World Report

BERLIN (JTA) — About 900 neo-Nazis held a May Day rally on Monday near Berlin at which speakers called for the expulsion of foreigners.

The rally was one of several held across Germany. Scores of police and anti-fascist protesters were wounded in clashes prompted by the rallies.

Russian neo-Nazis again targeting Jews

MOSCOW (JTA) — Russian neo-Nazis are again targeting a Jewish community in the northwestern part of the country, according to reports from Jewish groups.

Last week, a car owned by the security chief of Borovichi's synagogue was set on fire. Swastikas were also drawn on the cars of two local Jewish leaders who were celebrating Passover inside the synagogue.

In the past two years, neo-Nazis have launched several campaigns against the city's Jewish community, which opened the synagogue last year with help from American Jews, including those from the Bay Area.

Rabbis propose interfaith dialogue

BERN, Switzerland (JTA) — A rabbinical delegation has formally proposed a program to promote interfaith dialogue between North American rabbis and European Catholic bishops.

The program was proposed Tuesday by the North American Boards of Rabbis at the European Bishops Conference in Switzerland. The idea stems from a message of reconciliation that Pope John Paul II made in March.

In a related development, representatives of a Jewish group that works to foster interfaith relations convened with Christian leaders they had not met with in five years.

Members of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations held separate dialogues in Geneva with the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and the Eastern Orthodox Church to re-establish relations and discuss shared concerns, including the current trial of 13 Iranian Jews facing espionage charges.

Catholic leaders apologize to Jews

BERN, Switzerland (JTA) — The Catholic Church of Switzerland has apologized for not doing enough to help Jews during World War II.

Swiss Catholic bishops said last month the church had not tried to save refugees, particularly Jews, from the Holocaust.

Meanwhile, Lithuania's Catholic Church has issued an apology for not doing enough to prevent the massacre of some 220,000 Jews during the 1941-44 Nazi occupation.

"We are sorry the church did not show enough resistance in times when nationalist egoism was overtaking the values of the Bible," said a statement that was signed by the nation's archbishop.

Neo-Nazi party forms in Switzerland

BERN (JTA) — A party with overt Nazi sympathies has been created in Switzerland.

The leader of the National Party, David Mulas, said its "leaders are Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess" and that the party is "anti-Semitic and for the white race."

Swiss Jewish leaders called on the government to suspend the party, but such a move would run counter to Swiss law, said a spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry.

Two German teens held in shul arson

BERLIN (JTA) — German police are holding two teens suspected of setting fire to a synagogue in the eastern German city of Erfurt on the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birth.

Police questioned and released a third suspect, who was accused of driving the getaway car in the April 20 attack. The three were trying to make a name for themselves among right-wing extremists, a German official said.