Rules Of Jewish Political Engagement

Over the course of history, Jews would operate in the public sector adopting various political behaviors.

In contemporary times, several of these competing ideas remain in play, influenced by different elements of Jewish experience and practice. Five of them are being introduced here:

Political ads on television:

Have an impact on my vote
29% (2 votes)
Have no impact on my vote
43% (3 votes)
Make me want to scream
29% (2 votes)
Total votes: 7

A Jewish Guide To The Party Conventions

Expect pro-Israel talk at both, but a different tone on economy and social issues.
08/20/2012 - 20:00

Washington — Get set for a political double feature with much of the same plot, but with different outcomes for the issues that tend to preoccupy Jewish voters.

The same key words and themes will bounce around Jewish events at next week’s Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., and at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., the next week: “pro-Israel,” “marriage,” “Jewish vote” and “abortion.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, left, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will play major roles in Tampa.

Five Keys To The Jewish Vote

What to look for as the campaigns ratchet up.
08/13/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice-presidential running mate was either a political game changer that will galvanize the Republican base and shift the focus of this year’s election to economic policy — or an act of desperation by a presumptive presidential nominee who has yet to connect with average voters.

Romney and Ryan are expected to make a major push for Jewish votes and money in a community still overwhelmingly Democratic.

Oh My G-d, You Guys!

What is there left to say about Mindy Meyer?

 In case you somehow haven't heard, Flatbush resident Ms. Meyer is running as the Republican candidate for the State Senate against incumbent Kevin Parker. She is young (22) and an Orthodox Jew, but that's not why she's made the national news. 

Ms. Mindy Meyer

Amid Demographic Trends, Jewish Vote More Complex

Though conservative elements surging, overlapping issues could make labels obsolete.
06/18/2012 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

Political consultant George Arzt says he recently fielded an interesting request from Orthodox Jewish activists.

The former communications director of the Koch administration was asked to advise the speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, not to write off the Orthodox vote just because she is openly gay and a strong advocate of gay rights and marriage equality, which became law in New York last year. Orthodox organizations oppose most pro-gay legislation.

“They would still like to talk to her,” said Arzt.

Russians here, part of an emerging conservative voting bloc, fill out U.S. Census forms. getty images

Hofesh Shechter Takes on New York: Israeli Choreography and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Hofesh Shechter often gets annoyed when people only see Jewish or Israeli references in his choreography. “It’s a very interesting, conflicted way the world sees Jews,” he told me a while back. “People [in England] refer to me as Jewish rather than Israeli. There’s this pigeonhole, this file that says ‘Jewish’ on it.” 

Fallout From Lugar’s Defeat

Indiana Republican’s loss raises specter of more partisanship on foreign policy.
05/14/2012 - 20:00

Washington — Richard Lugar was never considered to be one of Israel’s leading advocates on Capitol Hill.

The veteran Republican senator from Indiana, who suffered a primary defeat last week after 35 years in office, is famously his own man.

Sen. Richard Lugar, right, with Sen. John Kerry and actor George Clooney on Capitol Hill. Medill DC via Creative Commons

Politics and Money: High Stakes Jewish Engagement

Follow the money! One of the keys to studying a political campaign is to identify the “flow” of financial support for a candidate. Then, why is it that so much Jewish money remains on the sidelines for the 2012 Presidential Election? In 2008 candidates in both parties were receiving significantly more Jewish financial attention at this stage in the campaign, so what accounts for this different storyline?

Boteach’s Kosher Candidacy

Celebrity rabbi vows to bring Jewish values to Congress.
03/26/2012 - 20:00
Associate Editor

The faith-based campaign that has become so frequent in Republican races across the country is echoed locally with the Bergen County GOP endorsement of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for Congress in northern New Jersey. The Chabad-trained rabbi says he’s running as a Republican because he believes in smaller government, but adds that his politics are driven by his Judaism — and there’s nothing small about that.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s.
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