Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D- Vt.(), the Senate Judiciary chairman, has attached hate crimes legislation to the defense authorization bill.
That’s good news for a bunch of Jewish groups, starting with the Anti-Defamation League, which have been pressing for the legislation – which would broaden existing federal hate crimes laws to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability – for a decade.
The lack of sustainability of what is now a $2 billion educational system that caters primarily to middle-class and lower-class students should have been anticipated long ago, when the number of kids in private Jewish schools began to skyrocket, as far back as the 1950s.
When Peter Barland was applying to medical schools 54 years ago, his choices were severely limited — most top universities still capped their Jewish admittances through strict quotas, and winning a seat at such coveted institutions as Harvard, Yale or Columbia was next to impossible.
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.
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.
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.
As summer arrives, young people dream of adventure, thoughts of cruises and road trips and theme parks dancing in their heads.
For all too many these days, dreaming and thoughts are all they’re going to get.
Among the fondest memories of my childhood are driving down the East Coast to Florida in my father’s big Chevy Impala (the minivan of its time), stopping at almost every point of interest in between; driving up north to Toronto and Montreal, several trips to Israel and one out west to California, Arizona and Nevada.
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
Will President Barack Obama face big trouble in Congress if he continues putting the squeeze on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of Jewish settlements – and if Bibi continues to resist?
Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Surprising few, Rep. Anthony Weiner today ended speculation that he may enter the New York mayoral race, declaring in a New York Times Op-Ed that he is focused on making a difference in Washington, while likening a campaign against billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to facing off a football team of 110 players with only ten teammates at his side.