The Obama administration’s decision this week to increase airport inspection of U.S.-bound travelers from 14 countries — 13 of them Muslim — considered more likely to include terrorism suspects is a tacit acknowledgment of a politically incorrect and controversial assumption: that there is a correlation between Muslims and terror attacks.
There are good reasons why Jewish groups like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the American Jewish Committee have been active advocates for comprehensive immigration reform. More than most, the Jewish community understands America’s role as a safe haven and land of opportunity for those “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Going back to John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign, when he had to make it clear that he wouldn’t govern by the dictates of his Catholic church, through the rise of the Christian right, through numerous debates, from abortion to end-of-life issues, few things have rattled Jews more than the prospect of undue interference by religious leaders upon the nation’s lawmaking. After all, religion thrives on absolutes while politics thrives on compromise.
As Iran continues a policy of delay and division in the face of international concern about its nuclear weapons program, it is time for the Obama administration to reconsider one element of its strategy. That would be to find ways to support a growing movement within Iran that rejects the repressive rule of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the entrenched fundamentalist clerics in power.
As we have said before, there are no easy answers as Iran moves ever closer to the nuclear threshold.
The most surprising finding from a new census of Jewish day schools for the current academic year is that while enrollment has declined, the drop has not been nearly as steep as many educators and communal officials had predicted.
At a meeting on Tuesday here convened by the Avi Chai Foundation, representatives of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and community day schools discussed why and how most schools were able to retain students at a time of serious economic recession and what lessons can be learned going forward.