Barack Obama

Chanukah at the White House - with 1/3 of the Supreme Court

Chanukah at the White House is always a kick for participants – this year, about 500 from Jewish communities across the country – but for some, there was special meaning in Thursday night's gathering.

Three Supreme Court Justices were in attendance – all of them Jewish: Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As President Barack Obama noted in his remarks, that's fully one-third of the high court.

Chanukah at the White House: Timely Reminder of Why America is Special

12/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In addition to serving as the rabbi of The Forest Hills Jewish Center- a position I have held for thirty years- I also currently serve as Vice-President of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of Conservative rabbis. With some sixteen hundred members world-wide, the RA, as it is known, is a respected and important player on the American Jewish scene and around the world.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Berman, Ros-Lehtinen Press Obama on Iran Sanctions Enforcement

12/01/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The top Republican and Democrat House foreign policy members called on the Obama administration to more closely scrutinize nations that do not comply with Iran sanctions.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the outgoing chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, convened a hearing Wednesday on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran.

Leaked Document: Netanyahu Supported Land Swaps

11/30/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United States in early 2009 that he supported land swaps in a peace agreement with the Palestinians, a leaked document shows.

Netanyahu also said in the meeting with a delegation of U.S. officials in Israel two weeks after Israel's last national election that Israel does not want to control Gaza and the West Bank, according to a WikiLeaks cable released on Monday.

Palin and the (over-educated) Jews

Update: for a response from a Jewish Palin backer, check out this op-ed, just posted on the Jewish Week home page.

It's no secret Jewish Democrats are fervently hoping the Republicans nominate former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to take on a battered, besieged president Barack Obama in 2012 – Palin being the reason, according to some political scientists, that Sen. John McCain fared so badly among Jewish voters in 2008.

The Republicans' Pollard Problem

With congressional efforts to win convicted spy Jonathan Pollard's release on the uptick, it's interesting to consider the Republicans awkward Pollard problem. (Read the Jewish Week editorial "Release Pollard Now" here)

That problem was evident earlier in the month when 39 House members signed a letter calling for Pollard's release – every last one of them a Democrat.

Israel spy Jonathan Pollard should:

Another tough hit on Obama Middle East policies

Isn't this called piling on? Well, sometimes piling on is justified.

Yesterday former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer heaped what looks to me like well deserved scorn on the Obama administration's attempt to “bribe” Israel back to the peace table, and predicted it will never work.

Groups Regret Fair Pay Act Failure

11/19/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups expressed disappointment in the U.S. Senate's failure to pass an enhanced equal pay act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year, would have enhanced the 1963 Equal Pay Act, one of the first civil rights acts, to restrict the criteria employers use to justify pay differentials and to eliminate caps on discrimination lawsuits, among other measures.

Business groups opposed the law, saying its measures were burdensome and costly.

Obama’s Faith Based Order Welcomed by Jewish Groups

11/19/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups generally welcomed President Obama's emendations to the White House faith-based initiative established by his predecessor.

Obama signed a new executive director Wednesday emending the order by President George W. Bush that set up the office.

Under the new order, faith-based groups receiving government funds to provide services such as relief or rehabilitation must make clear to beneficiaries that there are non-faith-based alternatives.

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