Blogs

Sestak-Toomey Senate race in Pa. shaping up as critical test for J Street

Want to know just how well the fierce campaign by pro-Israel hawks to delegitimze J Street is working? Then pay close attention to the Senate race in Pennsylvania.

This week J Street, the pro-peace process, pro-Israel (don't bother sending nasty emails, I know your arguments) political action committee and lobby, endorsed Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democrat who unseated Sen. Arlen Specter, most recently a Democrat as well, in last week's primary.

Sandy Koufax headlines White House "Jewish Heritage Month" event

Sandy Koufax at the White House? Talk about Jewish royalty.

The Obama White House is holding the first – ever reception honoring Jewish Heritage Month tonight, and the unreleased guest list suggests something new in presidential Jewish outreach. There's an interesting cross section of Jewish athletes, columnists, writers, scholars and social innovators – but a noticeable lack of big-name Jewish organization pooh-bahs.

Beinart's Cheating Heart (Intermarriage Might Be The Answer)

Let's start off with a song by Hank Williams that pretty much sums up Israel's response to American Jews: "Why can't you be the way you used to be? How come you find so many faults with me? Somebody's changed so let me give you a clue, why don't you love me like you used to do?"

Small Steps Toward Inclusion

For the second time in a month I found myself covering a program the other night on increasing inclusion for children with special needs in Jewish schools. Part of the reason this isn't a coincidence is that some of the same people were involved in the planning. But anecdotally, there also seems to be greater consciousness and emphasis on addressing the burdens of such families in the observant Jewish community, who face all the same pressures of affiliated life, and then some.

BJENY-SAJES=JEWATIB (Jewish Ed Without All The Intermarriage Bashing)

Last night I went to the tribute dinner for an organization with even more of a mouthful of an acronym name than most Jewish groups: BJENY-SAJES.
The initials stand for the Board of Jewish Education of New York-Suffolk Association for Jewish Education Services.

Without my super-duper investigative reporting skills and high-placed contacts, I actually might not have known what SAJES’ initials stood for, since it’s not on the Web site or any of the official materials.

 

Up Against A Wall

“I don’t like how you’ve got your bed pressed against the wall,” said a friend who came over for Shabbat lunch and checked out my new-ish apartment.

At first I thought she was referring to my decorating skills, or sad to say, lack thereof. Or maybe she was something of a feng shui aficionado and pressing the bed against the wall meant bad chi or something.

But no, she was referring to my love life.

“It just means you’ve given up. That you’ve resigned yourself to being single.”

It took me a second but then I got it. The way the bed is set up now, only one person has a “side.” You know how in the movies there is always a “his” and “her” side of the bed? With two little tables resting against each side?

So if my life were a movie then there could only be one side table, which would mean that only one sad and lonely person and her funny little dog could sleep there. Because where would the “his” put his stuff? And how would he get into bed, with a wall blocking his way?

Fred Malek and the Jews: Give it up, already

Am I the only person who's really, really tired of the Fred Malek story, which resurfaces every few years when Jewish Democrats think they need some new ammo to use against their Republican foes – as if they needed any, given the fact Jews continue to vote overwhelmingly Democratic?

Okay, the guy worked for the worst anti-Semite in White House history, President Richard Nixon, and he complied when Nixon demanded a count of Jews working in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of Nixon's demented obsession with punishing his enemies.

Raising Children To Embrace Judaism: Authors Discuss Their Own Ambivalent Experiences

The struggle to raise an emotionally healthy child in a home where one parent is more religiously observant than the other was the subtext of a lively and revealing Jewish Week Forum last night with authors Judith Shulevitz (“The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time”) and Dani Shapiro (“Devotion: A Memoir”) at Cong. B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side.

More than 250 people attended the program.

Netanyahu invited to White House next week

Wire services are reporting and Washington sources are confirming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to the White House for another round of meetings next week.

The invitation was due to be presented to the Prime Minister by Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff who is in Israel for his son's bar mitzvah, on Wednesday.

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