Blogs

Poll: Obama standing sinking in Arab countries, not just Israel

 

In the “Can't win for losing” department, President Obama's abysmal popularity standings in Israeli public opinion polls may soon be matched by low scores across the Arab world.

The 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll, released today by the Brookings Institution, shows a precipitous drop in optimism about U.S. policy in six Arab countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.

Birthright citizenship, illegal immigration and my Aunt Rose

My great aunt Rose came to America in the early 1900s, a refugee from Czarist Russia, and family legend has it she arrived smuggled in a trunk.

By any standard, she was an illegal immigrant – yet she didn't behead anybody and leave the body in the Arizona desert and she didn't fraudulently get welfare services. She went on to a productive life in America, working for almost a half century in the millinery industry, paying taxes and contributing to – and ultimately benefiting from – Social Security.

Nu, Rabbi Ponet: You Never Call, You Never Write...

 I am shocked to report that Rabbi James Ponet, although he never calls, never writes to ME (what am I, chopped liver?) agreed to talk to The New York Times.

Don’t worry about me, Rabbi Fancy-Pants Too Good For The Jewish Week, I’ll just sit in the dark.

What Happens When a Dating Columnist Has No Dates?

You know the Dylan song, You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go?

That's how I feel about my dog, Mister Trevor.

Will Marc Stern's move doom the American Jewish Congress?

 Coming back from an Internet-free vacation, I learned that Marc Stern, the longtime legal guru of of the American Jewish Congress, has signed on to serve as associate general counsel for legal activity of the American Jewish Committee.

That should put a conclusive end to speculation about a merger between the two groups whose similar names have given generations of Jewish journalists fits, for the simple reason that with Stern's defection, the AJ Congress has absolutely nothing the American Jewish Committee could possibly want.

Beinart To Publish Full Book on Zionism, 2011

Many Jewish journalists, myself included, spent a good deal of this past spring discussing Peter Beinart's provocative essay on liberal Zionism.  If you thought that horse died, think again: Publisher's Weekly just announced that Beinart struck a deal with Times Books to

Sneak Peek: My Page 1 Article/Column On Co-Officiation (And Chelsea, Of Course)

A ketubah behind them, the bride and groom stood under a chupah with a rabbi, listened to friends recite the Sheva Brachot — and at the end of the ceremony, the tallit-wearing groom stepped on a glass.

But Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s long-awaited wedding Saturday night was not your average Jewish ceremony.

That’s not just because the parents held aloft on chairs at the reception included a former U.S. president, the current U.S. secretary of state and two former members of Congress.

And it wasn’t only because the ceremony occurred before Shabbat’s end. It was also because Rabbi James Ponet (pronounced Po-NET), Hebrew Union College-ordained and the longtime director of Yale University’s Slifka Center for Jewish Life, co-officiated alongside Rev. William Shillady, a Methodist minister.

Even as the number of liberal rabbis willing to preside at weddings of Jews to gentiles appears to be growing, co-officiation with clergy of another faith, while hardly unheard of, remains taboo.

The Internet's Effect on Jewish Newspapers

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) likes to think of itself as the the Jewish AP. The JTA is a non-profit news service that disseminates the happenings in the Jewish world as soon as they happen. Ideally, they try to scoop all the other news agencies and print media.

JTA Publisher Ami Eden

Report from Middle America: who cares about foreign policy?

During 12 days away from the news – in the middle of Iowa, if you can believe that - I was reminded of the curious bubble that those of us who live and work in the midst of the American Jewish world inhabit.

In that time, I didn't hear Israel, the Middle East or Iran raised a single time –unless I raised it.

James Ponet, The Rabbi Of The Hour

 So finally the great secrets of the Chelsea Clinton-Marc Mezvinsky wedding have been revealed: Rabbi James Ponet (pronounced Po-NET, not Po-NAY), the director of Yale University's Slifka Center for Jewish Life, co-officiated with Methodist minister Rev. William Shillady in a ceremony that included elements from both religious traditions.

As any Google News search will attest, much has already been (and will be) detailed about the wedding. A lengthier, more thoughtful column from yours truly is in the works, so please stay tuned! 

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