kolin in 1942, established the annual competition five years ago. It is financed by proceeds from sales of "Fragment of Memory," a book she wrote about her life.

Italians urged to aid Jews via new tax law

ROME (JTA) — Italy's Jewish community has launched a fund-raising campaign aimed at capitalizing on a new tax law.

An ad campaign has been urging Italians to take advantage of a new law that for the first time allows them to allocate a tiny percentage of their income tax payments to the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.

This option exists for the Roman Catholic Church and others.

"It has a great civic value and doesn't cost anything," read a full-page advertisement in an Italian magazine this month.

Donations would "give new breath to a culture and a heritage that belongs to everyone, to strengthen the defense of minorities against intolerance and prejudice," said the ad.

The ad states that Italy's 30,000 Jews comprise a minority that is too small "to care for the great patrimony of monuments, libraries, works of art and historic archives that form part of Italy's cultural heritage."