When he was a senior at Byram Hills High School in Westchester in 1970, Doug Berman was asked by a state senatorial candidate to arrange a small gathering of friends for him to meet. To help attract an audience, the candidate arranged for a guest speaker — Bill Bradley, the Hall of Fame forward of the New York Knicks.
“Because it was Bradley, I said yes, absolutely,” recalls Berman, a 6-footer who was captain of his basketball team. “He was my boyhood hero.”
Bill Bradley may have gained a step on rival Al Gore in the race for cash for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the former New Jersey senator and New York Knick apparently will have to rally to catch the vice president in Jewish campaign contributions.
Bradley raised an estimated $6.7 million from July to September, according to the latest figures released by the Federal Election Commission, nipping Gore’s total of $6.5 million for the period.
In the wake of the presidential clemency awarded 11 Puerto Rican activists, imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is asking President Bill Clinton to apply the “same standards in my case” and release him.
“I can only hope that the president will see that by commuting my sentence, he would be underscoring his administration’s commitment to due process and fair play,” Pollard told The Jewish Week in a phone interview from the federal prison in Butner, N.C.
The tiny coastal town of Calais, Maine (pop. 3,963), just across the St. Croix River from New Brunswick and abutting the rugged Atlantic Provinces of Canada, has little in common, geographically or spiritually, with Kibbutz Sde Elyahu in Israel’s Beit Shean Valley, hard by the Jordan River about 90 miles north of Jerusalem. Little, that is, save for a gun and camping equipment salesman named Harold Silverman.
And a Torah.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s Mideast trip, scheduled for next week, isn’t shaping up the way administration officials had hoped. And the rumbles of discontent in Washington, along with the implied threat that she could cancel the visit entirely, may have played a part in this week’s sudden flurry of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy.
The State Department is making it clear that despite Palestinian demands for more direct U.S. intervention, Albright will be mostly assessing the status of Israeli-Palestinian talks, not serving as an intermediary.
Synagogue officials across the country this week struggled with how to handle security arrangements for the High Holy Days, while bizarre bias acts occurred at two synagogues in Connecticut and in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, two weeks after a white supremacist gunman went on a shooting rampage at Los Angeles Jewish Community Center wounding five people, including three children, JCC officials are issuing a plea for help, saying they are feeling abandoned by the Jewish community.