Religion

White House Jewish outreach on steroids

Friday, July 17th, 2009 Pretty much every Jewish reporter was focused this week on President Barack Obama’s meeting with 16 Jewish leaders at the White House – a presidential performance described as masterful even by some participants uneasy about his evolving Middle East policies and his determination to speak bluntly to Israel about issues such as settlements (read the Jewish Week story on the meeting here).

Hey, Bungalow Bill

Monday, July 13th, 2009 Here’s Steve Lipman’s visit to the Orthodox Bunaglows Baseball League. Sheldon Silver was a player but not Pedro Espada.   And here’s a terrific piece by Andy Silow-Carroll, editor of the New Jersey Jewish News, on the many virtues of Jewish bungalow life, and his own bungalow memories:  

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.

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.

More homeland security money for Jewish institutions?

Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Some Jewish leaders were initially uneasy about pressing for homeland security money from the federal government to protect Jewish schools, synagogues and other institutions, but that unease has largely evaporated - in part because of the incredible success of the effort to make sure Jewish groups get their fair share - and then  some - of the money, in part because of recent incidents involving such institutions.

Jimmy Carter, Hamas and the Obama administration

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Over at Foreign Policy, the diligent Laura Rozen has an interesting blog item on Barack Obama’s Jimmy Carter problem. Rozen cites a Fox News report that the former president will press the administration to take Hamas off the U.S. terrorist list; whether or not the report is true, it’s not news this administration wants to hear as it walks multiple tightropes in its intensifying Middle East diplomacy.

A Loss And A Gain For Tribeca Jews

06/09/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer

In yet another sign of the toll the economic downturn has exacted on the Jewish community, the trendy Tribeca Hebrew school — which helped re-energize Jewish life downtown after Sept. 11 — has closed its doors and merged with its neighbor, the Jewish Community Project.

Obama’s Cairo speech, friendship with Israel and finding the right balance

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 There will be plenty of commentaries about President Obama’s speech to the Islamic world in Cairo today, and Jewish groups were weighing in even before he finished speaking.  There was lots of meat to chew on, and the Jewish world is going to sate its appetite on the stuff for a long time. Despite Obama’s strong and unequivocal statement against settlements, it was the first time an Arab and Muslim audience heard a strongly pro-Israel speech from a major leader.

Sliwa Could Be Jewish Favorite In Race For Vito’s Seat

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 dickter-a-blog-tag.jpg Curtis Sliwa isn’t Jewish. But you’d be hard pressed to find a more passionate defender of Israel and just about any other Jewish cause. And he’s probably been the guest of honor at more Jewish institution dinners than many a Jewish politician.

DC Vouchers: Obama straddles, Jewish groups not thrilled

Monday, May 11th, 2009 If you thought the issue of school vouchers for parents whose kids attend private and parochial schools would fade away now that the Democrats control both the White House and Congress, guess again. Last week President Obama announced a proposal that would allow a controversial Washington, DC voucher program that has divided Jewish groups to keep its funding for now but not provide money for new students.
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