Washington

For Manning-Kaplan Duo, Jewish Nonprofits are the Ties That Bind

05/28/2010
JTA

PALM BEACH, Fla. (JTA) -- It’s a cool spring night, and Kathy Manning and Randall Kaplan are battling their way out of the west lawn of the sprawling bay-side mansion of Jane Goldman and Benjamin Lewis.

Manning, the chairwoman of the Jewish Federations of North America, and Kaplan, the chairman of the board of governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, have just spent a few hours schmoozing with 80 donors, a handful of boards of trustees and several members of Hillel’s board trying to make the case for their organizations.

Jewish Leaders Meet with Senate Democrats

05/27/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders met with more than a third of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.

Twenty-two senators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), attended Wednesday's meeting. The caucus has 59 senators.

Pro-Israel, With Questions: Beinart Pins his Thesis to the Synagogue Door

05/26/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president.

Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits who defend Israel, Zionism and the right of American Jews to lobby for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Beinart also frets about how Jewish his kids will be.

For Hebrew Learning, The Skype’s The Limit

Internet tutoring is on leading edge of use of technology beyond the classroom.

05/26/2010
Associate Editor

Walk around Temple Micah when religious school is in session, and you will see children praying, having discussions and working on art projects. 

What you won’t find are alef-bet drill sessions, or language instruction of any kind.

While Hebrew is on the curriculum at this 485-family Reform congregation in Washington, D.C., students now do all their Hebrew learning from home, through private tutoring sessions conducted via the Internet videoconferencing service Skype. 

A student at Washington, D.C.’s Temple Micah learns Hebrew with her online tutor. Courtesy of Temple Micah

Washington JCRC to National Geographic: You’re All Wet on Water Exhibit

05/26/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A prominent Jewish umbrella organization rebuked National Geographic for "singling out and negatively portraying the State of Israel" in an exhibit dedicated to water.

The Jewish Community Relations Council sent a letter to National Geographic regarding an exhibition running through June 13 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, Calif.

Congress Delays Iran Sanctions Bill, With AIPAC Blessing

05/25/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In a sign of closer White House-congressional coordination on Iran, Congress is delaying an Iran sanctions bill several weeks to give the Obama administration time to shepherd new sanctions through the U.N. Security Council.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee blessed the delay, in part because an array of parallel measures are under consideration that would stiffen existing sanctions aimed at getting the Iranian regime to stand down from its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Israel Bristles At Palestinian West Bank Settlement Products Boycott

Yesha council calls targeting of settlement goods ‘economic terror.’

05/25/2010
Staff Writer

Israeli leaders have reacted harshly to a Palestinian boycott launched last Tuesday against products made in Israeli West Bank settlements, threatening to impose higher taxes on Palestinian-made goods and possibly blocking cash donations from European nations.

“It is unacceptable that the Palestinians are waging an economic war against us with the sense that everything is allowed,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as telling a meeting of his Likud Party Monday.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched the boycott of West Bank goods last week. Getty Images

Piping Up For Israel

05/18/2010

What’s that sound coming from the courtyard? 

Bagpipes? No, it can’t be. It’s not even St. Patrick’s Day.

And yet, there they are, standing near the patchy lawn behind their Washington Heights apartment building — an Orthodox Jewish couple, playing the bagpipes.

Sam and Sandy Benson usually practice their unusual instrument in Fort Tryon Park, but on Fridays, when time is short and the food is in the oven, they just come downstairs to play. 

“Shabbos siren”: The bagpipe sounds of Sandy and Sam Benson announce coming of Shabbat in Washington Heights. Yoni Oppenheim

White House Meets With Rabbis to Assuage Concerns on Israel

05/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- If you tell the rabbis, they will spread the word.

That was the thinking behind two intimate White House meetings -- the second of which took place on Thursday -- with a carefully selected slate of 15 rabbis from across the country and representing the Orthodox, Reform and Conservative streams.

Israel, Caught In All Its Complexities

Rina Castelnuovo’s photos, at the Meislin Gallery.

05/13/2010
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Andrea Meislin, an art dealer in New York, was on her way to Washington. Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, asked her to help decorate his new home, knowing that she represented some of Israel’s most prominent photographers. But Meislin, unsure of Oren’s politics and his artistic tastes, was packing light. She was bringing only her laptop for this trip, she said, which contained images of all her artwork, instead of carrying just a few select prints. She did not want to offend him with any of her own choices.

Beth Haran, West Bank ("Harvesting"), 2009.
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