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State Funds Chernobyl Screening

04/13/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Amid the publicity given to Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s partially successful efforts to achieve significant savings in health care costs in the state budget, one little-noticed line item expanding state funding for health care was inserted with the support of the leadership of both houses of the State Legislature — $540,000 for thyroid cancer screening for New Yorkers who were exposed to massive amounts of harmful radiation during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

The Matchup: Looking For The Perfect ... Shul

12/12/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

I was at another gathering of intelligent Jews committed to Jewish life, identity and spirituality, all of them networking and talking about the issues that brought us together, when I heard a familiar sentence. “I’d lived on the Upper West Side for nearly 20 years before I found the perfect one.”

I Can Do That… Can I?

07/04/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

It doesn’t happen all that often, but occasionally I do go to funerals where I’m not officiating.  As a professional, I “enjoy,” if I can use that word in this context, the opportunity to see how colleagues do what I am so often called upon to do.

Repeal The Blaine Amendment

Special To The Jewish Week
01/16/2009
Repealing or ignoring the last remaining vestige of bigotry contained in the New York State Constitution, the so-called “Blaine” amendment, could open the door to providing parents with children attending religious schools — Jewish, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Greek Orthodox — with the same approximate $8,500 annually per pupil that charter schools receive, all deducted from the budget of the local school district that the charter school pupils would otherwise attend.

You Can Leave Your Hat On

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Here’s a fuller, better version of the Media Watch column that appeared in The Jewish Week (Jan. 30, 2009).   Righetous People, Self-Righteous Critics   By Jonathan Mark   Last week on “The View,” one of the guests took a cheap shot at Orthodox women, saying they didn’t look good or dress right, and their idea of modesty (such as covering their hair) was “wacky.”  

Pallin’ Around With A Terrorist’s Son

Thursday, November 6th, 2008  Ali Abunimah, editor of Electronic Intifada, is quite upset that Obama is pallin’ around with Rahm Israel Emanuel, the son of a so-called “terrorist” with Menachem Begin’s Irgun, back in the 1940s. Emanuel, of course, was Obama’s first appointment, as chief of staff.    From “Hussein” being the middle name we wondered about, Rahm’s middle name — Israel — now has every Haman in the Arab world wondering how the son of an Irgun guy is Obama’s new Mordechai.

Wooden Ships: Almanac For A Cold November

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 This is the season of Mashiv HaRuach, “He makes the wind blow and the rain fall.” And this was Shabbat Mevorchim, the Blessing of the New Month — Chanukah’s month, Kislev, beginning Thanksgiving night, Nov. 27.  

Potiphar’s Wife & The Spiritual

Friday, July 11th, 2008 History is written by the winners, and so is the Torah. Korach is depicted as a bad guy, when an honest reading of the last three-and-a-half books of the Torah suggest that Moses was a singularly uninspiring leader, a less poetic speaker than most any prophet that followed, and just begging for a challenge from Korach or anyone else. Whatever Korach’s failings, the tragedy of the Korach story is that a more suitable challenger to Moses was surely intimidated into silence by the heavy-handed obliteration of Korach.

Repeal The Blaine Amendment

The $8,500 in NY state aid per pupil attending charter schools should also be available to parents of religious school students.

01/16/2009
Special To The Jewish Week
Repealing or ignoring the last remaining vestige of bigotry contained in the New York State Constitution, the so-called “Blaine” amendment, could open the door to providing parents with children attending religious schools — Jewish, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Greek Orthodox — with the same approximate $8,500 annually per pupil that charter schools receive, all deducted from the budget of the local school district that the charter school pupils would otherwise attend.

Blogger Wars Over Conference

09/03/2008
Staff Writer
Nefesh B’Nefesh is better known for its efforts to get North American Jews on planes to Israel, but last month it settled for driving more Internet traffic there. The organization recently hosted the first International Jewish Bloggers Convention at its Jerusalem headquarters. The conference, which featured keynote speaker former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who doesn’t blog — attracted 200 Israeli-based bloggers (many of them Anglos) and 1,300 people around the globe who watched the live video feed.    
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