Blogs

Obama angst spreading, Jewish leadership gap widening

A while back I wrote a story suggesting the Obama administration is highly confident it can push Israel on the issue of Jewish settlements without risking a big political backlash from Jewish voters. That story ignited a flurry of calls and emails from readers disagreeing with me, many from Jewish leadership types, and I had to concede they were right, up to a point: there is a spreading feeling of anxiety about Obama policies in the  circles in which these responders move.

Minnesota Supremes Rule: Franken wins, Coleman's toast

A Caption Can Be ENtered Upon Selection of an ImageEight months after Minnesota voters went to the polls, the state is about to get a new senator. And it’s not the old one – Norm Coleman, the Republican whose last appeal of the razor-thin election was rejected by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday in a unanimous decision.

A lower court ruled that Democrat Al Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comic, won the election by 312 votes, but Coleman continued to argue that an additional 4000 absentee ballots should be counted.

Jewish Dems gloating: No Jewish Republicans in the Senate.

In the old-news-presented-as-new department, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) is beside itself with joy because now, officially, there isn’t a single Jewish Republican in the Senate – the first time, the group notes, since 1957, when New York’s Jacob Javits was sworn in (read the group’s blog post here),

Did we learn the right lessons from the Madoff ripoff?

Did we learn the real lessons of the Madoff ripoff? So Ponzi king Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years, and the blogosphere is aflame with the outrage and anguish of the victims of this record-breaking swindler. While significant recovery seems unlikely for most, there’s a degree of satisfaction that he didn’t get away with the usual wrist-slapping white collar sentence. But to me some of the case’s most important questions remain unanswered.

Cheers And Fears: The Debate Over Kiddush Clubs

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

A recent opinion piece in The Jewish Week by three doctors expressing alarm about so-called kiddush clubs, a phenomenon mostly found in Modern Orthodox shuls, was bound to generate some controversy.

 

Check next week’s letters page for some pro and con responses.

 

Whether or not rabbis should allow shul members to step out of services, usually during the Torah reading, to enjoy a private kiddush of mostly liquor and some snacks is a question that probably dates back through generations.

 

Minnesota Supreme Court rules, Coleman’s toast, Franken to be seated

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 Eight months after Minnesota voters went to the polls, the state is about to get a new senator. And it’s not the old one – Norm Coleman, the Republican whose last appeal of the razor-thin election was rejected by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday in a unanimous decision. A lower court ruled that Democrat Al Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comic, won the election by 312 votes, but Coleman continued to argue that an additional 4000 absentee ballots should be counted.

Did we learn the real lessons of the Madoff ripoff?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 So Ponzi king Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years, and the blogosphere is aflame with the outrage and anguish of the victims of this record-breaking swindler. While significant recovery seems unlikely for most, there’s a degree of satisfaction that he didn’t get away with the usual wrist-slapping white collar sentence. But to me some of the case’s most important questions remain unanswered.

Preaching to the raging choir: Israel, settlements and rhetorical overkill

Monday, June 29th, 2009 What is it about “credibility” that so many friends of Israel don’t get? In the past 24 hours I’ve received several emails, all citing with apparent approval the latest comments by WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farrah, who’s not Jewish but who can geshrei with the best of them. Writing about growing Obama pressure on Israel on the question of  settlements, Farrah writes:

Jewish groups play different roles in climate change bill

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 A couple of Jewish groups played a role in Friday’s passage of a landmark climate change bill by the House – the first major piece of legislation to address the issue of carbon emissions and global warming. Another played a role in one aspect of the legislation.

A lesson in why Darfur and Immigration ARE Jewish issues

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It’s a refrain  I’ve heard regularly over years of covering the Jewish community: why do all those silly liberal Jewish groups keep involving themselves in issues not central to Jewish life, like immigration reform and genocide in Africa? Why don’t they focus instead on specifically Jewish issues, like anti-Semitism and Israel?

In Phoenix recently to help move my mother into assisted living, I got a graphic lesson in how shortsighted that view is.

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