Not surprisingly, David Simon’s recent and highly public remarks critical of the funding priorities of Baltimore’s Associated Jewish Charities did not go down well with that Federation or its parent group, The Jewish Federations of North America, which gave the TV writer and creator a platform at its recent General Assembly in New Orleans.
New Orleans -- Vice President Joe Biden was the ideal Administration representative to address the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America at its opening plenary here on Sunday, and he handled the role with enthusiasm.
The speaker who followed him didn’t fit the Federation-cheerleader mold, offering a careful blend of support and critique in his presentation.
I didn’t know whether to smile or cringe on receiving an invitation to an upcoming book party for Abe Foxman, the national director of the ADL, on his new book, “Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype."
The party is being hosted by Jack Rudin, a major real estate magnate in New York, and will take place at The Four Seasons, a restaurant associated with wealth, if not lavish wealth.
That was the motion of a fascinating, highly charged debate last Wednesday night at NYUs Skirball Hall sponsored by Intelligence Squared, whose series of topical debates with experts in the field are always timely, lively and thought-provoking.
Don’t you have anything more important to do today, on the eve of the last days of the long Sukkot holiday -- at the end of a month of two-and-a-half day work weeks -- than read blogs?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have you here, just a little surprised, that’s all. I wasn’t really expecting anyone. Thought I would just vent in private about how tough this month has been in terms of keeping up with work responsibilities.
It’s not that unusual for a planned interview to fall through at the last minute.
The three things different about the one that got away from me this week, though, was that it was with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, I didn’t initiate it, and the contact came from a Jewish organization.
The idea was for Abbas, who was coming to New York this week for the UN General Assembly, to improve his image in the American Jewish community, according to Zvika Krieger, senior vice president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Mideast Peace, in Washington.
There will be no community-wide Jewish protest rally near the United Nations this year on the day Iranian President Ahmadinejad addresses the General Assembly. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In part, there will be no public demonstration Sept. 23, when Ahmadinejad delivers his annual diatribe against Israel, because it is the first day of Sukkot. And in part, it may well be because the organizers of the rally for the past three years recognize that it was becoming a bit of an embarrassment.
I have long been a defender of the general media to pro-Israel supporters who believe the press – from the New York Times to the television networks – is biased against Israel. But I’m having a harder time of it these days.