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The quest to honor an Arab hero doctor

The quest to honor an Arab hero doctor

BALTIMORE — For Carla Greenspan, the news was upsetting: A relative by marriage of the man who saved her mother’s life during the Holocaust was spurning an award from Yad Vashem.

“It’s a sad legacy for him if this is truly how they feel,” Greenspan said from her home on Manhattan’s East Side. “Their great-uncle went out of his way and risked his life to save my mother.”

Mohamad Helmy, an Egypt native who worked as a physician in Berlin when WW II broke out, helped hide the family of Anna Gutman (nee Boros), Greenspan’s mother.

For his bravery, Yad Vashem recently recognized Helmy as Righteous Among the Nations — the first person from the Arab world to be so designated since the award’s establishment in 1963.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 November 2013 14:23 )

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Features

Into the future — issues in Holocaust remembrance

Into the future — issues in Holocaust remembranceDr. Stephen Smith — born near England’s mythical Sherwood Forest and the son of a Methodist minister — visited Yad Vashem for the first time with his brother James in 1991. He expected to be touched, even speechless. He was both. But the encounter also resulted in a moment of pivotal discovery. In 2009, Smith became executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation, established in 1994 by director Steven Spielberg to amass testimonies from 52,000 Holocaust survivors. It might seem ironic t...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 October 2013 14:20 )

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Features

New discoveries of JFK’s admiration for and support of American Jews

New discoveries of JFK’s admiration for and support of American JewsAS the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination approaches, we Jews have our own special reasons to mourn. The conventional community memory of Kennedy would be enough by itself. JFK overcame the anti-Semitic legacy of his father, the notoriously appeasement-minded American ambassador to Britain on the eve of WW II, Joseph Kennedy, to build a warm relationship with American Jews. As Warren Bass recounted a decade ago in his book Support Any Friend, the US-Israel alliance advance...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:22 )

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Features

Massive turnout for Conservative Judaism’s centennial meeting; at 100, deep introspection

Massive turnout for Conservative Judaism’s centennial meeting; at 100, deep introspectionBALTIMORE — It will be years before it’s clear whether this week’s conference of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism was a success. The centennial gathering in Baltimore by nearly all accounts was a far more dynamic and well-attended biennial than those of recent years, drawing some 1,200 people. But the Conservative movement is in serious decline — evidenced by the recent findings of the Pew Research Center’s survey of US Jews, which found that a shrinking number of synagog...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:23 )

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Features

Museum on Belgian shipping line stirs debate on Holocaust history

Museum on Belgian shipping line stirs debate on Holocaust historyANTWERP — With the confidence befitting a septuagenarian grandmother, Ellen Bledsoe-Rodriguez briskly leads her family past the beer stalls and DJs that dot the Flemish capital’s historic port on sunny autumn days. Bledsoe-Rodriguez is uninterested in such diversions. She and nine of her relatives had traveled 5,600 miles from California for last week’s opening of a museum devoted to the Red Star Line, the maritime travel company that nearly a century ago transported her mother and two m...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:23 )

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