A few years ago at an immigration conference, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said simply and powerfully, “No human being is illegal.”
The Jewish community’s point man on immigration, Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, recalled Wiesel’s elegant plea on behalf of immigrants this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on legislation that would provide a clear path to citizenship for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast and President Obama's planned participation are generating the usual controversies centering on the question of whether top political leaders should attend an event sponsored by a super-secretive Christian group, The Fellowship Foundation, also know as The Family.
So let’s see: J Street is “anti-Israel,” according to the many emails I continue to receive and blogs I read (if Google News Alerts are any measure, J Street must be the single most active topic in the entire known universe). And Americans for Peace Now (APN) is, by almost any objective standard, further to the left than the upstart J Street.
I had a bunch of calls and emails in the wake of yesterday's blockbuster Supreme Court decision on corporate political contributions basically asked the same question: what does it mean for Jewish political clout?
The decision overturned a half-century-old ban on using corporate money to endorse political candidates – or to oppose them. The rationale of the Court's majority: corporations basically have the same free speech rights as individuals.
Left, right and a range of faiths join for statement clarifying where the law stands on religious expression.
Washington — The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Baptist Convention may butt heads over where the line ultimately should be drawn on the separation of church and state, but representatives of both organizations say they agree on where the law now stands — and with more than two dozen other experts they have come together to help explain it to the rest of the country.
After nearly four years of work, the organizational representatives have issued a 32-page document titled “Religious Expression in American Public Life: A Joint Statement of Current Law.”
Written in a question-and-answer format and including extensive endnotes, the document explains the state of the law on religious expression, answering queries such as “Are individuals and groups permitted to use government property for religious activities and events?” “May employees express and exercise their faith within secular nongovernmental workplaces?” and “Does the First Amendment place restrictions on the political activities of religious organizations?”
As I write this, the stock market is taking its first halting, spasmodic steps away from the abyss and back towards some kind of healthier state of being. Of course, now that I’ve written that, it will probably go down a few hundred points today just to prove how little I understand how these things really work. I readily admit that. But we do seem to have eased away from the bleakest, most hopeless feeling that we’ve all known these past few weeks.
Two weeks ago, Jewish Week editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt wrote a fascinating column about a 1950s report on redundancy and wastage in the American Jewish world, and how so many of the problems highlighted in the report continue.
Do we really need an American Jewish Congress, an American Jewish Committee, a JCPA, an ADL and all the other alphabet soup agencies, with all their overlapping functions and turf battles?