The elderly Jews are gone now, the ones who carried their Yiddish cadences and stories of the rag trade and the Old Country with them down to the tip of Miami Beach. Throughout the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s and even into the ‘80s, they sat in rickety, rainbow-striped folding chairs on the warm sand, sweet Atlantic breezes tousling their white hair. Or they sat on the front porches of the many small Art Deco-style hotels and apartment buildings they called home in their autumn years, whiling away the hours in their Southern shtetl.
Jerusalem — Having successfully recovered millions of dollars worth of Jewish property lost in the Holocaust, restitution experts in Israel and the U.S. are now setting their sights on the Arab world.
The Knesset Parliamentary Committee on the Restitution of Jewish Property announced plans this month to create a national center to register documents and testimony about the possibly “tens of billions of dollars” in property left behind by Jews who emigrated to Israel from Arab/Muslim countries.
The AP reported today that the Obama administration is unhappy about Israel's designation of the Cave of the Patriarchs and the tomb of Rachel as “national heritage sites,” which comes amid a “flurry” of U.S. diplomatic activity in the region.
Newark, N.J. — Controversial New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, whose recent poem “Somebody Blew Up America” suggested that Israel knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, blasted his Jewish critics Wednesday, calling the Anti-Defamation League “the voice of imperialism.”
Baraka is refusing to resign his post despite calls from New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey that he step down, adding Wednesday, “I will not apologize.”
New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka says he will fight legislation aimed at removing him from the state-appointed position, telling The Jewish Week Tuesday he was prepared to take legal action if a bill being drafted this week in the state Senate passes. “I certainly will sue,” he said Tuesday by phone from his home in Newark.
Legal experts say the controversial poet could have a good case on free-speech grounds.
Constanza Garcia was looking to book New York performances for “Klezmer en Buenos Aires” — a tango-inflected klezmer duo that she promotes. She immediately thought of Makor, the cultural center on the Upper West Side that caters to Jews in their 20s and 30s.
“I thought Makor would be the right place for klezmer,” Garcia says. But Makor passed.
Minorities of all kinds could be targets of angry,
growing movement, some warn.
James D. Besser
An angry “Tea Party” movement that Republican leaders hope to harness to boost their party’s chances in the 2010 congressional midterm elections could also be a potential blow to GOP outreach to minorities — including Jewish voters.
But Republican leaders, too, are in the movement’s cross hairs, and some Jewish leaders worry that the movement could transcend traditional politics entirely and create an extremist surge that is threatening to all minorities.
I was much taken with Washington Post business writer Steve Pearlstein's column today. Pearlstein had the audacity to point to two of the biggest reasons for the political and legislative gridlock in Washington – an electorate that demands completely contradictory things from the people it elects, and a president who apparently lacks the backbone to tell it like it is. (See t