NEW YORK (JTA) — A package bomb exploded Monday morning at the Jewish National Fund of Canada office in Calgary, lightly injuring the secretary who opened it, police said.
A "large portion of the device was still unexploded," Brendan Kapuscinski, the police inspector in Calgary, said in an interview.
The secretary was sent to a local hospital for treatment of burns on her hands and face.
The blast, which police described as more of a "flash," also caused the evacuation of a day-care center in the city's Jewish Center, which also houses the JNF offices.
The JNF does fund-raising for afforestation, soil reclamation and land development in Israel.
"I don't know why we should be a target for terrorist attacks," Avner Regev, the executive vice president of JNF of Canada, said.
Russians halt seminar by Jewish Agency
NEW YORK (JTA) — Russian authorities this week halted an immigration seminar sponsored by the Jewish Agency, prompting agency officials to express concern about their status in the country.
The agency encourages and oversees immigration to Israel.
"The Jewish Agency operates in dozens of countries throughout the world and has never been subject to such treatment," wrote Avraham Burg, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, in a letter of protest Tuesday to Russian Justice Minister Kovlivov Valentin.
The disruption of the seminar Tuesday in Pyatigorsk, in Russia's northern Caucasus, follows the Russian authorities' cancellation of the agency's accreditation in April.
Agency leaders have repeatedly downplayed the suspension of their license, calling it a technicality and insisting that their operations in Russia have not changed.
Nonetheless, the loss of the group's accreditation raised much speculation that sensitive politics are afoot as Russia's presidential elections approach. Many fear that Jewish emigration could be at risk.
Russian Jews warn of possible civil war
MOSCOW (JTA) — Several prominent Jews have joined a group of Russia's most powerful businessmen in warning that the country's hotly contested presidential elections, set for June, could lead to civil war.
The group of businessmen released a statement last Friday saying that Russian society is deeply divided and calling for a compromise between the country's competing political forces.
The statement, published in newspapers across the political spectrum, was signed by 13 prominent business and financial figures, including six Jews, two of whom are leaders of the recently created Russian Jewish Congress.
The appeal did not offer specific recommendations about how to carry out the compromise, but it strongly implied that to prevent the country from falling into chaos, President Boris Yeltsin and his main rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, should agree on major policies.
The businessmen warned that if the Communists win the election, they may demand "ideological revenge." Many fear that a Communist victory could lead to a rollback of the country's economic and political reformist policies.
Among those signing the appeal were Russian Jewish Congress president Vladimir Goussinsky and Mikhail Fridman, the organization's vice president.
Bonn denies pension because survivor fled
LONDON (JTA) — A Jewish woman has considered appealing to German pension authorities after being told that she had left Nazi-invaded territory too early to qualify for the funds.
Vera Goldberg and her family were living in Antwerp, Belgium, in May 1940, when it became clear that the Nazis were about to invade.
Her father, a diamond merchant, called home from the office May 11 and told everyone in the 19-member extended family that they had to leave immediately.
The Germans had actually entered Belgium May 10.
Vera Goldberg, who was 15 at the time, and her family made their way first to Arcachon, France, and then to Bordeaux.
Vera Goldberg was philosophical about the rejection.
"They say I left too early," she said. "If I had stayed, I wouldn't be here now."
Rabbi to royal duo: Don't get divorced
LONDON (JTA) — Even the former chief rabbi of Britain has something to say about the breakup of Charles and Di.
Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits has urged the Prince and Princess of Wales, the world's most talked-about blue bloods as of late, not to divorce.
The rabbi reasoned that the dissolution of the marriage would be a national "calamity" that could weaken the whole institution of marriage in Britain.
"Far more than their own happiness is bound up in their marriage," said the royal-watching rebbe. "Its failure would be a triple calamity: personally, nationally and universally."
It "might well undermine the monarchy — Britain's most precious asset," wrote the rabbi in a British newspaper. And it would also "challenge and weaken every marriage in our country and far beyond."
The spiritual leader said he had spoken out as a matter of "Jewish conscience."
"The stability of marriage is of the utmost concern," he said.
Both members of the noble duo admitteded to extramarital affairs.
Hungarian Jewish graves vandalized
BUDAPEST (JTA) — Anti-Semitic graffiti and slogans were painted on graves last week at the Central Jewish Cemetery on the outskirts of Budapest.
In addition to swastikas and Stars of David painted on the graves, some 15 tombstones were overturned on the night of April 22.
Spray-painted slogans praised Ferenc Szalasi, the Hitler puppet who led the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross Party in the 1940s and who was executed as a war criminal after World War II.
Hungarian police said their investigation had not yet turned up any suspects.