David Michaels, director of intercommunal and U.N. affairs at B'nai B'rith International, speaks at the program:
El Director Internacional de Naciones Unidas y Asuntos Intercomunales de B'nai B'rith, David Michaels, asistió a un encuentro interreligioso con el nuevo jefe de la Iglesia Católica en la Sala Clementina del Vaticano. El Sumo Pontífice ofreció públicamente un saludo especial a los judíos y afirmó su compromiso con Nostra Aetate, Declaración del Concilio Vaticano II , que ha transformado las relaciones entre católicos y judíos.
"Estoy muy contento de saber que en el primer día de su pontificado, el Papa Francisco ya está retomando donde el Papa Benedicto dejó con respecto a las relaciones de la Iglesia con los judíos", dijo el presidente de B'nai B'rith Internacional, Allan J. Jacobs...more.
by Stewart Ain and Steve Lipman
A dozen Jewish leaders and other clerics were invited to meet with Pope Francis one day after his inauguration Tuesday, among them the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, who said he hopes the pope will lift the “cloud” hanging over the Vatican.
Among those attending Tuesday’s inaugural Mass was David Michaels, director of inter-communal affairs at B’nai B’rith International.
“It was, as expected, a moment of celebration for Catholics — but it also further signaled the new pope’s personal commitment to the continuance of the unique and historic contemporary friendship between Catholics and Jews,” he wrote in an e-mail interview. “Immediately after his election, Pope Francis sent a personal message to this effect to the chief rabbi of Rome; today, not only did Jewish leaders enjoy a place of prominence and proximity to the pope in St. Peter’s Square, but the Jewish community was the only inter-religious partner group of the Catholic Church to be singled out for specific greeting during the pope’s public remarks.”
Michaels said he views this as “a clear continuation of the practice of Benedict XVI — and a sign of allegiance to the momentous path of John Paul II...more.
El director de Asuntos Intercomunal de B'nai B'rith Internacional, David Michaels, se reunirá mañana con el Papa Francisco I como parte de un encuentro interreligioso convocado por el Pontífice.
De acuerdo a lo informado por la institución, Michaels, quien asistió hoy a la Plaza San Pedro para la asunción de Jorge Bergoglio como el nuevo Papa, participará mañana en una audiencia de líderes de distintas religiones que se realizará en la Sala Clementina del Vaticano.
B'nai B'rith Internacional ya expresó su satisfacción por la elección de Bergoglio como el nuevo Papa en reemplazo de Benedicto XVI, el pasado 13 de marzo.
En este sentido, la organización destacó el fuerte apoyo de Bergoglio a las relaciones católico-judías en Buenos Aires, donde el nuevo Papa se desempeñó como cardenal.
En noviembre, el entonces cardenal fue el orador principal en la conmemoración Kristallnacht convocado por B'nai B'rith en Buenos Aires, donde ayudó a encender una vela en memoria de los seis millones de judíos que murieron en el Holocausto...more.
by Phil Jacobs
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation announcement on Monday brought reaction from many different parts of the Jewish world.
Well it should have.
Jews have every reason to be watchful and concerned by actions from the Vatican that could impact Jewish-Catholic and Israel-Vatican relations.
Benedict, 85, will step down at month's end, citing his "advanced age" and failing health. He is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
"We wish Pope Benedict only good health as he steps down from his position," B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. "He consistently expressed his commitment to Catholic-Jewish relations, and his accessibility to Jewish leaders was significant. We are very grateful for the opportunities we had to meet with him to further the Catholic-Jewish friendship."
B'nai B'rith leaders met with Pope Benedict, as with a line of his predecessors, on multiple occasions. In 2011, Jacobs and Daniel S. Mariaschin, B'nai B'rith International executive vice president, led a B'nai B'rith delegation to the Vatican to meet with Benedict. Jacobs and Mariaschin spoke with him about the Middle East and the challenges facing Jews and Christians in the region.
Representing the American Jewish community, David Michaels, B'nai B'rith director of United Nations and intercommunal affairs, presented a gift to Benedict from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during the pope's 2008 visit to Washington. Michaels and Alan Schneider, B'nai B'rith World Center director, greeted the pope at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in 2009.
"Pope Benedict deserves appreciation for his contributions to the great cause of Catholic-Jewish engagement," said Mariaschin. "We hope that Benedict's successor will continue to build upon decades of historic progression in Catholic-Jewish relations."
by Robert Wiener
Seeking new ways to defend Israel against its detractors, some 220 people came together Sunday at the Aidekman campus in Whippany.
For four hours, speakers diagnosed attacks on Israel’s legitimacy and prescribed remedies for countering negative media coverage and hostile criticism.
The UN came under criticism during a panel discussion featuring David Michaels, director of UN and intercommunal affairs at B’nai B’rith International. “Not only does the UN insist on considering Israeli settlements the greatest obstacle to peace, it is sometimes complicit in anti-Israel incitement, with deadly results for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he said...more
THE ISRAEL ADVOCACY Summit, a forum presenting tools to counter assaults on Israel’s legitimacy, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus, Whippany.
Panelists will include Lauren Applebaum, director of U.S. communications, The Israel Project; David Dabscheck, deputy managing director, Israel Action Network; Rabbi Noam Marans, director of interreligious and intergroup relations, American Jewish Committee; Elliot Mathias, executive director, Hasbara Fellowships; David Michaels, director of United Nations and intercommunal affairs, B’nai B’rith International; and Steve Stotsky, senior research analyst, CAMERA...more.
German TV station BR (Bayerisches Fernsehen) aired a documentary called "Zwischen Vatikanstadt und Jerusalem" (translated as “Between the Vatican City and Jerusalem”). The documentary was about the Vatican secretary responsible for relations with Jews, Father Norbert Hofmann, and featured scenes with B’nai B’rith International’s director of U.N. and Inter-communal Affairs.
> Watch the documentary.
By David J. Michaels, Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs at B’nai B’rith International
The link between hatred of Jews and of the only Jewish state often requires little conjecture. This is particularly so in the Arab world, where cultivated popular anti-Semitism has been ignored abroad as an impetus of regional conflict.
For evidence that anti-Israel sentiment in the Middle East is not merely characterized by sharp political differences, but instead mimics and is fueled by the most defamatory and dangerous of historical anti-Jewish themes, we need look no further than a widely published political cartoonist, a Jordan-based Palestinian named Emad Hajjaj. His cartoons regularly feature blatant incitement, equating Israel with the Third Reich, crudely caricaturing Jews (distinguished by religious garb and symbols) as bloodthirsty monsters, portraying menorahs as weapons and showing the “crucifixion” of Palestinians on a cross marked by a Star of David...read more.