Shorts: U.S.

Bush declares May as Jewish heritage month

washington (jta) | President Bush proclaimed May to be Jewish heritage month.

“As a nation of immigrants, the United States is better and stronger because Jewish people from all over the world have chosen to become American citizens,” Bush said in his proclamation last week.

“Since arriving in 1654, Jewish Americans have achieved great success, strengthened our country and helped shape our way of life. Through their deep commitment to faith, family and community, Jewish Americans remind us of a basic belief that guided the founding of this nation: that there is an Almighty who watches over the affairs of men and values every life.”

Rabbi to help Kadima in U.S.

washington (jta) | A prominent U.S. rabbi was named to head the U.S. group that will promote Israel’s Kadima Party.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked Rabbi Marc Schneier to take the post heading Kadima USA during a meeting between the two men last week in Jerusalem.

Schneier, of New York, is the founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

Poll: Jews less likely to attend services

new york (jta) | Jews are less likely than Mormons and Christians to attend services regularly, according to a new Gallup poll.

Some 15 percent of Jews say they attend synagogue every week, as opposed to nearly two-thirds of Mormons and evangelical Protestants. Between 43 and 45 percent of Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians said they attended services weekly. The poll of 11,000 adult Americans was conducted between 2002 and 2005.

Wal-Mart sues over Holocaust spoof

atlanta (ap) | Wal-Mart has filed a federal lawsuit over a warped version of its logo appearing on T-shirts and on a Web site with the word “Wal-ocaust’ in blue over an Iron Eagle clutching a yellow smiley face.

Charles Smith, a 48-year-old computer repairman from Georgia, began selling T-shirts reading “I (heart) Wal-ocaust” last year, and he displays the more elaborate logo on his Web site.

Smith acknowledges the logo is tasteless, but he and his attorneys, part of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen Litigation Group, consider this a free speech battle. He says he has made a total of $5.10 from the sale of a single “Wal-ocaust” T-shirt.

ADL launches online program with Ford

washington (jta) | The Anti-Defamation League launched an anti-bias training program with Ford Foundation funding.

The online program, A World of Difference, was launched this week at the group’s national leadership conference in Washington by ADL National Director Abraham Foxman and Susan Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation.

Torah cover finds way to Brooklyn

new york (jta) | A Torah cover lost during the Holocaust was returned to the family of its original owner last month in Brooklyn.

The heirloom, looted in 1938, arrived after the Vienna City Council transfered the item from the city’s Jewish Museum to a Chassidic congregation in Brooklyn.

The 35 recipients who accepted the artifact were descendants of Miriam Wesel, who commissioned the cover before fleeing to the United States.