For years the small group of black men has occupied the center island of Times Square several times a week preaching against white devils and declaring that they are the true descendants of the biblical Hebrews.
After all the pre-convention hoopla, the Jewish Federations of North America (“No acronyms, please,” said a press spokesman for the group formerly known as UJC), President Barack Obama won’t be addressing the group on Tuesday, after all.
Instead, Obama will be traveling to the memorial service for the Fort Hood army base massacre victims, and sending White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel to the Jewish philanthropy’s meeting in his place.
At least 17 German banks and industrial firms have agreed to contribute to a fund from which payments will be made to an estimated 100,000 Jews who served as slave laborers during the Holocaust, the German government announced this week. Needy survivors may also be entitled to payments from the fund.
The government hopes the fund will begin making payments to survivors by Sept. 1, the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, according to Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.
In the end, the fight over whether Reform and Conservative leaders could sit on powerful religious councils in Israel apparently turned on a Talmudic loophole. By a vote of 50-49, the Knesset this week adopted a bill crafted to keep Reform and Conservative representatives off religious councils, which dispense millions of dollars to religious institutions throughout the country.
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, who has been appointed to mediate a survivors' suit against German and Austrian banks, is calling all parties together Jan. 7. But how much clout he will wield is open to question.
A major Dutch insurance company said this week it was willing to join an international commission seeking to resolve Holocaust-era insurance claims: but only if it can use its existing claims process.
That condition was rejected by Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress. He said that unless the company, Aegon, agrees to an audit and other procedures in compliance with international guidelines established for claims processing, his organization's executive board would meet Jan. 25 to call for a boycott of the firm.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the story: at every year’s policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, leaders of the group read out the names of all the congressional, administration and diplomatic officials attending. Reporters keep count, hometown delegations cheer for their representatives and the message has the subtlety of a good sock in the jaw: this is a lobby with real clout.
Here’s a stunner: Jewish Democrats think President Barack Obama has done a great job during his first 100 days in office and Jewish Republicans disagree. Some Jews on the left say the new administration has become too centrist for their liking, but centrist Jewish groups that focus heavily on domestic matters couldn’t be happier.
When Rep. Rahm Emanuel was named chief of staff to President elect Barack Obama, some predicted the volatile, outspoken lawmaker, former Bill Clinton aide and dead fish message sender would get himself in trouble with some kind of outrageous outburst.