Shorts: World

Survivors’ children suing Germany

Children of Holocaust survivors are suing Germany to pay for their psychotherapy.

The lawsuit, involving some 4,000 plaintiffs, was filed Monday, July 16 in a Tel Aviv court. The children of survivors argue that they have been scarred being raised by parents who experienced the Nazi Holocaust, and as a result Germany should pay for their psychological therapy.

Baruch Mazor, director of the Fisher Fund, which filed the lawsuit, said thousands of people raised by survivor parents suffer from depression and anxiety and cannot function normally at work or home. He estimated that some 5 percent of Israel’s 400,000 children of survivors are in need of therapy.

The lawsuit seeks the establishment of a German-financed fund to pay for three years of biweekly therapy sessions for 15,000 to 20,000 people, at a cost of about $10 million, according to AP. The Germany Foreign Ministry declined to comment, according to the report.

Israeli and international law may prevent such a suit from being brought in a Tel Aviv court against a foreign government. — jta

British journalists say no Israel boycott

The National Executive Council of the National Union of Journalists unanimously passed a motion last week eliminating the boycott of Israeli goods, originally passed in April by the union’s National Delegates Conference. The April measure was greeted with outrage by many union members and resulted in the resignation of more than 30 journalists from the union. Other members staged an anti-boycott petition campaign.

The motion also said the executive committee “rejects absolutely allegations of anti-Semitism and/or racism and reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism in all its forms.”

“This is an honorable decision and a victory for common sense,” Jeremy Newmark, said chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council. — jta

Nazi pair hunted

Austria is offering rewards for the capture of two Nazis at large and believed to be alive.

The former Nazi-controlled state is offering approximately $69,000 for information leading to the arrest and capture of Aribert Heim, an SS doctor who killed concentration camp inmates with heart injections, and Alois Brunner, a right-hand man to Adolf Eichmann who organized deportations of Jews to death camps.

“Austria is often blamed for having done too little,” Austrian Justice Minister Maria Berger told Reuters. “I don’t want to judge previous governments; I want to do now what we still can do.” — jta

Pope blesses Peres presidency

Pope Benedict urged Shimon Peres to use his term as Israeli president to advance peace.

Peres, who was sworn in as Israel’s ninth head of state Sunday, July 15, received letters of congratulations from the pontiff as well as other world figures. Israeli media quoted Benedict as telling Peres that millions of people in Israel and abroad hope that he will help Middle Eastern leaders bring peace to the region. — jta

Pan American Games’ minyans

A conservative shul in Brazil is holding minyans at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Volunteers from the 440-member Conservative shul Congregacao Judaica do Brasil will hold daily minyans at the XV Pan American Games. The games, which run through July 29, feature approximately 5,650 athletes from 42 nations competing in 37 sports and 332 events. Approximately 90 athletes are Jewish.

“It’s common to call for support in such situations of stress for competition and frustration with results,” said Rabbi Nilton Bonder, the shul’s rabbi, explaining why his synagogue is organizing the minyans, which will count both men and women as part of the prayer quorum. — jta