U.S. Report

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Holocaust education program for Catholic-school teachers took place this week in Washington.

Forty-five teachers from across the United States participated in "Bearing Witness: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Contemporary Issues" at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Anti-Defamation League developed the program, which addressed such issues as Jews in the New Testament, the social and theological origins of anti-Semitism and the methodology of teaching the Holocaust to young people.

"We've seen a lot of changes in Catholic teaching about Jews…this program helps translate that into meaningful changes on the grassroots level," said David Friedman, ADL's regional director.

ADL not perturbed by instant camera ad

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Polaroid ad that features Chassidic Jews in a diamond vault has been declared not offensive, according to a spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League.

The ad, which features actual Chassidim and has appeared in Newsweek and Business Week magazines, is one of seven others in a campaign that shows unique places where Polaroid products might be used.

Meetings between the ADL and the Polaroid Corporation indicated that prior to production, the ad underwent a rigorous process of review that sought the input and approval of Chassidic and Orthodox Jewish community leaders in Boston and New York.

Polaroid also reported that one of the observant models is a professional jeweler who posed with some of his own tools.

It's live, via satellite: U.S. Jewish teachers

NEW YORK (JTA) — A group of Jewish middle school teachers will get together regularly via videoconferencing and the Internet in a pilot program planned for this fall.

Jskyway.com, which is coordinated by the Jewish Education Service of North America, is planning to hold the program with 25 participants from day schools in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

If the pilot program works, it will be extended to link Jewish educators across North America.

Ten Commandments blocked from display

NEW YORK (JTA) — The American Civil Liberties Union praised a decision by a U.S. judge preventing the state of Kentucky from erecting a monument to the Ten Commandments.

The judge ruled July 25 that such a move would violate the U.S. Constitution's separation between church and state.

Moves to display the Ten Commandments in public have gained momentum in the United States after several school shootings in the past few years, namely the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, outside of Los Angeles.

Shul files lawsuit over unpaid pledge

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Conservative synagogue in Pittsburgh is suing one of its members for failing to fulfill a $25,000 pledge made six years ago.

The Tree of Life synagogue sued 70-year-old Vincent Nathan DiGiambattista — who said he was unable to pay the pledge because he was helping a bankrupt friend — for paying only $900, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.