Religion

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Friday, October 3rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington This week’s polls are showing Sen. Barack Obama opening up a significant lead over Sen. John McCain, but don’t start placing your bets on the November outcome.  A cascade of events and some unprecedented political factors make this the most volatile election year in recent history.

Rabbis for Obama

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 James Besser in Washington With Election Day now looking perilously close, the Barack Obama presidential campaign is ramping up its Jewish outreach in critical states like Florida. And this week a group of rabbis - now approaching 400 - pitched in to make the Illinois senator’s case.

Biden Hits Bush Mideast Policy, Pokes AIPAC in the Eye

Thursday, September 4th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Since becoming the Democratic vice presidential nominee last month, political observers have been wondering whether Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) - known for his outspoken and unpredictable ways - would curb his tongue. After all, he’s no longer just a senior senator but the junior partner in the highly disciplined Barack Obama campaign organization. A Wednesday teleconference with Jewish reporters provided a partial answer. 

Shelley Berkley, Pro-Israel Hawk, On Obama’s Congressional Team

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Denver - As I reported this week, Jewish Democrats in the House and Senate are playing a key role in the Barack Obama campaign’s efforts to crank up the candidate’s Jewish numbers on November 4 and ease concerns about the nominee’s Mideast policies. And none could be as important as Rep. Shelley Berkley D-Nev.).

New Orleans: “Jewish Pioneering Country”

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 James Besser in Washington New Orleans is being rebuilt - with some notable and controversial gaps - and the devastated city’s Jewish population is on the road to recovery, as well. On Friday one of that community’s leaders was in Washington, making the case that New Orleans Jews have come a long way - but still need outside help to finish the job.

J Street Poll: Jews Eager for Compromise but Wary on Jerusalem; Good but not Great News for Obama

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, showed overwhelming Jewish support for new peace moves in the region, but strong resistance to territorial compromise on Jerusalem.

Covering Obama

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Rob Goldblum, Managing Editor

The Jewish Week has heard from some readers unhappy about what they see as an imbalance in  our coverage of this year’s presidential campaigns.  Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has been on the front page a lot in recent months; Sen. John McCain, his GOP rival, has not.

It’s a fair criticism because at least in terms of the number of stories, there has been an imbalance.

With Olmert Going: What Peace Process?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s one of the more puzzling headlines of the month, right off the AP ticker:  “US Trying to salvage Gains in Mideast Talks.” According to the story, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called top Israel and Palestinian negotiators to Washington this week to “preserve modest momentum” in the U.S.-backed effort to get a deal - any kind of deal, please - by the end of the year and the end of President George W. Bush’s term.

Good News for McCain — or Polling Mush?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s a political shocker for you: Jews who say religion is “an important part of my daily life” are more likely to vote for Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, than those who say religion isn’t as important. How do you spell “Duh?” This nugget was part of a Gallup poll released this week that shows the same dynamic working in the broader population, but even more so.

Mordechai Gafni Is Back

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

The last time Mordechai Gafni was in the news was two years ago, when the charismatic and controversial rabbi accused of sexual misconduct here and in Israel was dismissed as the rebbe of Bayit Chadash, a spiritual renewal community in Tel Aviv.

Faced with sexual abuse complaints filed with the police in Israel by several women who were former students or employees of Bayit Chadash, Gafni came to the U.S., issued a public statement apologizing to those he had hurt, said he was “sick” and needed treatment, and disappeared.

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