Read - American Jewish Archives

Read - American Jewish Archives

MS-763: Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman Collection, 1930-2004. Series I: Wexner Heritage Foundation, 1947-2004. Subseries 1: General Files, 1949-2004. Box ...

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MS-763: Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman Collection, 1930-2004. Series I: Wexner Heritage Foundation, 1947-2004. Subseries 1: General Files, 1949-2004.

Box 65

Folder 10

Papal commemoration of the Holocaust. 1994.

For more information on this collection, please see the finding aid on the American Jewish Archives website.

3101 Clifton Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 513.487.3000



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A Vatican Stake In Talks With Jews

• P


OPE JOHN PAUL II inter• rupted his vacation last ; week to meet with Dine leaders of world Jewry at bis summer residence outside Rome. It was cnacial, the Catholics and Jews at the meedii8 agreed. to resolve recent tensions between the two faiths before the Pope arrives this week for a visit to the United States. But why was It so cruclal? There are 53 miJUon Roman Catholics In the United States and only 5 million Jews. There are large Catbolk constituencies - feminists and gay rights activists, to name just two who are angry with the Pope and would like to have his ear. These groups were not granted an audi· ence. Why the Jews? Tbe answer has to do with the com· plex and often tortured history al Catholic-Jewish relaUons. But per· haps more importaaL. it bas to do with a troubling isme In Cllrildlm theotogy: What is . . . . . . of Jews and Judaism 1,900 ,ears after the coming of the Cbrlstiaa measlab? And bow should Cllrillillm reaard • people who rejected Geers t . - - ? Those questions cortdnue to ~ cupy Protestant as well u CMbalic scholars. Last spring, the caventJons of both the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Unlted Owrch of Christ adopted positions . recognizing the validity of Judaism and the continuing covenant between God and the Jewish people. For centuries, the question was too difficult for Christians to confront lhere were crusades, inquisitiOns, pogroms, ghettos and massacres. Both faiths benefited from a crossfertillzation In philosophy, music and art. In addition, Jews flourished under iome benewlent popes and Christian mlers. Yet. lbe "teaching of contempt for the Jews" - a term

More Ideas

a Trends


coined by the French Jewish historian Jules Isaac - permeated Europe like a medieval plague well into the 20th century. Christian theologians are now join· ing Jewish scholars who maintain that the Church's teaching created an environment in' which Hitler couJd rise to power and call for extermination of all Jews. The Church's repudiation of Its' earlier views came almost two decades after the Holocaust, at the Sec· ond Vatican Council of the early 1960's. It was at the Council, in an extra0rdinary document called Nostra Aetate (In Our Time), that the Catholic Church rejected the charge of deicide - the notion that the Jews killed Christ - and firmly condemned anti-Semitism.

Since that timetthere bas been a -slow rapprochement between the two faiths. A dialoBue on the highest level9 bepn 25 ,ears ago Wilh a meeting between Pape Paul VJ .and the great Jewish tbeololle" Abra· ham Joshua Hescbel Rabbi A. James Rudin, director of lnterreli· gious affairs at the Amertcan Jewtsb Committee, is fond of saYin& that more progress bas been made In the \a•t 25 years of Catholic-Jewish relations than In the preceding 1,900. While understanding has grown in recent years, some Jews feel that Pope John Paul II has been sending mtxed messages. On the one band, the Pope made an wiprecedented visit to a synagogue in 1986, embracing Jews as "our elder brothers." In the same spirit, the Pope bas begun using the word Sboah, the Hebrew word for Holocaust, In speeches and letters, giving credence to the Jewish c1aim that the Holocaust was a uniquely Jewish trqedy. But many._ bave watehed with diltre8I wbal . _ have reaarded as the PoPfl• .attempts to universalil.e Cbe ffoloceow 11Mly have objected lO Cbe POpe's beedfication in May of a Jewllb ~ tDC&tholictsm, EcHth Sl.ein, IUld; . - •renuously, to his receptioa ol President Kurt Waldheim ol Ailstria, who during World War JI belonged to a German army unit that bas been implicated in the deportation of Jews to death camps.

In June, on the eve of the Waldheim visit, numerous Jewish organJzations said that if the Pope received the former Nazi officer then they could not In good conscience participate in a largely ceremonial ex· change between the Pope and 200 Jewish leaders scheduled In Miami this Friday. The gathering could take place, the Jewish leaders warned, only if they tint bad a meet· ing wHb PoPe .John PaUL A meeting was hastily arrranged at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence, and an agenda-drawn up. Many of tbe unresolved issues in Catholic-Jewilh dialogue seemed to take on new importance. Tbe Jewiah "leaders wanted to know: Did the Vatican do enough to save Jews from exterminatioo during the Holocaust? Why has tbe Holy See refused to extend full diplomatic recognition JD Israel? And finally, the most vex*'& question, why dJd the Pope receive Mr. Waldheim without ad· dressing !Us past? Tbe nine Jewish leaders said they came away from the meeting with the Pope and his advisers with few satisfactory answers. They saw ~ however, In the willingness of the fatican to continue the dlal<>sue and in a prolQi&e that the Pope would soon isSue a statement on the Holocaust. One participant, Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum of the American Jew· ish Committee, concluded: "Waldheim was a crisis that became an opportunity."



Leslie H. Wexner


Chairman of the Board

September 8, 1987

Mr. Ari L. Goldman New York Times 229 West 43 Street New York, N. Y. 10036 Dear Mr. Goldman: I have always enjoyed your reporting, which shows uuch expertise in the subjects on which you write. For that reason, I thought you might be interested in a letter I wrote recently to the Times, which was not printed, probably because of its length. That letter offers a slight emendation to one sentence in your excellent article entitled "A Vatican Stake in Talks with Jews", published 9/6/87. You said: "A dialogue on the highest levels began 25 years ago with a meeting between Pope Paul VI and the great Jewish theologian Abraham J. Heschel." Actually, the dialogue began two years earlier between a prior Pope, John XXIII, and myself, during the course of which he spoke the famous phrase, "I am Joseph your brother" and intimated his intentions of convening a second Vatican Council to consider the fundamental CJUlestions of Catholic-Jewish relations, especially deicide. I think the progress made during the past 26 years, during which the Church has reversed many attitudes toward the Jews, is remarkable; and I foresee ultimate solutions in the two crucial areas of assuming some responsibility for creating an atmosphere which made the Holocaust possible, and of recognizing the existence of the State of Israel. Sincerely,

Herbert A. Friedman HAF/jf 551 Madison Avenue I New York, New York 10022 I 212-355-6115 41 South High Street, Suite 3710 / Columbus, Ohio 43215 /614-464-2772


THE WEXNER HERITAGE FOUNDATION H erbert A. Frie dma n President

Les lie H. Wexner Chairman o f the Board

September 2, 1987

Mr. Robert Barzilay Editor, Letters to the Editor The New York Times 229 West 43 Street New York, N. Y. 10036 To the Editor: The recent meeting in Rome between Jewish leaders and Pope John Paul, on the eve of his departure for the United States, recalls an episode that occurred almost 27 years ago between an earlier delegation of Jewish leaders and another great Pope, John XXIII. On October 17, 1960, the first delegation of American Jews ever to be received by any Pope met in the Vatican. There an extraordinary event took place, when the Pope rose and verbally embraced his visitors with the electrifying statement,

"I am Joseph, your brother."

I was then executive vice-president of the national United Jewish Appeal, leading a delegation of 130 men and women on their way to Israel.

We stopped in Rome to meet with

the Pope and give voice "to our gratitude for a far-reaching

551 Madison Avenue I New York, New York 10022 I 212-355-6115 41 South High Street, Suite 3710 I Columbus, Ohio 43215 / 614-464-2772


act of humanity he had performed in 1942.

He was then Papal

Nuncio in Turkey, and had intervened with the Nazi authorities to permit the sailing through the Dardanelles of two vessels carrying 700 Jewish orphan children to Palestine.

He literally saved their lives.

We wanted to

thank him. The audience was arranged by Benjamin swig of San Francisco through two good friends, Cardinal Spellman of New York and the American Ambassador in Rome, James Zellerbach, also of San Francisco. Once the audience was agreed to in principle, the technical details and arrangements took months to settle. There was a certain stiffness in the air. that we employ the classical languages:

I had suggested I would address the

Holy Father in Hebrew and he would respond in Latin.


Vatican officials hesitated, fearing that use of the Hebrew language in this setting might imply recognition of the state of Israel.


their decision was that we would

speak in our vernaculars, English and Italian. The texts flowed back and forth across the ocean for approval on both sides.

We prepared a hand-written

parchment scroll, similar to the ancient Torah, encased in olive wood from Jerusalem, on which was inscribed our profound



for Pope John's courage and


on the morning of the audience, everything went smoothly, · exactly according to the script. were taken and the audience was over.


Suddenly and

spontaneously, as the delegation was preparing to leave, John rose from his throne, lifted his hand in a friendly gesture and started to speak extemporaneously .

According to

the doctrine of Papal infallibility, every word of the Pope is sacred.

Here he was speaking without a text, and the

editor of the Osservatore write furiously.

Romano, standing nearby, began to

All the officials looked anxious, for they

had no idea what was coming. The essence of the Pope's very personal short speech was this:

he had been thinking of something intimate and

meaningful to say to us, in additi on to the generalizations of his prepared remarks. Angelo Giuseppi Roncalli. English



He thought of his personal name, Giuseppi is translated into

This led him to the thought of the

biblical Joseph sitting as vice-premier on the throne of Egypt dealing out food to all the petitioners from the neighboring drought-stricken countries, including Canaan . As Joseph's 11 brothers

the very ones who had

earlier sold him into slavery and thought he was long dead

entered the hall, the Bible tells us he recognized

them at once, although they did not recognize him. certain point, he decided to reveal himself to them,

After a

.:: 4_

stretched forth his hand, and said, to their amazement, am Joseph your brother." identi~ied


So it was that John XXIII

himself to us.

In a flash, we understood that the Pope was saying to this Jewish delegation that he and they were brothers. Except for a very few in the innermost circle, no one knew that he was already thinking of convening the Vatican II Council, which would ultimately deal with the most delicate questions, including the charge against the Jews of deicide. This friendly, jovial, almost


man was offering his

hand in brotherhood and friendship, revealing his inner feeling about Jews.

The air was charged with excitement.

It was an incredible moment. In the 27 years since then, Catholics and Jews have crossed centuries of misunderstanding, misconceptions, and ill will.

Although there is still much ground to cover, the

air is filled with hope for further and continuing progress so that one by one the issues which have separated the two faiths will be replaced by ties that bind. At this moment it is fitting to recall and pay tribute to the memory of Pope John XXIII, who started the march down the path of reconciliation.

A- FM~-

A. Friedman President

Wexner Heritage Foundation

Concert la Commelaoration of tbe Shoab, the Jewll• Holocaust


in the presence of His lloliness Pope John Paul Il

Aula Paolo VI in Vaticano

The organisers of this initiativ~~ express their profound gratitude

to His HoliMSS JPope Johll Paul II for the support that He has wished to give for this Concert to be held to-day in commemoratio1n of the Holocaust and for His presence.

They would like also 1'.> thank most cordially the f ollowin$ distinguished persons, who by their active support have made it possible for this historic event to ''alee place.

His Eminence Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy President, Commmion for ReUglom Relations with lbe Jews His Eminence Jean·Marie Carcllinal Lustiger Archbishop of Paris His Excellency MonsiSEor Dine• Monduzzi Prefect of the Pontifical HO\nsehold His Excellency Monsignor Joluil Foley President, Pontifical Council for Social Communications His Excellency Monsi~or WUIJlam H. Keeler Archbishop of Baltimore Monsignor Thomas Hartman Diocese of Rockville Center, New York Monsignor Pablo Collino Director of the Cappella GiuJial Choir of the Vatican Basilica

Rabbi A. James Rudin

National Director lnterreligiou.s Affairs, «American Jewish Committee>i• Rabbi Haskel Besser Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel

Temple Emmanu-el, New York City Ambassador Raymond Flynn Tilles Center for the Performin1 Arts

Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus Mr. Roger Tilles, vice-chairmru:i Mr. Elliott Sroka, Excc111tivc Director Mr. Robert Franz, Vatican Concert Tour Manager Mr. Daniel Berger Mr. Michael Bronson Mr. Jack Eisner Ms. Donna Evans Mrs. Margit Rabb Kalina M. Theo Klein

Professor Lewis Lockwood

Mr. Alexander Prisant

Mr. James G. Robinson Professor Stephan J. Schiffman Sir Sigmund Sternberg

Mr. Peter Thall

Maestro Gilbert Levine The staff of The Royal Philhanno1nic Orchestra IMG Artists -- Ms. E.clna Landau and Ms. Linda Marder


The organisers owe Gr particular word of thanks to the fallowing distinguished persons who have o![ered practical support for the necessary a"angements in connection wuh the Concert: Mr. Jack P. and Mrs. Joanna San• EISNER His Excellency Monsignor William B. KEELER Archbishop of Baltimore President, National Conference of Catholic Bishops in the USA Mr. James G. ROBINSON Morgan Creek Productions Rabbi Alexander SCHINDLER President Union of American Hebrew Con8ffegations Mr. RogerTILLES Mr. Artur and Mrs. Theresa Maria BRAUNER Mr. Bert BRODSKY Mr. Daniel CHASIN and Mr Ben CHASIN Mr. and Mrs. Ronald COOPER Mr. and Mrs. Saul FELDBERG Dr. h.c. Jack FLIDERBAUM Lord Charles FORTE Mr. and Mrs. Henry FRIEDMAN Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. FROM~~

Dr.Otto and Dr. Agnes GALAMBOS Ms. Erna I. GANS Mr. and Mrs Robert GIBSON Le Baron et Ja Baronne Maurice GOLDSTEIN Mr. and Mrs. Meyer GOTTLIEB Mr. and Mrs. Michael D. HARRIS: Dr. Erwin and Mrs. Madeleine BJ~ING J.W. SYSTEMS, Ltd Mrs. Byleri TUROFF·JUROFS~( Mrs. Ruth KANER Ms. Amalia Luna KAUFMAN Mr. Steven KLAR Mr. and Mrs. Henri KLUGMAN Mr. and Mrs. Michael KOLIN Mr. David John l.ANDAU Mr. and Mrs Gerard LEEDE Ms. Nonna U. LEVITT Mr. David LINDSAY Mr. William J. WWENBERG Mr. Ira MILLER Mr. Tomy NEWMAN and Ms. Gnace UNDOVER Mr. and Mrs. James RAPP Mr. and Mrs. Henry ROSENBAU;M Mrs. YatTa SAMUEL Mr. and Mrs. Nathan SHAPELL Ms. Julia SCHIFFER . Mr. and Mrs. Harold SHNEER Mr. Andrew P. SMITH Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Franklyn SMITH Mr. David and Mrs. Francine SPJLKE STROOCK STROOCK and I.AVAN Dr. Leon TEC and Prof. Neehama:a TEC

The TILLES Investment Company TILLES Family Mr. and Mrs. Bennan V. TRAUB, Esq Mr. Jack N. TUROFF and Mrs. Oarole R. TUROFF,Esq Mrs. Sandra BRAND and Mr. Arilk WEINTRAUB Mr. and Mrs. Walter ZACHARIUS Mr. and Mrs. Rubin ZIMMERMAN


Reparto Speciale S









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a/h /z4et.JN1Ka cA( ...5fin ~.n/[email protected]


« Kol Nidrei » rer violoncello e orchestra ppera 47 (1881)

Violonce/lista: Lynn Harrell LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN


' infonia n. 9 in Do minore opera 125 !ferw movimento: adagio molto e cantabile

almo 92 er solo coto

antore: baritono Howard Nevison LEONARD BERNSTEIN

infonia n. 3 «Kaddish » 1961-1963) brano

Narratore: Richard Dreyfuss LEONARD BERNSTElN

Chichester Psalms ( 1965) Secondo movirnento: Salmo 23 (tutto) iSalmo 2 ( versetti 1-4) ,Andante con moto, ma tranquillo

Solista: Gregory Daniel Rodriguez 'Terzo movimento: :Salmo 131 (tutto) :Salmo 133 {versetto 1) :Sostenuto molto, lento possibile







The Wexner Heritage Foundation 551 Mao1son Avenue New York. New York 10022 212 355 6115 Fax 212 751 3739

Hunung1on Center Suite 3710 41 Souin High Street Columbus. Ohio 43215 614 464 2772

4 April 1994

Edward Cardinal Cassidy Facsimile #011-3 9-6-698-853-65

Your Excellency: I am delighted to inform you that I have managed to re-arrange my schedule and will therefore be able to accept your kind invitation to be present at the Vatican this Thursday, April 7th. I understand from Rabbi James Rudin there will be three events that day: an audience with His Holiness at 11 :00 a.m.; a luncheon at 1:00 p.m.; and the concert at 6:00 p.m.

I will be staying at the Columbus Hotel, arriving Wednesday morning, April 6, on TWA flight 840, and would be very grateful if you would arrange to deliver to the hote~ an envelope containing all necessary invitations and information.

Looking forward to meeting you, I am

Most sincerely,

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman The Wexner Heritage Foundation 551 Madison Avenue 9th Floor New York, NY 10022 U.S.A.

The W~er Heritage Foundation 551 Mad1SOfl Avenue New York, New York 10022 2123556115 Fax 212 751 3739

Hunung:on Center SUJte 3710 41 South High Street Colwnbus. Ohio 43215 614 464 2772

31 March 1994

Edward Cardinal Cassidy Facsimile: 011-39-6-698-853-65

Your Excellency:

May I express my gratitude for your kind invitation to myself and my wife to attend the extraordinary concert on April 7 in commemoration of the Shoah. I have attempted to re-arrange my schedule on short notice but have not succeeded. I am terribly disappointed, especially since I have been honored to be in the presence of every pope since Pius XII in 1946. May I extend to you, concerning whom my friend Rabbi James Rudin speaks so highly, sincere congratulations on having organized such a dignified program, replete with leading personalities, beautiful music and an inspirational tone. The respect which your commission is according the victims of that evil madness will be appreciated by all men of good will. Lastly, His Holiness Pope John Paul Il displays deep sympathy, wisdom and statesmanship by attending the concert in person. Once again he shows the human aspect of his personality and is to be warmly applauded. With heartfelt thanks and genuine regrets, I am

Most sincerely,

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman The Wexner Heritage Foundation 551 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10022 U.S.A.

COMMISSION FOR RELIGIOUS RELATIONS WITH THE JEWS Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

15th March, 1994

On tbe evening of Thursday, April 7 next, at 18.oo, a Concert will be held in the Aula Paolo VI in the Vatican to commemorate the Sboah. His Holiness Pope John Paul II will be present. The Shoab is a terrible abyss which has thrown a black light on the frightening depth of human evil. Music, of all the arts, has the capacity to enter directly into the soul, to clarify the inner reaches of the spirit. It is hoped that the music especially chosen for this Papal Concert will bring all who hear it together in remembrance of those horrendous events which must never be forgotten so that they never be repeated. It is expected that a number of holocaust survivors will attend,. together with the Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff of Rome, members of the College of Cardinals and of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, and various world dignitaries. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) and the Cappella Giulia Choir of St. Peter's Basilica will be conducted by Maestro Gilbert Levine. On behalf of the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, I wish to assure you that should you wish to be present at this very special ev,e nt, you would be most welcome indeed. I would ask you, however, to let me know if you intend to be at the Concert, so that a formal invitation may be ready for you on your arrival in Rome. It will of course be necessary in this connection for us to know where you may be contacted while here in Rome (Fax: (06) 698.853.65).

Yours sincerely,

t~ .

c. .


Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy President

Rabbi & Mrs. Herbert FRIEDMAN The Wexner Heritage Foundation 551 Madison Avenue, 9th Floor


1.oouo Vatican City - Tel 698.84386/698.83071

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Notes From Vatican Trip April 1994 John XXII - 1960

Son io Giuseppi il fratello nostra

It is I, Joseph your brother

John Paul II - 1994 "our elder brothers"

10:30 -

Orientation meeting Roger Tilles 1'1ordecai \ Ronald Sobel Fayge Zimmerman \Villy Lowenberg Clive Marks, London Bob Keeler (Newsday reporter) 11:00 -

Audience in Vatican l . Cardinal Cassigy 2. James Rudin 3. Jack Eisner - rep. of survivors Pope from Poland paid respect to Holocaust and recognized Israel 4. Roger Tilles (benefactor) 5. Pope - thanked Gilbert Levine Recalled visits to Auschwitz & Dachau in •79 "This people" is from Abraham Quoted himself Said same thing in 186 when visiting Rome synagogue At this evening concert in '94, the candles will remind us of the Shoah

Pope had negative pressure from Curio. Pope wanted to respect Shoah and recognize Israel in his lifetime. Today's anti-semitism is unspeakable. We confirm our resolve to cement good relations between our two communities. We must work harder to encourage bond between Jews and Christians.

. As we listen to the music together we think of Psalm "How good and beautiful it is for brethren to dweJI together in unity. After audience, Pope 1) greeted each guest individually, while picture was taken 2) took group picture Lunch Bishop Pierre de Frey, Asst. to Cassidy Tuvia Zevi - Pres., Italian Jewish Community Cardinal Edward Cassidy - energy, intelligence, warmth English (Irish ?) accent - later learned he is Australian "We are trying to heal a wound which history has handed down to us." Tilles gave Cassidy a beautiful shofar. Minyan after lunch - Kaddish Nathan Shapell's son - 9 years ago Waxman Event was really historic Each step in process of theological development will go further Essence of the significance: 150 survivors from 12 countries They made it. Pope felt it. I had conversation with Rudin re implementation, down to inserting a sentence in the actual catechism which every Catholic kid learns by heart - "Hatred of Jews is a sin. Jews are our elder brothers."

Concert 7-8,000 seats - weekly Wednesday audience for public Special section for invited guests. Cross re.moved Six-candle menorah installed

Bruch - Kol Nidre - dull, no vibrato, violincello too high, should be cello - deeper also it was directed too slow. Beethoven - not light or airy. Orchestra sounds wooden, conductor makes extravagant gestures - they don't respond. Schubert - Choir 200 - Sobel's cantor, nothing spectacular Bernstein & Dreyfuss - Read it in Hebrew - almost no amplification in huge hall. Lost impact. Voice too high. Read with a beat. Long pause at end. Nothing. Bernstein - Almost couldn't hear finale soloist - then some peculiar clashing. Second set atonal. Music undistinguished in all aspects - designed to put you to sleep.


April 20, 1994

Dear Rabbi Friedman: Thank you for sendling me the picture from the Vatican . I do a]ppreciate your picking this up for me. It was a pleasure seeing you sharing in this historical event. if you are in Los Angeles you will I will certr.i.inly do thE~ same when York.

in Rome and I hope that call me and I am in New


Rabbi Herbert A. FrJ,>an The Wexner Heritage Foundation 551 Madison Avenue New York, New York 100~?2




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Telephone 071 486 4663

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April 19, 1994

Dear Herb: You are extraordinarily kind and I am grateful for your thoughtfulness. Thank you for picking up the photograph and forwarding it to me. It was a remarkable occasion, filled with significance and meaning. I am glad we were able to share it together . With friendship and great admiration, I am As ever,





~t,, .....r Lowe1nberg Corporation 44 Mont•gomery Street San Fra1icisco, California 94104 Telephone (415) 392-4500 FAX (41:i) 392-4508

April 18, 1994

Mr . The 551 New

Herbert A. F r iedman Waxner Heritage Madison Avenue York, NY 10022

Dear Herb, Row nice of you to think of me and send the picture of me with the Pope. It was indeed again a great pleasure to see you as always. Aside from keeping our community together , the great pl easure I derive out of all of this is knowing people like you. I treasure our continued friendship, and I send you my very good wishes and miany thanks for thinking of me.

Sincerely yours,


Willi"" WJL: ch

uw,~rl•...L ..,-~"- v.J>.


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·Islanders bring histOric·.~· · Vatican concert to life Holocaust survivors, Pope John Paul II to attend By WINSTON PJCKE1T

Fust there was a Polish Cardinal from Krakow who became Pope.

· 1ben there was a Jewish conductor from Cedarhurst. who became director of the Krakow Philharmonic. Now thcce is a Yorn HaShoah concert djrected by Long Island arts center, funded in part by the Catholic· Church and a group of AmericanJewsihatincludesaGreat Neck ~inessman, and brought to~ with the aid of Holocaust su&~~!Jom t I countries. , More un~ikefy. stiJJ is the ooncert pr9~.,, which in~ludes sllch w~ as Bloch's "Kol Nidre:' and


Le0nard 1,.Bemstein's ..Kaddish."


and will be held in the Vatican and broadcast live to millions ofCatholics around the world On Thursday, April 7, on the eve of Yom HaShoah, Maestro Gilbert Levine will conduct the London Royal Pltilbannonic Orchestra and the Vatican Cboir of St Peter's B~lica in a musical commemoration of the Holocaust. Even without the backdrop of mt December's historic agrmncnl that cstablisbcd
the ability to transcend religious boundaries and linguistic barriers." As the past chairman of the Inter-

Catbolic relations. Consider the program. SixJewish survivors fromHidcc's death camps will open the ~ memoration ~Y. Uflhting six~ representing the six million .fJIS m~red during World War ll.


~~·11e ~ffconduct the Royal Philharmonic and theVatican'sCapella GuilJa Choir in works that include the ''Funeral March"ofBeethoven's Ninth Symphony, Cantor Howard Nevison of New York Temple Emanu-EI singing Schubert's Psalm 92 in Hebrew, actor Richard reciting the payer f
national Jewish Committee for Interrel igious Consultations (UOC), Rudin was imtrumental in clearing the way for Jewish endorsement of the event. DCIC, which is made up of the AJCommiUec. the American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamaticn • . League of B'nai B'rith, the Synagogue Council of Ainerica ~ the Israel Interfaith Council, officially rePresents the world Jewish com- · munity for relations and diatogue with the Vatican. Then there are theplayer$, as well as the circuitous-and f'reqliently fortuitous--events that brought them together. : Levine:_who grew ui> iri a Conservative household in Cedarhurst, 1 grliduated from LawreDc:e ' High 'School. attended JuJliard ~hoot of Music and earned degrees from .Harvard Yale Universiti~ : became conductor of the Krakow Symphony Orchestra in 1987 and. has since assumed a role as one of Pope John Paul Il's musical advisors. It was as the directorofthe pope's "hometown symphony"-the first time that the post has been held by a non-Pole and a Jew-that Levine first established a relation with the pontiff. A year after taking up the baton, Levine met with the pope in bis private library for interview, during which, Levine said, the Church leader's "interest and concern for Jewish issues was made clear." Later that year, in 1988, Levine directed the Krakow Philharmonic in a commemoration of the pope's first IO years. Last year hetraveledwiththepoj)etobenver, where he conducted aconcert mark-




Jade Eisner

James Rudin, director of intcrreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee. "This is the VaJican. By it the pope wants to acknowledge that the Shoah was a universally horrible event that he himself partly lived through. It is an importantcommi tmenttoadvance Catholic-Jewish relations on a major scale." Perhaps more important is the medium itself. 'The world doesn't need another monument. conference or memorial," said Rudin. "Only music has


ing the pontiff's visit to America When more than two years ago Levine suggested the idea ofa concert commemorating the Holocaust, he was fairly certain the response would be positive. Despite several recent well-pub1icized disruptions in Jewishvaticanrelations-amongthem the pope's official welcome to Kurt Waldheim shortly after the f.onner Austrian pres1dent's Nazi past was disclosed, and a lengthy controversy over a convent at Auschwitz-Levine knew that as a matter of policy, and from his persoml conversations with the pontiff, that Pope John Paul ll had helped alter the Catholic Church's anti-Jewish teachings. "I believe he wants the relations between Catholics and Jews codified in the Ca1h
member.todonateSI0,000.lntime, Tilles raised approximately one third of the cost. Another third came from an unexpected source: Holocaust survi-

and befriending Catholic Long Islanders through a close friendship with Msgr. Tom Hartman, and working for a decade to bring the two groups together. One fruit of that laba' has been Project Understanding. founded by Tilles and Hartman. which sends six Catholic and six Jewish high

someone who is deeply committed to Catholic-Jewish dialogue." Said Tilles: ..It is personally gratifying to pull so many piecesof my life together." For Levine, the vors. concert represents a synthesis of One of the f U"St telephone calls his life as a musician and a Jew. "If Levine made after the RAJ dropped my art and my music can serve the out was to Jack Eisner. A survivor purpose of bringing people toof the Warsaw Ghetto, ge ther and honor the Maidanek, Buchenwald and memory of the six million at 'The world doesn't need the same time, then it wm Polish forests in which he hid as a guenilla partisan. Eisner another monument, have been a success. The fact was well-<:onnected with the is, this is an incredible gessurvivor community. Earlier, conference or memorial. Only ture by the Vatican, to comthe wealthy retired businessmemorate the most horrenmusic has the ability to dous series of events in human, wbo splits his time beman history." tween Israel, New York and Poland. had written a Holo- transcend ~igloos boundaries Survivor Eisner goes furcaust memoir, The Survivor, ther: In his estimate, the conand linguistic barriers.' helped finance the renovation cert is nothing less than a vehicle of redemption from of the third largest synagogue in Warsaw, and founded the War- school students, accompanied by a what he calls the "anti-Jewishness saw Ghetto Resistance Organiza- priest and a rabbi, to Israel during of the Church" and th.e tion. PassoverandF.astereveryyear. This "diaboHzation of theJews for I , years." '1 was the first to.cxgani.7.e large- year's trip returns April 4. "It was obvious that Roger was With this commemoration the scale public commemorations of Vatican is reflecting on a tragic the Holocaust." said Eisner, now the perfect person to tum to," said 67. Familiar with Levine since the Levine. "He is a rare mixture of part of its history, recogniJing the for a conductor began directing the musical aficionado. fundraiser, and ugliness that has been Krakow Philharmonic-at one pdintLevine had asked him to serve as narrator for a production of Schoenbcrg's"Survivorfrom Warsaw"-Eisncr went to work with his contact list "I undertook to assemble 100 leading survivors from around the world." said Eisner from his New York apartment More than half came through. The results startled veteran fundraiser Tilles. "Suddenly we started getting checks from South Africa, France, the United States11 countries, and more than $50,CXX> in all," said Tilles. Other funding sources and~ tacts seemed to fall into place. CJji!i was the RAJ, which offered' io, J broadcast the concert live to m11lions throughout Europe and thcworld. Another was Sir Sigmund Sternberg, head of the European CouncilofChristiansandJews,who had helped secure the Royal Philharmonic. Other important interfaith links were forged with Baltimore motion picture executive James Robinson of M~ Ocek Productions. and Baltimore's Archbishop William Keeler. president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. "It really was Roger Tilles, Jack Eisner and the Robinson-Keeler pair that made this concert happen financially," said Levine. Something else was at work, too. Call it collective will, moral balance, or historic opportunity, each of the major players in this week's concert had a personal reason for forging ahead withouteven so much a sideways glance. For Tilles, there is a kind of personal and professional symmetry thatcomeswithwhathecallsgrowing up Jewishly "isolated and insulated" in Great Neck, discovering


millennium and saying it wants to do better, continued Eisner. "When they stretch out their hand we have to accept it and try to appeal to the menschlichkeit of their Christianity." For the AJCommittee 's Rabbi Rudin, the concert. while extremely significant, is part of a continuum of "more positive Catholic-Jewish encounters since 1965 [and the promulgation of the landmark encyclical Nostra Aerate by Pope John XXIII] than in the first J,900ycarsof the Church." It is a path. moreover, that Rudin believes owes more to Pope John Paul II than any other pontiff in the history of the Church. "We have to remember that this was the first pope to speak {in 1986) inasynagogueas the premiere Calholic teacher to Catholks-anddeclarethattbecovenant of the Jewish people is irrevocable." Other benchmarks abound. In 1987, under the shadow of the Waldheim affair, John Paul Il told a Miami gatheringofUCIC representatives that there were "no theological obstacles to full diplomatic relations with Israel." I Said Rabbi Mordecai Waxman I of Temple Israel of Great Neck, I who was president of UCIC at the I time, "This was the necessary uni\ de.rpinning, ideologically and psy1· chologically, for the recognition of I Israel.'" I And, said Rudin, an equally farreaching development may yet emerge from a 1992 meeting between UCIC and Chicago Diocese Archbishop Cardinal Joseph Bemadin, at which the suggestion was made to open the Vatican's WW II archives to non-Church scholars. For the present. however. both its organizers and other interested observers think the pope's decision to host a Yom HaShoah concert will have an untold ripple effect "The fact that the pope chose to sponsor this shows a real desire to make a statement about the signifi· cance of the Holocaust not only to the Jewish people but to the world at large."saidWaxman. UAHCpresident Rabbi Alexander Schindler agreed. noting that the simultaneoos broadcastoftheconcertthroughout Europe via Eurovision and on delayed broadcast over 300 radio stations (including public radio stations in the U.S.) will act as an antidote to "Holocaust deniers, revisionists, and those who minimize the uniqueness of this tragedy." Eisner, the concert's papal backing is without parallel. "To me it's more than the recognition of Israel, which was a political act." he said. 'This is a theological act This is a huge step that the Church is making to change its course drastically towards Jews. It may finally take another 50 years,'' however, to finall) eradicate anti-Jewish teachings ofthe Church. lnthemeantime.saidEisner. the emotional impact for the 200 mi Ilion Christians around the world watching it cannot be overestimated. "As a survivor who lived for six years in the camps," he said, "this i~ a culmination of my dream to pre· vent what happened to me from hap peningt0my grandchildren."



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Holocaust Lamentations Echo at Vatican ByJOHNTAGLIABUE Sj)OC1411 IO~ Nrw York n .....

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Nith a menorah lit in memory of Jews killed m the ·folocaust. Po~ John Paul II welcomed the Chief ~bb1 of Rome. Elio Toaff. to a concert of Jewish


inspiration at the Vatican yesterday. Many wept as the Kaddish was read to Bernstein's music and a New York cantor sang the 92d Psalm to Schubert.

ROME. April 7 - Pope John Paul II welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Rome 10 the Vaucan roday as guest of honor at a concert to honor the memory of rhe victims of lhe Holocaust. "Many al that ume mourned, and their lament resounds sllll," the Pope told 5,000 invited guests m the 1m· mense audience hall nex1 to St. Pe· 1er's Basilica. "We hear them here, too. Their lament did not perish with rhem, but lifts up strong, struggling, heart-rending, and it says, 'Do not forget us.'" It was the first ume that Pope John Paul, who has sought to heal the strife between Catholics and Jews, has offl. c1ally honored the memory of the m1lhons of European Jews killed by the Nazis on the day Jews have set aside for this. And 11 was the hrst ume Rome's Chief Rabbi. Eho Toatr. had been received as rhe honored guest at a Vatican ceremony. Just before the London Royal Phil· harmonic Orchestra and cellist Lynn Harrell began Max Bruch's vana· lions on "Kol Nldre," an 1881 compc>snaon for cello and orchestra by the German composer that evokes rhe prayer spoken on Yorn Krppur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. the Pope made his way down 1he red
Rabbi ToaH, and the President or Italy, Oscar Lu1g1 Scalfaro. In a gesrure 10 emphasize the equal d1gn11y of rhe rwo fa11h s, the 1wo men sa1 on 1den11cal gilt and brocade thrones next 10 Pres1den1 Scalfaro. Earlier. six survivors or concen1ra11on camps, one ra1smg a granddaughter aloft, lit six candles on a large menorah. the ceremonial candelabrum. one representing each of the estimated six m1lhon Jews who perished in the Holocaus1. "The candles Ill by some of the survivors," the Pope said, speaking in Italian. and briefly m English. after the music, "seek to demonstrate symbollcally rhat this hall has no narrow hmns. bur rhat 11 contains all the v1c11ms: farhers, mothers. sons. brothers. friends." "In our memory lhey a1c all presenr," he said. "They are wnh you: they are w 11h us " The menorah has a peculiar rc~o· nonce for Rome's ancient Jewish commun11y l he original candelabrum from rhe Second Temple was brough1 to Rome by the conquering soldiers of the Flav1an emperors af· ter they desrroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.O., and It Is depicted on rhe triumphal arch erected for rhe Emperor Tilus, who also seuled rhousands or Jewish slaves in his capnal. Kabb1 Toarr did not speak di the

t0ncer1. but in a sta1emen1 he Sdld lht· Pope's efforr 10 commemor ate the llolocaus1 "was much apprec1a1ecJ by the Jews." He said the concert "ds· sumes a s1gnihcam:c that goes beyond that of a simple arusuc event " The Pope was mos1 v1s1bly moved. and many in rhe hall wept openly, as 1hc actor Richard Dreyfuss read Kaddish. ttie Jewish prayer fur the dead, to Leonard Berns1em's music A high point came as Howard Nevi· son, rhe cantor or Temple Emanu·EI m New York mroned, in Hebrew, the 92nd Psalm, "O Lord, 11 1s goocJ 10 give thanks," to a compos111on wr11 1cn by Schubert 111 1826 for lhc ded1ca · lion of a synagogue m Vienna. The Pope's acqu1escenrc in allo"" · mg a service of largely Jewish 1nsp1· ra11on w11hm thL' confines of the Vall· can was seen by most Jews a11endm1; as a measure or his cU011s 111 cm· brace the worlcJ's Jews as lhc "clcJer brothers" of Chns11ans Concert Follows Recoi;n11lon The concert. which was largely 01 ganiied by G1lhcr1 Levine, an Amen can conductor who 1s a Jew Jnd u close acquain1ance or the Pope, came 1111le over three months ah('r the Pope, buoyed by the progress made m ralks bcrween Israel and rhe Palesun· wns, finally agreed to formal rccogni· 11on by the Va11can of Israel Some Jews sa1tl the Pope hi!tl n· v1ved 1he revohJ11on in Carhohc·Jew· 1sh rela11ons set m mo11on by Pope John XXlll :ind the Second V.1t1can Council. wluch rc1cc1etl 1hc lonf.!· standing 1eachrng amon~ Ca1huhcs that Jews were collec11velv respons1hle for Chns1's dca1h "Va11can and Holocu11s1. 1111 ~ 1 ~ no1 an oxymoru11 <.inv more,' su11J Mr Levine. who first mer the Pope durin~ his 1enure us mu~1c d1renor cif the Philharmonic Orchcs1ra 1n CrilcOw, Poland where the Popt• served a~ A rchb1shop. Indeed. some among the ruui;hly 100 Holocaust survivors. w11h chfl· dren and grandchildren 1n 10\.\ . fell rhey were somehow cxpcnt·ncinµ the 1mposs1ble. Surv1\'ors Recall Al an audience earlier rn the day, Jack Eisner. u survivor of the 1943 Warsaw Ghc110 uprising who hH·s m New York, told thP P11pe " My Grandma Hannah had 11 grandr h1I· drcn. Mv Grandmother Masha had 20 grandchildren. Only I alone survived "As a voung boy growing up 111 prewar Warsaw, I feured c1ossrnµ the sidewalk next to <1 chur<.h " he said "Now, some 50 vcar~ lall'I . lhc un ll11nkablc 1s llappcnmg " C.rwin Hcrl111µ, 74. Whll SUI\ IVCll the camps al Ausrhwn£ and Ma11huu· sen. added. "When rhe Popr shook my hand. I had the feeling 2,000 years of Jewish suffering had comr to some kmd of 1urnini.: poml " The Pope. he said, demuns1r.11ed. "t11at there 1s 11 way 10 hve·1oge1ht•r m harmonv and OC'are"

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Vatican Holdcaust concert helps heal ancient wounds By Bob Keeler STAFF CORKESPONDENT

Vatican City-The long, difficult relationship of Catholics and Jews, 2,000 years offrequent dissonance and mutual suspicion, rose in a triumphant crescendo of harmony last night at a history-making concert in the halls of the Vatican. Gathered at the very heart of Catholicism, Pope John Paul II and the . leaders of Italian and world Jewry together observed Yorn Ha-Shoah. Holocaust oommemoration day, marking the Nazi slaughter of 6 million European Jews. Together they listened to a program that included the Hebrew words of Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and his "Kaddish" Symphony, named for the traditional J ewish prayer in memory of the dead. ' 'To say Kaddish inside the Vatican means for me that Jews no longer have to consider tpemselves outsiders and that there is a shared spirituality," said actor fiichard Dreyfuss. who narrated the symphony. . Along with about 100 others who contributed financially and otherwise to the concert, induding Holocaust survivors, Dreyfuss attended a special audience with the Pope earlier in the day. At that audience the Pope listened thoughtfully to J ewish leaders and survivora, then responded with a ringing condemnation of anti-Semitism. At times 90me in the audience wept quietly, likeo Donna Bojarsky of Los Angeles, matic relations. In a recent interview The day was especially moving for with Jewish and Catholic leaders from who cried as she listened to the words John Paul strongly expressed his sup- concentration camp survivors such as around the world, gathered for the conof reoonCJliation and thought of her port for the right of Jews to their home- Jack Eisner of Manhattan, whose own cert in the 7 ,500-seat Pope Paul VI hall, mother, a Holocaust survivor whose land in Israel. called the Jew& the "el- life embodies the epochal changes that in the shadow of St. Peter's Basilica. birthday was yesterday. "It was mov- der brothers" of Catholics and repeated the audience and concert signal. As Eisner and other sunrivors fin. . .. ing,'' she said. " As a young boy growing up in pre- ished lighting six candles for the 6 milAs a young man. John Paul saw for "John XX.Ill started the process; war Warsaw, I feared crossing the side- lion slain Jews, the two honored guests himself the ferocity of the Nazia, an~ in John Paul II is pushing the procesa furwalk next to a church," Eisner told John walked in together: the Pope and the recent years he has made pilgrimages ther," said Rabbi Herbert Friedman of Paul. "Now, some 50 years later, the chief rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff. In addito Auschwitz and Dachau. Manhattan, who attended the meeting unthinkable ie happening. The most in- tion to the Bernstein works, the haunt"I welcome the survivors of the terri- with John XXJII in 1960 and the papal fluential and powerful church in the ingly emotional program offered Mu ble experience of the concentration udience world and its mltjestic spiritual leader of Bruch's "Kol Nidre" concerto, the camps who honor us with their presau 'ence and last night's con- a billion souls is extending its hand of third movement of Beethoven's Ninth ence," the Pope said. "The concert this cert plPced an · evening is a commemoration of those emotional seal on ,__ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.-.ii friendship to me, Symphony, and a Franz Schubert setthe J ewi:.h boy ting of Psalm 92. horrifying events. The candles which To hear exfrom the Warsaw What was missing from the program we bum as we listen to the music will the progress of the ghetto." was as telling about the Vatican's atticerpts of Max keep before us the long history of anti- past 30 years. "This i s a The day was tude as what was in it. For one thing, Semitism which culminated in the Bruch's setting of filled with warm Tilles said, the Vatican removed for the Shoah.. . . Humanity cannot permit unique, an exthe Kol N1dre traordinary mogestures . The concert a huge cross that US\lalJy hangs all that to happen again." prayer and of Richard Dreyfuss rePope greeted in the hall. For another, the Vatican Yesterday's events capped a series of ment in the long citing Kaddish from Leonard Bernrecent developments that have helped and complicated each of the survi- reject.ed a Gustav Mahler piece, apparstein's Kaddish Symphony, call to ease 2,000-year-old frictions and to history of our two vors and others at ently fearing that his presence on the (718) 896-6969 and enter cateheal the hurt that Jews felt over what ancient faith comthe private audi- program might offend Jews, sin~ he gory 4482. they considered the timid response of m uni tiea," said ence one by one, eventually converted to Catholicism. Pope Piua Xll to the Nazi extermina- Rabbi A. James then posed for 8 "Their sensitivity has been amazing," tion program at the time of the Holo- Rudin, inter-reli. Tilles said. photo with At the close of the concert, John Paul caust. gious affairs director of the American them. Later, at a lunchgroup hostl!d by Tilles, spoke feelingly about the Holocaust, Pope John XXIII began changing all Jewish Committee. "It is a moment the developer presented a shofar, the that at an emotional appearance in that will not come our way ever again horn that Jews use at the Jewish New first in Italian, then in English. "I wish 1960 before Jewish leaders honoring Year, to Cardinal Edward Cassidy of to invite all of you to observe a moment him for his role in saving 1,000 Jewish . . . Because words and weeping fail of silence in order to praise the Lord us, as finite human beings who believe Australia, president of the Commission with the words which He will suggest to ' children in Turkey during World War in an infinite God, we must tum to the n. our hearts," the Pope said, "and to hear for Religious Relations with the Jews. In 1962, John XXJll convened the divine gift of music to form a mystical The process that led to the concert once more the plea. 'Do not fo~l us!' " Second Vatican Council, which set in bond of remembrance between heaven began with a suggestion from Gilbert The whole day had tremendous sigmotion a chain of events that erased and earth, between life and death, be- Levine, who conducted lhe RoyaJ Phil- nificance. ••1 really think that it's going from the church's liturgy a Good Fri- tween peat and future." harmonic Orchestra of London laat to be a turning point," said Monsignor Roger Tilles, the Long Island devel- night. Tilles became involved as a prin- Thomas Hartman, who runs TelJcare, day prayer for the "perfidious Jews" and brought about "Nostro Aetate.'' a oper who was a prime fund-raiser and cipal fund raiser, and his Tilles Center the television ann of the Roman Cath key document making it clear that organizer of the concert, told the Pope: at the C.W. Post Campus of Long ls· · ville Cen Catholics should not blame Jews for "Thank you for bringing the power of land University did much of the musi- ~~~~~~~~~N~~~ the death of Jesus. your commitment to commemorate the caJ organizing. At the end of last year the Vatican Shoah together with the unique power Last night many of the leaders of Itaand Israel reached agreement on diplo- of music." ly's 40,000-member Jewish community,'-:;.;;;;;,;.,;;,;;,;;,;;;_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.,.~


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