President Obama announced today that he will nominate Rabbi David Saperstein, longtime director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, as the State Department’s Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
Some question tying convicted spy to peace negotiations.
Jewish leaders here expressed conflicted emotions and policy differences this week about reports that President Barack Obama was willing to consider the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as part of a last-minute bid to keep alive Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
These are the two facets of the "fiscal cliff" debate in Washington, as President Obama and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives wrangle over what mix of cuts and revenue increases should be part of a deficit reduction deal.
Jewish organizations have been vocal during the budget debate, but some key groups are focusing their advocacy mostly on the threat of cuts to programs they hold dear while staying out of the heated fight over taxes.
With the federal budget Topic Number One on Capitol Hill and the prospects for serious cuts to critical programs growing by the day as a Tea Party-driven House Republican caucus flexes its muscles, today's Washington Post Fact Checker column offers a useful reality check.
(JTA) -- Orthodox and Reform Jewish groups are backing a letter circulating in the House of Representatives asking President Obama to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard.
Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, has been serving a life sentence since 1985 for passing classified information to Israel.
U.S. Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Bill Pascrell (D- N.J.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Anthony Weiner (D- N.Y.) are circulating the letter among their colleagues and plan to submit it to Obama in the coming days.
(JTA) -- An interfaith summit of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders denounced anti-Muslim bigotry.
In a statement released by the group, which represented the majority of the country’s Jews, Muslims and Christians, participants announced that they came together Tuesday in Washington, D.C., “to denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community.”
Update: Now we've heard from the Conservative movement. In a statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Assembly and eight other movement groups said this: "As leaders of the Conservative/Masorti movement, we deplore these recent comments of Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that, like many of his comments over the years, constitute irresponsible incitement to violence.