The recent exchange of letters between Elie Wiesel, on one hand, gently reproaching the White House over its Jerusalem policy, and dovish Israeli politician Yossi Sarid, on behalf of J Street, on the other, seems to encapsulate the debate American Jews are having these days over what it means to be pro-Israel in 2010.
Touring jewelry and clothing designer
Michal Negrin’s empire in Bat Yam.
Special To The Jewish Week
I n 1982, when I was 10 years old, I saw an animateD FILM,
“The Secret of NIMH,” in which a secondary character, a crow named Jeremy, seeks to impress his female counterpart by giving her jewelry. “Gimme the sparkly,” he beseeches of the main character, a mouse named Mrs. Brisby. “I gotta have the sparkly! Girls can’t resist sparklies!”
Elena Kagan was Lincoln Square’s first bat mitzvah.
Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, wanted a bat mitzvah when she turned 12. But that simply was not done in May 1973 at Lincoln Square Synagogue, the Orthodox congregation to which the Kagan family belonged.
“I remember she was very definite,” recalled Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the congregation’s spiritual leader. “She came to me and very much wanted it; she was very strong about it. She wanted to recite a Haftorah like the boys, and she wanted her bat mitzvah on a Saturday morning.”
Religion not seen as key dividing line in country.
James D. Besser
The argument that anti-Semitism still stifles Jewish achievement in modern America will be a little harder to make if President Barack Obama’s second Supreme Court nomination passes muster with the Senate.
Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s qualifications for the Supreme Court — she was appointed by President Barack Obama this week to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens — will be judged by the Senate as part of the confirmation process. No doubt Jewish groups with very different positions on church-state questions and issues such as abortion and homosexual rights will weigh in when deliberations begin.
Will the Mojave Desert cross controversy ever end?
You may recall that last month the Supreme Court ruled that the 7 foot Christian symbol, erected in 1934 to honor fallen U.S. servicemen, was not necessarily a violation of church-state separation just because it was erected on federal land, a ruling that disturbed groups like the American Jewish Committee.
Lookstein calls protests ‘nothing less than evil.’
Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren, though no longer in the Israel Defense Forces, might feel like he deserves combat pay for all the fury he’s generating on American campuses.
Most dramatically, 11 Muslim students were arrested in February for disrupting the ambassador’s talk at the University of California-Irvine, and now hundreds of students at Brandeis University, many of whom are Jewish, are campaigning to have Brandeis rescind its invitation for Oren to speak at graduation ceremonies May 23.
In the land of the Mediterranean diet, visions of America.
Jerusalem — Israel is a Mediterranean country, but over the years its diet has
become less about fruits, vegetables and olive oil, and more about fast food — which has fueled a childhood obesity problem similar to the one seen in America.