by Debra Nussbaum Cohen |
More people than ever before say that being Jewish "is very important" to them, according to a recent survey by the American Jewish Committee.
Sixty-one percent of respondents in the organization's annual survey of American Jewish opinion, which covers topics from international affairs to religious identity, said it was "very important" to them, and another 28 percent said it was "fairly important." Ten percent of this year's respondents said that being Jewish was "not very important" in their own lives.
James Besser |
In a strange political year, the U.S. Senate race in Virginia is rapidly moving into the realm of the surreal.
First there was Republican Sen. George Allen’s mystifying use of the term “macaca” in referring to a young, dark-skinned worker for his opponent, former Reaganite-turned-Democrat Jim Webb.
Macaca, according to many news reports, refers to a kind of monkey, and is a racially derogatory term in some parts of the world; Allen, who has 2008 presidential aspirations if he can just hold on to his Senate seat, said he just made the word up.
Anger, disbelief and astonishment are among the reactions of a group of Holocaust survivors who recently screened “Forgiving Dr. Mengele,” the documentary about Eva Kor’s decision to forgive the Nazis.
“I can’t forgive and forget,” says Celia Feldman, who was sent to Auschwitz in 1944. “And I thank God I’m not a twin.”
Weather permitting, the Jews of New Orleans will participate in what has become a rare event on Rosh HaShanah this year — High Holy Day services in their own synagogues.
The last two years, the weather didn’t permit. Last year, it was Katrina. New Orleans evacuated on the eve of the High Holy Days. The year before, Ivan. Ditto.
This year, a Jewish community that has returned home in smaller numbers from points around the United States is preparing for the New Year with an eye on the weather forecast.
Like most of the New Orleans residents who came here a year ago to escape the ravages of Katrina, James Hardy and his wife Dr. Nancy Forrest Hardy thought they’d be here only a few days. When they packed their Ford Explorer outside the couple’s apartment in the French Quarter, they “literally took a couple changes of clothes, a couple bottles of water, some canned food,” James says.
Unlike most of the evacuees, they stayed here.