Blogs

Carter: Obama Snubs Me Because Of The Jews

Jimmy Carter is miffed that Barack Obama doesn't consult him on world crises.  The four men who served between the two – Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both Bushes – would ask for his advice and help on dealing with "unsavory characters."  But not Obama, and Carter says it is because of  his persistent criticism of Israel.

Carter feels his harsh criticism of Israel over many years has made him very unpopular in the Jewish community and Obama doesn't want to offend his Jewish supporters.

#JDAM14 Roundup

Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month (JDAM) ended in February, but the energy and intentions behind this national effort to raise awareness and encourage communities to take action to become more inclusive are going strong. #JDAM14 was full of dynamic, passionate programs locally and nationally. The voices of people in the Jewish community who are writing about disability and inclusion is also a big part of spreading the word.

JDAM14

Putin Hits Congress Where It Hurts

Vladimir Putin made many Members of Congress very angry this week.

I'm not talking about his shades-of-Sudetenland takeover of the Crimea.  No, it was his retaliation Thursday against the stepped up sanctions imposed by President Obama.

Putin banned a handful of American officials from entering Russia, including six members of Congress:  Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Senators John McCain of Arizona, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Dan Coats of Indiana and Robert Menendez of New Jersey. 

Outspoken Jew-Hater Fred Phelps Dead At 84

One of the most despicable hate mongers in this country, Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, who died on Wednesday. He was 84.

Phelps and his followers, most of them family members, were particularly noted for spewing their anti-gay venom and messages of hate at the funerals of members of the armed services. But Jews were also a favorite target for their hate. 

A Sense Of Place

The large-scale photographs in Sharon Ya’ari’s first solo exhibit at the Andrea Meislin Gallery beg for explanation. Why, for instance, is there a smoky haze in the two images called “Rashi Street, Tel Aviv?”

Sharon Ya'ari, "Rashi Street, Tel Aviv," 2008. Courtesy of Andrea Meislin Gallery and Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery

JCPA Passes Resolution On Inclusion And Disabilities

At its recent plenum convening community, lay and professional leaders from around the country, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs passed its first resolution on inclusion and disabilities in the Jewish community. Founded in 1944, the JCPA creates a network of 16 national and 125 local independent partner Jewish community relations councils. The plenum is the JCPA’s annual, national forum in which members gather to prioritize and gain consensus on key social action issues both within the Jewish community and regarding matters that affect the general population, including poverty, gun control and immigration reform.

Rabbi Steve Gutow

Literature On The Lower East Side

Must Jewish literature written by a Jew? How about a book that focuses on a Jewish concern, or characters with a recognizably Jewish neurosis? Is contemporary Hebrew-language literature necessarily Jewish?

Jonathan Rosen, Tova Mirvis and Josh Lambert at the Museum at Eldridge Street.  Sharna Brzycki

Caution: A Dangerous Autism Treatment

On a regular basis, parents of children who have autism come across numerous possible treatments options. Each child who has autism is unique and presents different behaviors, sensory and communication challenges and each child responds to therapies uniquely. Parents invest time and money finding the therapies that works best for their child and there is a lot of trial and error, energy, hope and frustration involved in the process.

A few weeks ago, I came across an article that talked about the "5 Scariest Autism Treatments," including “Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS).” I had never heard of Miracle Mineral Solution before and after doing some research on it I was shocked.

Frances Victory

Abstracting The Shoah

As Theodor Adorno famously said shortly after World War II, "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” That challenge continues to confront artists who attempt to depict the Holocaust.

Charles Goldstein, “Le poids des ombres” (The weight of shadows). Mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Agora Gallery

Behind The Mask -- God's Presence

During the merry celebration of Purim this upcoming Saturday night and Sunday, children and even adults will wear masks and costumes.  Masks echo the theme of concealment in the Purim story itself, which we will read in the Scroll of Esther.

Rabbi Michael Levy
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