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.
Fifteen rabbis go the White House for a meeting. Were the destination not the Roosevelt Room to discuss the nature of American-Israeli relations this could be the opening line of a joke with a punchline I have yet to write. But indeed it was a meeting that was taken very seriously by all who attended. My colleague and friend, Jack Moline of Alexandria, Virginia, arranged the meeting and put together a diverse representative cross-section of rabbis from across the country, from all movements and different kinds of congregations.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Obama administration said it would "hold accountable" Israel or the Palestinians should either side undermine trust during renewed peace negotiations.
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement released Sunday that the first round of indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians mediated by the United States had been completed.
The opening of the so-called proximity talks were "serious and wide-ranging," he said.
Reading the tea leaves about U.S.-Israel relations is a major industry in our community. But it’s easy to be misled by the day-to-day shifts in a multilayered, vastly complex relationship between allies that have critical interests in common, but sometimes see international affairs through different lenses.
That complexity was apparent this week when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington to address the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.