President Barack Obama will visit Israel for the first time as president this spring, reports on Monday said.
Obama visited Israel last as a senator seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. The New York Times quoted White House Spokesman Jay Carney saying that the president accepted an invitation to visit Israel during a Jan. 28 conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that the trip will be a chance to “discuss the way forward” on problems in the region, including the civil war in Syria and Iran's production of nuclear materials.
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The planned March 10 contested election pitting incumbent Orthodox Union president Simcha Katz against former president Harvey Blitz is not to be. (See “OU Internal Struggles Leading To Showdown,” Jan. 18)
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who died on Friday, was remembered by his current successor, Michael Bloomberg, as a legendary figure akin to Moses, who “restored the arc of the city’s history."
Noting that this week's Torah portion depicts Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt, Bloomberg said " Ed, in his own way, was our Moses ... He led us out of darkness and he gave us hope. And while he may not have parted the Red Sea, he did break a subway strike by standing on a bridge and shouting words of encouragement.”
As President Barack Obama seeks support for his sweeping gun control reforms, and states enact their own legislation -- including the nation's toughest in New York -- a faith-based coalition is promoting a national Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath.