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August 27, 2010

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 27, 2010 By Richard Greenberg Washington Jewish Week By design, the U.S. Holo- caust Memorial Museum is rooted in the past--although the lessons of the Shoah are eternal. But because Jew hating did not end with the liberation of the concentration camps, the museum has been compelled to sharpen its focus on the here and now the redoubt of resurgent anti-Semitism and the stubbornly persistent pathology of Holocaust denial. Reflecting these realities, the museum has created a position devoted exclusively to monitoring and research- ing those two contemporary evils and educating the public about them. "We feel this is one of the most important things we can do because of our unique role," said museum director Sara Bloomfield. The USHMM, she explained, is visited annu- ally by more than a million people, and about 90 percent of them are non-Jews. "This is a great educational oppor- tunity. Anti-Semitism did not end in 1945, and it's a serious problem today." The addition to the mu- seum's ranks is called the Initiative on Holocaust Denial andAnti-Semitism, and its di- rector is Diane Saltzman, who has worked at the museum in various capacities for the past 14 years. Her job is to centralize, coordinate and enhance pro- gramming aimed at exposing present-day hate mongering site into more than a dozen regardingtheHolocaust--and Saltzman's most recent that, if unchecked, could por- languages, several of them themisappropriationofShoah position prior to joining the tend significant problems for spoken in the Middle East. imagery to promote other Holocaust museum staff in Jews worldwide. "We want to bring inforrna- agendas. 1996 was as a curator at the As Bloomfield noted in a tion to people and places that A continuing exhibit add- Jewish Museum in New York. recent internalmemo, theini- are susceptibletountruthsand ed early last year examines For the past four years, she tiativewillfocusonHolocaust denial,'saidSaltzrnan,47,and the power of Nazi propa- has worked as the USHMM's denial "that has the potential that also includes Europe and ganda, which has echoes director of institutional stew- to be widely influential" and U.S. colleges. The museum, today, Saltzman noted, in the ardship. She will continue to "state-sponsored and other in fact, recently hosted a anti-Semiticandanti-Zionistic oversee Holocaust survivor forms of extreme anti-Semi- two-week seminar exploring rhetoric of Iranian presi- affairs at the museum while tism that have the potential to on-campus anti-Semitism, dent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, serving as director of the new lead to mass violence." The museum's website among others, unit, which began operations The creation of the position currently has a section titled Another exhibit, launched earlier this summer. representsthemuseum'smost Anti-Semitism: A Continuing four years ago, focuses on Saltzman said she will recent--and far-reaching-- Threat. It points to the spread the continuing impact of The initially use existing museum effort to spotlight the increas- of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel Protocols of the EldersofZion, personnelandconsultants, but ingly common demonization propaganda and hate speech, a forgery that has become the expects eventually to add new of Jews and Israel. violence targeting Jews and mostwidelydisseminatedanti- staffers. She will also work During the past few years, Jewish institutions, therecur- Semitictractofmoderntimes. with outside organizations, the USHMM has addressed finguseofgenocidereferences "It predated the Nazis and she said, to develop new pro- the issuethmughexhibitions, when discussing the Jewish was exploited by them and gramming, avoid duplicating seminars and other means, state, as well as routine dis- by others to this day," said services "and be as effective including translating its web- tortion and dismissal of facts Saltzman. and strategic as possible." By Jacob Berkman NEWYORK (JTA)--L Jewish groups are breathing a sigh of relief after Congress passed a law that saved them $150 million to $200 million. President Obama on Aug. 10 signed into law a bill that extends relief provided by the federal government to individual states as part of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, a part of the 2008 Federal Recovery economic stimulus package. The mea- sure will pump billions of dollars into organizations that rely on payment from Medicaid. The FMAP extension, which had been the top priority of the Jewish Fed- erations of North America, is particularly important for Jewish federations and their partner agencies, as nearly $6 billion per year in government aid goes through Medicaid to Jewish hospitals, nursing homes, Jewish Fam- ily Services outposts and other social service agencies. "Without these funds, The Jewish Federations of Federation officials say the mentofficialswithwhomthey "It's a huge victory, and states would have certainly NorthAmerica, whichlobbies JFNAwas one of the 10 major had strong connections, it is wonderful to work on cut back on their Medicaid for more than $10 billion for groups, secular and faith- "It showed a synergy be- something and have it end programs, which would have Jewish causes each year from based, that lobbied Congress tweenourl yandpmfessional in success," she said. hadanadverseirnpactonhow the federal government, was for the FMAP extension, leaders," Westin said. "You The federations are not Jewish communal providers amongthelargestsupporters Among them were Families had this common bond, and completely happy with the deliver needed care to their of the FMAP extension. But USA, AFSCME, the First Fo- whether you were from a extension, as Congress is respective communities," theextensionwasparticularly cuschildren'sadvocacygroup, large or small community, slated to divert funds from said William Daroff, the vice critical for groups such as the the American Association of it wasn't just about fighting the Supplemental Nutrition presidentforpublicpolicyand NewYork-basedJewishHome Homes and Services for the for Medicaid needs but about Assistance Program, which director of the Jewish Fed- Life Care. AgingandtheCatholicHealth delivering needed services for provides food stamps for rations of North America's Over the past three years Association, according to the thoseinneed.Thatisourcore millions of Americans. Washington office. Jewish Home Life Care, which JFNA's assistant director for mission." The reduction to the food As part of the package, provides skilled in-home care legislative affairs, Jonathan In Ohio, social service stamp program, however, is states received some $87 bii- to 9,000 New Yorkers, hashad Westin. groups would have lost an notsettogointoeffectuntil lion in aid to help them pay to cut its budget nine times, The extension was a lesson estimated $513 million with- 2014. Federation officials theirportionsofthetotalcost forcing the $300 million per in how federation advocacy out the FMAP extension, are gearing up already to forMedicaid.Accordingtothe year operation to excise more can work. according to Joyce Garver, fight the reduction. Recovery Act, the money had than110jobsandclosetwoofits The JFNA, which started the executive director of Ohio "That is four years out, to be spent by Jan 1. 2011, outpatient day-care facilities, its fight for the FMAP ex- Jewish Communities, the and we will work hard to which posed a problem for Untillastweekitwasfacing tension in January, created state's Jewish advocacy group, try to restore those funds," states, whose fiscal years run another $1.7 million in cuts background materials and Jewishgroupswouldhavelost Westin said. "This was an from July I through June 30. and would have been among talking points that it distrib- about $2 million--a signifi- immediate issue, and this IfthemoneyranoutonJan. hundreds of Jewish organiza- uted to local federations and cant amount for apopulation was the combination, for 1,2010,stateswouldhavebeen tions and institutions that Jewish community-relations of about 150,000 Jews.better or for worse, that got left with gaping holes in their would have lost up to $200 councils which then lobbied Garver spent the past sev- the vote." budgets for the second half of million in aggregate, accord- theirownlocalcongressional eral months working with Jacob Berkman is JTA's thefiscalyear.Thelawenacted ing to JFNA estimates,representatives. And in June, Ohio groups to help them un- chief philanthropy cor- Aug. 10 will extend FMAP "It's a sigh of relief," said some 30 lay and professional derstand what the cuts might respondent. Read his blog until June 30, 2011 and pump Jewish Home Life Care CEO leaders of the federation sys- mean, and also worked with