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Keeping Score

Prime Minister Netanyahu's trip to Washington this week was a big success for him personally as members of Congress on both sides of the aisle gave him an enthusiastic reception, and he went home with good footage for his campaign commercials. 

He didn't produce any of the new information about Iran and its nuclear ambitions he had promised, and he didn't appear to have changed any minds, but the appearance gave him a slight boost in the polls back home, though not enough to take the lead. It remains to be seen whether that is temporary or a trend.

The Luck Of The Irish

Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader and the Zionist Union candidate for prime minister, is hoping there is some significance to the fact the Israeli election will be held on March 17, St. Patrick's Day.

His father, Chaim Herzog, the sixth president of Israel, was born in Northern Ireland. And his grandfather and namesake, Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, was the chief rabbi of Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 1916 to 1919, when he moved to Dublin and became the chief rabbi of Dublin and then all Ireland until 1936.  He was known as "the Sinn Fein rabbi."

The Emmes Of Bibi's Speech

Here's the emmes. The truth. Bibi Netanyahu gave a rousing speech on an important subject in his best colloquial American before an enthusiastic Congress and said nothing they haven't heard many times before. But his speech failed to live up to its hype. 

The prime minister and his aides had been saying for days that he was bringing to Washington critical new information that the White House had withheld from the Congress and the American public. He didn't deliver.

Ruderman Family Foundation Announces $250,000 Global Innovators In Inclusion Competition

The Ruderman Family Foundation announced today the launch of the fourth annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition. The Prize aims to recognize organizations around the world who have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into the Jewish community through innovative programs and services. The $250,000 prize will be split equally by five organizations.

“Innovative organizations in the global Jewish community are leading the way in promoting the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Inclusive Resources For Your Purim Celebration

Editor's Note: Purim comes Wednesday evening and we are delighted to share resources from Matan to help children and teens acclimate to what can be a sensory-overwhelming holiday.

Purim Gragger. Courtesy of Matan

This Week: "Jewish Journey: America" on PBS

Leaving and arriving – and crossing the sea -- is long part of the Jewish narrative. When the ancient Israelites left Egypt, the sea split and they crossed over.  Many Jewish immigrants to America had to endure crossings over rough seas, often crowded into the underbelly of the ship, in steerage.

Family Portrait: Jewish immigrants from Egypt in America at a 1928 wedding. Courtesy Andre Aciman

Schakowsky: 'Ham Handed" Boehner Harms Israel

A leading Jewish lawmaker and Israel supporter said Speaker John Boehner's "ham handed politics" of sandbagging President Obama by inviting Benjamin Netanyahu to lobby the Congress against the administration's Iran policy has damaged bipartisan support for Israel. 

"It was a dangerous mistake," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), who announced she will not be attending the speech.

On A Musical Museum Tour

In an unusual pairing of antiquities and music, the Yeshiva University Museum offered a program chosen by the cellist Elad Kabilio, accompanied by the clarinetist Avigail Malachi-Baev and the singer Inbal Sharret-Singer, to illuminate its exhibition of ten model synagogues. The selections reflect what might have been heard around the time of the synagogues’ creation.

Elad Kabilio, Avigail Malachi-Baev, Inbal Sharret-Singer. Courtesy Elizabeth Denlinger

One Good Snub Deserves Another

No doubt smarting from the refusal of President Obama and top administration officials to meet with him when he comes to Washington next week to speak to the Congress, Prime Minister Netanyahu turned down an invitation to meet with top Senate Democrats.

Incredibly, Netanyahu, who is coming as a guest of the Republican congressional leadership, said meeting with Democrats would appear partisan.

Ayelet Tsabari Wins Rohr Prize

Ayelet Tsabari has been named this year’s winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her collection of stories, “The Best Place on Earth.” The award, recognizing an emerging writer, carries a cash prize of $100,000.

Ayelet Tsabari. Photo by Elsin Davidi
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