Letters On Stage

If this were a tweet:  “Letters to Sala” is an extraordinary adaptation and a compelling evening of theater. Don’t miss it. The run ends October 18.

A scene from “Letters to Sala.” Michael Priest Photography

Chaos In The House

The battle to succeed Speaker John Boehner following his sudden resignation just took another surprising turn when his would-be successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), suddenly dropped out of the race when he came under fire from the party's most extreme right wing for not being conservative enough.

This is certain to move the House GOP leadership farther to the right and away from the overwhelming majority of Jewish voters.


The Republicans' repeated and fruitless Benghazi investigations backfired today when they brought down their own speaker-in-waiting instead of the Democratic presidential frontrunner they spent many millions of tax dollars trying to shoot down.

In a stunning move Thursday noon, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House.  His quest for the top job on Capitol Hill was done in by a serious self-inflicted wound. 

Bluffing For Peace

There's an old adage about politicians who like to talk the talk but are afraid to walk the walk.  Nowhere is that clearer than in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where leaders on both sides have missed repeated opportunities, frequently deliberately, to make peace.  All too often each man would rather demagogue the issue and claim the purity of his own intentions while blaming the other for all that has gone wrong.

There's more than enough blame to go around and barely enough good will to cover the head of a pin.

Is GOP God's Own Party?

The Supreme Court convenes this week -- the first Monday in October —for a new session that will reverberate over the next 13 months until the first Tuesday in November 2016 when American voters will make their own decisions that could determine the makeup of the Court for a generation.

Over the past year the Court has made some of its most controversial decisions that already are major issues in the presidential campaign, most notably upholding Obamacare and same-sex marriage.

McCarthy's Confession

Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is likely to be the next speaker of the House, revealed that the Benghazi investigation is a politically-motivated attempt to destroy Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, and he boasted it has succeeded.

Speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity, he said,

Can Bibi Repair Rift With Obama?

I've been unable to find another instance when an American political party allied itself so closely with a friendly foreign government for the purpose of defeating the policy of an American administration.

There has been no more outspoken foe of the Iran nuclear deal backed by the Obama administration than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nor has there ever been a leader of an American ally who has plunged so deeply and so blatantly into domestic partisan American politics.

Honoring Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Disability Activist

Last July, Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Senior Disability Advisor for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism was presented the first Thornburgh Family Award. Established by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) this year during the 25th anniversary year of the ADA, the Thornburgh Family Award recognizes a religious leader who exemplifies the spirit of the ADA. The award is named after U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, who helped negotiate the ADA with Congress, and Ginny Thornburgh, a long-time advocate for people with disabilities nationally and globally who specializes in inclusion in religious communities. Dick and Ginny are the parents of a son, Peter, a man of faith, who has intellectual and physical disabilities.

Friendship, Asperger's Syndrome and Jewish Observance

Editor's Note: Although the DSM-5 no longer uses Asperger's Syndrome as a classification, it is still used by many people with Asperger's, clinicians and community.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was four years old and attended various special education programs since I was three. I am now a college student and understand how several decisions that I have made have been essential in helping me to overcome challenges, to become the person that I am today and to thrive. One of those decisions, my decision to become religiously observant, which I made around the time that I began high school, has been essential to my growth.

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