“My name is Jacob Wiener. I am from Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y. I am almost 15 years old. I have PDD-NOS and bipolar syndrome. The American Disabilities Act allows me to go to school…”
Okay, my secret is out: I'm retiring after 24 years on this beat for the Jewish Week (please hold your applause and your decaying vegetables). It seems like the right time to reflect on the changes I've seen in the Jewish world and Jewish politics during that period.
Many of the activists I met way back in the day are still toiling in Washington, and some of the issues that preoccupied them more than two decades ago are still in play, while others are long forgotten. How many remember the Lautenberg Amendment? In 1987, it was on the lips of most Jewish leaders.
This is one of those recurring stories that writes itself: the House of Representatives has revived the District of Columbia “Opportunity Scholarships Program” - read here “school vouchers” - and the Orthodox Union is happy, the Reform movement unhappy.
The program was mostly shut down in 2009, but getting it back on track was a priority for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
But getting it through the Democratic Senate won't be easy, and President Obama is opposed.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Reform Movement sought clarifications from the Pentagon on the treatment of the soldier accused in a massive leaks case.
The letter sent Tuesday by Reform's Religious Action Center to Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted "incomplete" reports in the media about the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, 22, who allegedly is behind leaks of classified documents last year to WikiLeaks.
Some of the reports have suggested that Manning is forced to sleep naked and to stand naked outside his cell each morning.
The Reform movement is less than pleased – okay, they're really outraged – that Glenn Beck, who has been waging a campaign against religious groups that dare talk about “social justice,” thinks their rabbis are sort of like radical shieks.
This one is so old it has whiskers: Orthodox groups are supporting, church-state separation groups are opposing and most other Jewish groups are ignoring the latest chapter in the perennial battle over a District of Columbia school vouchers program.
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, created in 2004, was the first school voucher program involving federal dollars, which made it a particularly explosive issue for supporters and opponents alike.
A Jewish community that relies on federal, state and local government programs to help fund a wide range of health and social services is about to feel the repercussions of a budget fight in Washington that will almost certainly result in severe cuts; the only question is, how severe.
Yesterday President Obama presented his $3.7 trillion budget outline that includes substantial cuts in a number of programs long favored by Democrats. Education and health would get more under the Obama plan; anti-poverty programs would get clobbered.