Ginsburg to serve as long as she has ‘steam’
WASHINGTON – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a Jewish audience that she would serve on the U.S. Supreme Court as long as she felt up to it.
Ginsburg, appearing Thursday, February 1, at a Forward event at Adas Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C., appeared to confirm recent reports that she plans on serving through Donald Trump’s presidency.
“As long as I can do the job, I will be here,” she said to applause after joking that she can no longer set as a deadline the 23 years that Louisville native Louis Brandeis served on the court.
“I’m the longest sitting Jewish justice,” she said, “so I can’t use that.”
Ginsburg, 84, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton, has served since 1993. Court reporters said last month that she seemed to signal her intention to wait out Trump when she hired clerks for terms through 2020.
Ginsburg, unusually for a Supreme Court justice, criticized Trump during the 2016 campaign, calling him a “faker.” She later apologized. She is one of the more liberal judges on its bench.
Ginsburg said she drew inspiration from Jewish teachings and her upbringing in an observant home.
A champion of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, when she was gaining fame as a constitutional lawyer, Ginsburg said she still favored its passage, although doing so is a daunting challenge. (A constitutional amendment must be passed by 38 states.)
“I have three granddaughters,” she said. “I would like them to see in the Constitution that men and women are persons of equal citizenship stature.”
Germany recognizes Algerian Jews as Holocaust survivors
NEW YORK – Nearly 80 years after being persecuted by the Nazi-allied Vichy French government, some 25,000 elderly Algerian Jews are being recognized for the first time as Holocaust survivors by the German government.
Algerian Jews had their French citizenship stripped in 1940 by the Vichy government, which then ruled the area. Nuremberg-like laws banned Jews from working as doctors, lawyers, teachers and in government. Children were kicked out of French schools.
On Tuesday, 78 years after they endured suffering that left families penniless and starving, and pariahs in their own country, the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany will begin taking their applications for recognition as survivors, making each eligible for a one-time “hardship grant” and additional services like food vouchers and in-home care.
“For the first time, they’re being recognized as Nazi victims by the German government,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany. It is the last settlement Germany will make with a large group of Holocaust survivors, he added, since it was the only major population remaining without that recognition.
Each survivor approved will receive a hardship grant of 2,556 euros, the equivalent of approximately $3,100. The euro figure is the equivalent of 5,000 Deutschmarks, a sum the Claims Conference negotiated with the German government in 1980. The money will be distributed beginning in July.
The youngest Algerian survivors, born in 1942, would today be 76 years old. Most, however, are in their 80s and 90s, Schneider said. As important as the money is, even more valuable is acknowledgment of their suffering, he told JTA in an interview from Paris, where he was getting the Help Center set up.
“They weren’t murdered,” Schneider said, “but there were lots of deprivations” under the anti-Semitic Vichy laws.
“There weren’t extermination camps in Algeria, but a person’s childhood was turned upside down because of this persecution targeting Jews. It becomes a huge part of a person’s identity. The experience during the war for so many people defines them, is the seminal experience of their lives. All these decades it’s never been acknowledged.”
Israel had earlier recognized Algerian Jews as Holocaust survivors. But the German government did not, and not being acknowledged as survivors has “undermined their core sense of self, especially when they see all the other groups getting recognized,” Schneider said.”