Congress

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.

Jewish groups to Congress: repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy on gays in the military

This just in: as the Obama administration continues to dither, a group of ten Jewish groups is asking Congress to repeal the “Don't Ask Don't Tell” policy on gays in the military.

Kagan’s Nomination And What It Means

Religion not seen as key dividing line in country.

05/12/2010
Washington Correspondent

 The argument that anti-Semitism still stifles Jewish achievement in modern America will be a little harder to make if President Barack Obama’s second Supreme Court nomination passes muster with the Senate.

If Kagan is confirmed, the Supreme Court will have six Catholics and three Jews. Getty Images

With JCall, European Jews Get Their Own J Street Debate

05/05/2010
JTA

PRAGUE (JTA) -- The launch of JCall has brought the debate that American Jewry has seen over J Street to Jewish Europe: Outside of Israel, how critical in public should you be of Israeli government policies you believe are not in Israel’s best interests?

The founders of JCall, who seek to push what they see as a recalcitrant Israeli government closer to a two-state solution, say criticism of Israeli policies is constructive and necessary.

A WaPo editorial on Arizona immigration law echoes concerns of Jewish groups

 A strong editorial in today's Washington Post sheds some light on why a number of Jewish groups think Arizona's new illegal immigration law is stupid and dangerous.

The Post writes that the new law 'will turn immigrants who came here illegally into quarry for law enforcement agencies statewide,” and that it “twists the Constitution."

American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee to merge? Don't hold your breath

The Jerusalem Post is reporting merger talks between the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress.

Pardon me while I snort.

In 23 years on this beat, I can't tell you how many times I've written about rumors of a merger between these two groups that have sometimes quarreled over which has the right to be called "AJC." It's never amounted to much except talk.

After Drilling Disappointment, Jewish Groups Look Forward

04/27/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Dismayed by or indifferent to the Obama administration's about-face embrace of off-shore drilling, Jewish groups are now focused on the bigger picture: an end to dependence on foreign oil and the development of cleaner energy sources.

ZOA lobbies Congress for military action against Iran

04/22/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Activists for the Zionist Organization of America lobbied Congress to consider military action against Iran.

In more than 100 meetings with members of Congress on Wednesday, the ZOA said hundreds of its activists also asked the lawmakers to defund the Palestinian Authority, press the U.S. embassy issue and enshrine anti-Jewish discrimination safeguards in education legislation.

Thirty lawmakers addressed the group's luncheon, the ZOA said.

Bomb Plot Spurs Demand For More Security Funds

Pols say reduced sum of $15 million in federal grants is insufficient to guard at-risk urban institutions.

05/29/2009
Staff Writer

In the aftermath of the foiled terror plot against two synagogues in Riverdale, local political and Jewish leaders are asking the federal government to increase security funding to urban nonprofit organizations they say are most at risk.
 

The Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program – a Department of Homeland Security initiative that originated in 2005 drastically reduced the total amount of such grants in 2007 from just over $24 million nationwide to $15 million .
 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits

N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.

“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.

Rabbis Andrew Bachman and Perry Rank: Taking to pulpit, with differing views of Obama’s policies.
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