Israel Singer

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Israel Singer (born 29 July 1942 in New York City) was secretary general of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) from 1986 to 2007.

Life[edit]

Singer grew up in Brooklyn, the son of Austrian refugees. He taught political science in New York, and at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel.[1]

Singer has been an activist and advocate on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust. As chairman of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), he managed efforts to compensate Holocaust survivors monetarily. He also negotiated with Germany and Austria about annuities and compensation for survivors.

In 1996, the Reuters news agency reported that at a meeting of the WJC congress in Buenos Aires, Singer said "more than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We are never going to allow this.... They're gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be publicly attacked and humiliated."[2]

In October 2001, he was appointed chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). In 2002, he was elected president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, the "Claims Conference". In June 2002, he was appointed chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC).

Israel Singer is a co-founder of Yahad-In Unum, an organization founded by priest Patrick Desbois, and dedicated to research on the "Holocaust by bullets".[3]

Singer also acted as vice-chairman of the Yad Vashem Council.[4]

Controversies[edit]

Poland[edit]

In 1996, the Reuters news agency reported that at a meeting of the WJC congress in Buenos Aires, Singer said "more than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We are never going to allow this.... They're gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be publicly attacked and humiliated."[5]

WJC scandal and resignation[edit]

On 14 March 2007 Singer was forced to resign from most official functions by WJC president Edgar M. Bronfman as a result of alleged misappropriation of financial resources.[6]

On 17 August 2007, lawsuits were filed by both Bronfman and the WJC in the Supreme Court of New York County; Bronfman's suit claimed "that Singer did not pay back more than $500,000 in personal loans stemming from a 2004 investigation by the New York State Attorney General into the WJC's finances." As a result of that investigation, Singer was required to pay back more than $300,000 to the organization. The WJC suit claimed that Singer "never returned WJC property such as computers, televisions, cellular phones and BlackBerries, that amount to $19,500."[7]

Books[edit]

  • Levin, Itamar; Natasha Dornberg (translator); forewords by Edgar Bronfman, Israel Singer, and Avraham Burg (1999). The last deposit: Swiss banks and Holocaust victims' accounts. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 978-0275965204.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Gregg J. Rickman (1999). Swiss Banks and Jewish Souls. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-1560004264.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Second Generation Voices: Reflections by Children of Holocaust Survivors and Perpetrators. Religion, theology, and the Holocaust. Alan L. Berger, Naomi Berger (eds.) (1st ed.). Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press. 2001. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-8156-2884-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Jewish group threatens Poland over restitution, Reuters, 19 April 1996
  3. ^ "Holocaust by Bullets". Archived from the original on January 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "Chairman of the Board of Trustees, World Jewish Congress - Dr. Israel Singer". YadVashem.org. The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  5. ^ Jewish group threatens Poland over restitution, Reuters, 19 April 1996
  6. ^ "World Jewish Congress Dismisses Leader".
  7. ^ CJN"WJC and Bronfman sue Singer"; Cleveland Jewish News; 24 Aug 2007.

External links[edit]