The Nuremberg Trial – Its Lesson For Today

Jewish Social Policy Action Network
In This Issue:
Newsletter: November 18, 2011
JSPAN Social Justice Award Honors Langer, Grogan & Diver, P.C. at Nov. 21 Reception Featuring Ruth W. Messinger
JSPAN will confer its 2011 Social Justice Award to the firm of Langer Grogan & Diver on Monday, November 21 at a reception at the Independence Visitor Center, 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia. The event, which brings together long-time JSPAN stakeholders, members and friends, along with new supporters, will take place from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Howard Langer and his colleagues, John Grogan, Ned Diver and Irv Ackelsberg, are being honored with the JSPAN Social Justice Award for the firm's deep and unflinching dedication to law in the public interest and their determination to foster the same kind of life-long commitment among future generations of legal practitioners.

If you have not already sent in your RSVP, please let us know IMMEDIATELY if you will be attending. You can contact Ruthanne Madway at (215) 546-3732 or


The Nuremberg Trials - Its Lesson For Today
International criminal justice has evolved from the Nuremberg trials of Nazis to the present day prosecutions of crimes against humanity at the international Criminal Court at the Hague.


You care - so come to see the film. Experience the atrocities and the trial. Hear Director Sandra Schulberg in person tell how the film was made, hidden, then rescued and restored.

Lawyers: Prof. Andrew Strauss will present the development of international criminal justice from Nuremberg to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Earn 3 hours of CLE Credit.

Educators: Broaden your historical background for teaching lessons of the Holocaust using this film Earn 2 Act 48 credits.

JSPAN, Gratz College and the Holocaust Awareness Museum & Education Center are co-sponsoring a showing of the filmNuremberg - Its Lesson for Today. The Holocaust and Nazi war crimes are documented dramatically in this film, followed by key segments from the international war crimes trial of leading Nazi perpetrators, held at Nuremberg.

The film, written and directed by Stuart Schulberg for the U.S. Department of War, shows how the allied prosecution team built their case against top Nazi leaders in one of the greatest courtroom dramas in history. However, the American version of the film was suppressed by the U.S. government and never released.

Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration] is a newly-restored version of the film, narrated by Liev Schreiber, and brought back to life by Restoration Producer Sandra Schulberg. Sandra is Stuart's daughter and a filmmaker in her own right. She will introduce the film and speak about the significance of the trial. Andrew L. Strauss, Professor of Law and Dean of Faculty Research and Development at Widener Law School, will present the developmewnt of international criminal justice, from Nuremberg to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, for attorneys seeking credit.

Date and Time

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at Gratz College
7605 Old York Road (at Melrose Avenue)
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Public and Educators' Program starting at 7pm Public admission $10 Educators admission $18 (includes 2 Act 48 activity hours for Pennsylvania educators).

Lawyers' Program starting at 5:30pm: Admission $100 (includes 3 hours of Pennsylvania CLE credit and a light supper). Advance registration required.

Lawyers can register online at
Educators can register online at

More information: at or by phone at 215 -635-7300 x154.



American Food Policy Harms Neediest
Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), will be the keynote speaker at the JSPAN Social Justice Award Reception on November 21 - Ed.

Buying Food Locally Could Help Starving People Feed Themselves

The Forward
By Ruth Messinger
Published November 01, 2011, issue of November 11, 2011.

Food plays a central and sensory role in our lives and serves as a map of our history. Meals, recipes and the acts of eating and drinking teach us about who we are, where we live and where we come from.

But at a time of the year when apples and squash flood our tables and nourish our bodies, we're reminded that millions of people around the world, from Haiti to Kenya, have no nourishment at all.

And it's not always because of food scarcity. Sometimes it's because of the unintended but tragic consequences of our own government's policies — policies that we have the power to change. For example, the U.S. Farm Bill, a piece of legislation that will set the direction of our global food policies for the next five years, is up for revision in 2012. The existing version of the farm bill has had devastating consequences on people in the developing world, filled with provisions that has made it harder to ensure food security for the less fortunate.

The United States is the world's largest donor of food aid. At first blush, this might make us feel proud. After all, America provides goods to people suffering from famine, natural disaster and conflict. And there is no question that this immediate food aid is critical and saves lives. But the truth is, the way food aid is carried out today — due to laws enshrined in past farm bills — is making our help in a world of ongoing global food crises almost irrelevant.


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The Medicaid Ambush
The Supreme Court's unexpected and astounding reasons for wanting to hear a challenge to Obamacare.

By Simon Lazarus and Dahlia Lithwick
November 14, 2011

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which means a five-and-a-half-hour oral argument before the court this spring, with a ruling likely by the end of June. It's hardly surprising that the court agreed to hear this case: There was a deep split of opinion between several federal appellate courts, 26 states say they hate this law, and the Obama administration wanted the court to hear it quickly. The surprise is which issues the court has asked each side to address, and for how long. By this measure, the court's announcement is precisely 64 percent expected, 18 percent unexpected, and 18 percent astounding.

The health care law, signed by President Obama in March 2010, extended insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans, in part by requiring citizens to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a tax penalty. That "individual mandate" provision was the one that launched a thousand Tea Parties, and it's the issue to which most constitutional scrutiny has been devoted: Can the government, under the Constitution's Commerce Clause, regulate "inactivity" (i.e., the decision not to purchase health insurance), and by what principle can we limit such unspeakable powers (i.e., how far can it go in forcing citizens to eat broccoli)?

The court will hear arguments on that issue for two hours. It will also entertain 90 minutes of argument on the mandate's "severability"—that is, whether the entire law collapses if the individual mandate provision is deemed unconstitutional. (The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, even as it struck down the mandate, believed that the law itself would stand.)

So that's three-and-a-half hours of debate. What are they going to argue about for the remaining two hours? That's where it gets interesting.


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JSPAN Files Brief Against DOMA
The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage, wherever it appears in federal law, as a union of a man and woman. Same sex couples can be married under laws of Massachusetts and a few other States, but because of DOMA cannot secure spousal rights to Social Security or federal pension benefits, cannot split income under the Internal Revenue Code, and are deprived of scores of other rights provided to other married couples.

Massachusetts brought suit against the federal government for a ruling that this provision of DOMA is unconstitutional because it forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens when it administers programs with federal support, and because it invades the power of the States to regulate marriage. The federal district court ruled in favor of Massachusetts on both counts. The federal government has now taken the case to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prof. Perry Dane and other members of JSPAN's Church State Policy Center this month, prepared and filed a Brief Amicus Curiae to the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, supporting the arguments of Massachusetts against DOMA.

Our Brief urges that the definition of marriage has consistently been left to the States. DOMA's exclusion of same-sex couples from all the incidents of marriage specified by well over one thousand federal statutes does not change who is married. But it does discriminate against one group of persons who are legally married - gays. This discrimination has no rational tie to any legitimate federal interest. Underlying this provision of DOMA is naked antipathy to same-sex marriage, which cannot be a legitimate federal interest. This unjustified discrimination must be struck down.

For the full text of the JSPAN Brief Amicus Curiae, click here.


Beyond Seizing Parks, New Paths to Influence
New York Times
By Cara Buckley
November 15, 2011

The anti-Wall Street protests, which are being driven from their urban encampments across the nation, now face a pivotal challenge: With their outposts gone, will their movement wither?

In New York, where the police temporarily evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, and in other cities, dozens of organizers maintained that the movement had already reshaped the public debate. They said it no longer needed to rely solely on seizing parks, demonstrating in front of the homes of billionaires or performing other acts of street theater.

They said they were already trying to broaden their influence, for instance by deepening their involvement in community groups and spearheading more of what they described as direct actions, like withdrawing money from banks, and were considering supporting like-minded political candidates.

Still, some acknowledged that the crackdowns by the authorities in New York and other cities might ultimately benefit the movement, which may have become too fixated on retaining the territorial footholds, they said.

"We poured a tremendous amount of resources into defending a park that was nearly symbolic," said Han Shan, an Occupy Wall Street activist in New York. "I think the movement has shown it transcends geography."


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Occupy Wall Street: An Observation
As the situation for the Occupy Wall Street movement in NYC changes on a daily basis, Rhoda Indictor, a member of the JSPAN Board of Directors, offers observations from a trip she made to the Occupy Wall Street site at the end of October - Ed.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS)
By Rhoda Indictor
October 31, 2011

A View of Zuccotti Park.

Wall to wall people, tents, and signs.

The day was a beautiful sunny one with just enough breezes to make it comfortable. A friend and I took the train up to New York from Philadelphia to lend our support to the efforts of those involved with the Occupy Wall Street effort.

The park, which is privately owned, is smack in the middle of the Wall Street area and for those of us who have been seeing and hearing about the protest via TV news it was a striking surprise to see that the park is actually only a block long and far less than a block wide. It is surrounded by metal fence sections joined together the sort that are typically seen at parades, protests, and other open-air public gatherings. It was unexpected that the park itself -- the actual site of the 'occupation' -- is much smaller than what we had assumed it would be from all of the news reports and from the extent of the impact already felt world wide from the effort.

The park itself is jammed packed with people, people, people, and more people who were surrounding, and surrounded by, a mass of tents- one upon another like sardines in a can, tables with propaganda, buttons, and other items that referenced a wide range of topics of concern to those present, and signs of all manner, mostly homemade, that spoke to the major issues of the day and why change is critical and hopefully unavoidable.

Frequently repeated references to the 99% are continual reminders that a mere 1% of the population of the country has overwhelming possession of the wealth in this nation. That 1% therefore has control over the resources needed by and depended upon by the remaining 99% -- the rest of us. This shocking inequity is the rallying point of the occupation. A spirit of camaraderie engendered by this rallying point is unmistakable and impossible to avoid; it is a source of kinship and comfort that clearly defines the effort and the experience of visiting the park.


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The New Progressive Movement
The New York Times Sunday Review
By Jeffrey D. Sachs
November 12, 2011

OCCUPY WALL STREET and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America. Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings. We are at the end of the 30-year Reagan era, a period that has culminated in soaring income for the top 1 percent and crushing unemployment or income stagnation for much of the rest. The overarching challenge of the coming years is to restore prosperity and power for the 99 percent.

Thirty years ago, a newly elected Ronald Reagan made a fateful judgment: "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." Taxes for the rich were slashed, as were outlays on public services and investments as a share of national income. Only the military and a few big transfer programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' benefits were exempted from the squeeze.

Reagan's was a fateful misdiagnosis. He completely overlooked the real issue — the rise of global competition in the information age — and fought a bogeyman, the government. Decades on, America pays the price of that misdiagnosis, with a nation singularly unprepared to face the global economic, energy and environmental challenges of our time.

Washington still channels Reaganomics. The federal budget for non-security discretionary outlays — categories like highways and rail, education, job training, research and development, the judiciary, NASA, environmental protection, energy, the I.R.S. and more — was cut from more than 5 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the 1970s to around half of that today. With the budget caps enacted in the August agreement, domestic discretionary spending would decline to less than 2 percent of G.D.P. by the end of the decade, according to the White House. Government would die by fiscal asphyxiation.


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Girls Just Want to Go to School
New York Times
Op-Ed Opinion
By Nicholas D. Kristof
November 9, 2011

Sometimes you see your own country more sharply from a distance. That's how I felt as I dropped in on a shack in this remote area of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The head of the impoverished household during the week is a malnourished 14-year-old girl, Dao Ngoc Phung. She's tiny, standing just 4 feet 11 inches and weighing 97 pounds.

Yet if Phung is achingly fragile, she's also breathtakingly strong. You appreciate the challenges that America faces in global competitiveness when you learn that Phung is so obsessed with schoolwork that she sets her alarm for 3 a.m. each day. She rises quietly so as not to wake her younger brother and sister, who both share her bed, and she then cooks rice for breakfast while reviewing her books….

For all the differences between Vietnam and America, here's a common truth: The best way to sustain a nation's competitiveness is to build human capital. I wish we Americans, especially our politicians, could learn from Phung that our long-term strength will depend less on our aircraft carriers than on the robustness of our kindergartens, less on financing spy satellites than on financing Pell grants.


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