You have to feel a little sorry for B'nai B'rith International. Just as the group seemed to be carving out a new place for itself in the Jewish communal world, its president, indicted on federal tax fraud charges, has resigned and a shadow has been cast over the venerable group.
A Jewish lawmaker has a novel response to all those politicians in both parties who want the United States to go to war at the drop of a hat – but who also think government spending and the national debt are out of control.
Okay, he works for the competition and all, but I have to say it: the Forward's J.J. Goldberg nailed it on the issue of Rabbi Richard Jacobs, recently selected as the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
This is one of those recurring stories that writes itself: the House of Representatives has revived the District of Columbia “Opportunity Scholarships Program” - read here “school vouchers” - and the Orthodox Union is happy, the Reform movement unhappy.
The program was mostly shut down in 2009, but getting it back on track was a priority for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
But getting it through the Democratic Senate won't be easy, and President Obama is opposed.
It's almost a given among the Israeli center and right that there's no urgency to the matter of making peace with stubbornly hostile Arab states. Maybe in ten or twenty years, the climate in the region will be better, they say, so why rush?
Somehow you expect more from Jewish organizations when it comes to relations with employees – who, after all, are mostly in it because they care about communal causes, not because of the big paychecks and great benefits.
Since I'm on a tear about the Obama administration's somewhat incoherent foreign policy (And I have to say it's a little less incoherent after Monday night's speech on Libya, which answered some of my questions) , let me ask this: does the president's foreign policy team have a plan for what the U.S. response will be if the Palestinian Authority manages to patch things up with Hamas?
This morning I almost choked on my coffee when I read this JTA headline: “Clinton: U.S. Not Ready to Intervene in Syria.”
Seriously, is there anybody out there suggesting a U.S.-led no-fly zone over Syria to stop Bashar Assad from killing the protesters who are sick of his family's autocratic rule, or maybe U.S. ground troops?
J Street still makes some major Jewish leaders nervous, but that doesn't mean they like the idea of Israeli politicians mucking around in the internal affairs of the a diverse American Jewish community.