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Gibson to cut controversial scene?

los angeles (jta) | Mel Gibson reportedly will delete a scene from his movie that echoes the charge of blaming the Jews for Jesus’ crucifixion.

A spokesman said that Gibson is still editing the final cut of “The Passion of the Christ” due for release on Feb. 25, Ash Wednesday, and The New York Times reported that he agreed yesterday to delete a controversial scene.

An unnamed associate told the paper that the actor-director will remove a scene in which the Jewish high priest Caiaphas invokes a curse on the Jews by saying, “His blood be on us and on our children,” which appears only in the Christian Bible Book of Matthew.

The line, which has appeared in passion plays over the centuries, has sparked anti-Semitic violence, but the Vatican issued a ruling 40 years ago that contemporary Jews could not be blamed for Jesus’ death.

N.Y. Jewish poverty deepens

new york (jta) | Jewish poverty has worsened in New York over the past decade.

The number of poor Jewish households has grown by 5 percent to 244,000, or 15 percent of the 1.66 million people in Jewish households in greater New York, according to the 2004 Report on Jewish Poverty, produced by the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and UJA-Federation of New York.

The report, drawn from a 2002 community study of New York, was the first since a 1991 study showed 10 percent of 1.55 million Jewish homes in Greater New York were poor.