Blogs

Beyond The “Triple Crown” — A Prize For Which We All Can Compete

Competition and the possibility of victory can awaken the American “can-do” spirit in us all. We rightly support initiatives for people with disabilities to compete in athletic events.  Everyone should have the opportunity to strive (and even struggle) to achieve his or her “personal best.”

The Sports Dilemma

The parents of some children with disabilities face a dilemma every summer. If they send their children an integrated camp, the children may actually be segregated when it comes to the portion of each day devoted to athletic activity. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

California's New Vaccine Law and Jewish Tradition

Lately it seems like I get most of my news from scrolling my Facebook newsfeed. Recently I came across an article about California’s Governor signing a law mandating that children be vaccinated before starting school.

The SB 277 law states that as of January 2016, children entering kindergarten or 7th grade must be vaccinated. If the child does not have his or her shots before the 2016-2017 school year, then he or she will not be allowed to enter any public or private school.

Dr. Frances Victory

Steve Israel Can't Count

I wonder if anyone bothers reading politicians' press releases before hitting the send button. 

The latest example is Long Island Congressman Steve Israel.  In his haste to be one of the first to respond to the signing of the Iran nuclear agreement, he engaged in an unexplainable bit of resume inflation.

Estonian Story

These days, Estonia, bordered by Finland, Latvia and Russia, is known for its staunch democracy, wired technologies and as the birthplace of the founder of Skype. Unfortunately, it has endured a chequered and difficult history mainly due to its proximity to Russia.

Courtesy Alfred A. Knopf

My Predictions For Iran Agreement

This much is certain regardless of the contents of the agreement being drafted in Vienna.  As soon as the white smoke wafts out of the Palais Coburg chimney:

1.     Iran will declare victory. The government needs it at home to rally public opinion and to counter pressure from the hardliners. It also knows how much any boasting irritates its enemies, especially in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the GOP{. 

Are Democrats Deserting Israel Or Vice Versa?

A new poll making headlines lately in Israel declares that the country "can no longer claim to have the bipartisan support of America” because Democratic elites have deserted the Jewish state.

How credible is this poll?  Consider this: it was conducted by a highly partisan Republican pollster who surveyed 802 "highly educated, high income…opinion elites" – not rank and file or members of Congress -- that he selected to measure partisan American attitudes toward Israel.

Bibi's Costly Feud

Bibi's Costly Feud

No issue is more critical for Israel right now than the nuclear agreement with Iran, yet Benjamin Netanyahu has squandered any influence he may have had in shaping the administration's positions by mounting a full frontal assault on the integrity and intentions of the American president and by colluding with a GOP leadership determined to use the issue as one more weapon in their anti-Obama campaign.

Back-to-Back Jewish Ghosts

My reading list is usually determined by a certain serendipity of deadlines, recommendations, book covers that jump out of the pile and the lure of whatever arrives in the mail that day.  Yes, I receive new books almost every day.

Courtesy Harper Books

What 13-Year-Old Boys At Camp Taught Me About Inclusion

One of my primary responsibilities as the inclusion coordinator at URJ Camp Harlam, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania, is to make sure that campers with a disability (or a “different ability”) are set up for success at camp. We provide them with similar accommodations as the ones they have at home and at school, allowing them to experience camp to their personal best, in keeping with their abilities. This can often take careful planning, thoughtful conversations among partners, and communicating the right information in the right way to our counselors.

New Online Inclusion Guide Helps Camp Prepare For All Campers

Editor's Note: It's summer camp season! We will be sharing voices from a wide range of Jewish camps throughout the summer.

As more Jewish camps across the country expand their programs to welcome campers of all abilities, a new online resource has been created in a partnership between the Foundation For Jewish Camp and the Ramah Camping Movement.  The “Inclusion Training Guide for Jewish Summer Camps” is a comprehensive guide that camps are able to download and use for staff training.

Families at a Tikvah Shabbaton at Ramah New England. Courtesy of Camp Ramah
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