News Briefs: Israel Weapons Bill Passes Committee, ‘Nazi Grandma’ a No-Show at Prison, and More


Former College Professor, Exponent Book Reviewer Sanford Pinsker Dies at 76

Longtime Franklin & Marshall College professor Sanford Pinsker — who wrote book reviews and cultural critiques for the Jewish Exponent in the 1990s — died April 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 76.

Pinsker was a professor at F&M for 37 years and chaired its English department for many years. During his career, he published more than a dozen books of literary criticism and poetry.

Pinker’s family said Saul Bellow named a character after him in one of his novels and a former student also named a character after him in the 2001-02 television series, The Education of Max Bickford.

Former Federation Housing Executive Director Ephraim Goldstein Dies at 93

Ephraim Goldstein, the former executive director of Federation Housing, died Feb. 28 in Florida at the age of 93.

Goldstein was chosen to head the then-new housing organization in 1970, according to a Jewish Exponent article. He previously was an administrative regional consultant of the National Jewish Welfare Board.

A 154-unit high-rise housing complex at 12003 Bustleton Ave. in Northeast Philadelphia is named in Goldstein’s honor.

‘Nazi Grandma’ at First a No-Show at Prison

Ursula Haverbeck was supposed to start a two-year prison term in Bielefeld, Germany on May 9 for Holocaust denial, but failed to appear, JTA reported.

Haverbeck, 89, who was nicknamed “Nazi Grandma,” has repeatedly been convicted for writing articles that deny the Holocaust and spur incitement to hate, but has appealed those decisions and hadn’t spent any time in jail.

But The Independent reported that Haverbeck later returned home and was taken to prison.

Dessert in a Shoe a Faux Pas During Israeli-Japanese Dinner

A dinner May 2 between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got a little awkward when dessert arrived — chocolates served in a shoe by Israeli celebrity chef Moshe Segev, according to JTA.

In Japan, etiquette dictates that shoes are kept outside of the home or office.

“What exactly did the illustrious chef Segev think to himself. We can’t understand what he was trying to say here,” an unidentified Japanese diplomat told the Hebrew-language paper Yediot Acharanot. “If it is humor, then we don’t think it is funny. I can tell you we were offended on behalf of our prime minister.”

Segev’s publicist said the shoes were “sculptures.”

House Committee Passes Bill to Allow Weaponry Transfer to Israel

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 10 passed legislation that would authorize the Department of Defense to add precision-guided munitions into the United States’ War Reserve Stockpile in Israel.

That would enable it to transfer the high-tech weaponry to Israel in the event of a conflict. The United States maintains a reserve stockpile in Israel, which was authorized by Congress in 1989.

The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.), as part of the bipartisan Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act. It now goes to the House floor for a vote on final passage.


  1. If Prime Minister Netanyahu had gone to Japan and been served dessert in the sculpture of a pig, he would not have seen the humor in it, either.


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