Specter party switch leaves Senate with no Jewish Republicans
The Jewish Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate evaporated into thin air on Tuesday with Sen. Arlen Specter’s stunning announcement that he is switching parties because “the Republican Party has moved far to the right.”
That represents a huge boost for Senate Democrats, who were two votes short of a 60-vote “super majority” that would make it easier to end GOP filibusters, and for an Obama administration with an aggressive legislative agenda that has been slowed by Senate Republicans.
No alternate text on picture! - define alternate text in image propertiesAlong-buried love affair and the sensational discovery of an unknown cache of letters lie at the center of Nili Scharf Gold’s illuminating biographical study, “Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel’s National Poet.” Gold, an authority on Hebrew poetry and a professor at the University Pennsylvania, mines these materials to show how the internationally acclaimed poet Amichai became — well — Amichai.
In a sign of the growing influence of haredi consumers in the United States, Empire Kosher Poultry, regarded as the nation’s largest producer of kosher poultry, has added a second kashrut supervising agency, one more accepted by fervently Orthodox consumers.
Empire, trying to increase its dwindling market share, this week announced that it will be offering poultry products with the KAJ label of the K’hal Adath Jeshurun supervising agency in addition to the Orthodox Union’s OU label, which Empire has carried for some 40 years.
The Super Bowl, this Sunday’s National Football League championship game, isn’t the only notable sports event to take place on a Feb. 3 — there was also the 26 points scored by Phil Rabin of the Kingston Colonials against the Brooklyn Jewels in a 1937 American Basketball League game, and the Buffalo Bisons’ Max Kaminsky’s 1943 appearance in the first American Hockey League All-Star Game.
In its battle against members of the anti-gay and anti-Jewish Westboro Baptist Church, who were demonstrating this week on the heavily Jewish University of Pennsylvania campus, the school’s Hillel appealed for a little muscle.
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
A handful of Jewish groups responded positively to last night’s presidential address on health care reform, and many White House observers said it was an oratorical triumph.
None of the 45 people in the kosher Chinese restaurant on Flatbush Avenue had ever been to Zembrov, a town in northeast Poland, and some even had trouble spelling it. But all had relatives who came from there, and they gathered two weeks ago to keep their memories alive.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Today the Politico is reporting that former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has “dipped toes in 2012 Iowa waters.”
Here’s an easy prediction: a lot of Jewish Republicans will be happy with the possible return to big-time electoral politics of the former lawmaker, who is hawkishly pro-Israel and who worked closely with some pro-Israel groups during his years in the Senate.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
No doubt Senate Democrats are happy that Sen. Arlen Specter now has a “D-Pa.” next to his name instead of an “R,” but there will occasional second thoughts when the unpredictable lawmaker’s foot finds its way into his mouth.
It happened again this week, when Specter seemed to forget which party he now calls home.
In a New York Times Magazine interview, Specter was asked if he cares that, because of his party switch, there are now no Jewish Republicans in the Senate.
Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Twenty four hours after Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection from the Republicans to the Democrats, you can see the spin machines on both sides of the aisle grinding out what they hope will become the central narratives of this political game changer. Yesterday the leading Jewish Democrats and Republicans offered the Jewish Week what turned out to be perfect distillations of their respective parties’ Specter spins.