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International exchanges on the rise

The number of international students attending colleges and universities in the United States increased by 5 percent in the 1999-2000 school year, to a record total of 514,723, according to Open Doors 2000, an annual report published by the Institute of International Education. Growth is particularly strong at US community colleges.

The number of US college students receiving credit for study abroad also jumped nearly 14 percent from the previous year, reaching a record total of 129,770. And more are going to less-traditional destinations, including Latin America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Germany inaugurates rabbinical school

BERLIN - Germany's first rabbinical school since the Holocaust was inaugurated Sunday. Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, outside Berlin, is expected to turn out about five graduates a year to lead religious services in Europe's Jewish community, which has grown steadily over the past decade.

The school, affiliated with a Jewish studies center at the University of Potsdam, is only the second rabbinical seminary in continental Europe. The other is in Budapest, Hungary. Courses in the five-year program are due to start in the fall of 2001.

The opening gala came just three days after more than 200,000 Germans marched through Berlin in a protest against rising neo-Nazi violence.

Italy ponders schoolbook censorship

ROME - Italy's powerful post-fascist National Alliance (AN) wants to install commissions in right-wing-dominated regions to analyze schoolbooks for suspected pro-Marxist content. The proposals being pushed also aim to "support the authors of new books ... for schools on the sociocultural origins of the region."

The Vatican backs the initiative, and has criticized schoolbooks for containing an "ideological tirade against 2,000 years of Christian history."

The AN motion has unleashed a tide of protest not only from Italy's center-left political parties, which called it an "apology for fascism," but also from teachers, editors, intellectuals, unions, and the Jewish community.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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