U.S briefs

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Pledging to join in

tikkun olam

and declaring "I'm Jewish and I love it," more than 3,000 Jews from 39 states gathered in Washington this week at the United Jewish Communities' Youth Leadership conference.

Conference delegates met for three days and lobbied Congress on issues such as aid to Israel, the Middle East peace process and hate-crimes legislation.

In her keynote address at the conference, Coretta Scott King said the historic coalition between African Americans and Jews must be strengthened and the Jewish community must continue its work for social and economic justice.

"Not everyone can be a Martin Luther King Jr. or an Abraham Joshua Heschel," the widow of the slain civil rights leader said Sunday. "But everyone can make an important contribution."

Holocaust survivor to serve World Court

NEW YORK (JTA) — An Auschwitz survivor was recently elected to be a judge on the United Nations' World Court.

Thomas Buergenthal, a professor of law at George Washington University and a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, lived in a Polish ghetto before he was sent to Auschwitz in 1944.

The court is the U.N.'s top legal authority.

N.Y. rabbi acquitted over death threats

NEW YORK (JTA) — A leading rabbi in Brooklyn has been acquitted of having made death threats against a woman who had accused her father of rape.

Five others still face witness-tampering charges in the case in which Rabbi Bernard Freilich was found innocent. The woman's father still must stand trial on the rape charges.

Appeals court backs student-led prayers

NEW YORK (JTA) — Student high school graduation addresses may include prayers, a U.S. appeals court ruled March 15.

If the student rather than the school decides on the commencement message and then delivers it, the message does not violate the separation between church and state, the court said in a case that began at a Florida high school.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State condemned the ruling.