Former Councilman Simcha Felder has announced a bid for the state Senate in a newly created district that includes several heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods. “I look forward, God willing, to the opportunity once again to serve the community and the people of New York State,” Felder told the haredi newspaper Hamodia on Wednesday.
A majority of American Jews are welcoming of immigrants, favorably disposed towards American Muslims, support legalizing same-sex marriage, favor legal abortions and oppose overturning the recent health care law, according to a Jewish Values Survey released Tuesday.
It is perhaps no wonder then that the campaigns of this year’s Republican presidential candidates have had little resonance with most American Jews.
As the Presidential race progresses, once again the role of religion in politics has re-emerged as a common tension that cannot be dismissed. American Jews have often feared bringing religion into the political discourse out of fear of anti-Semitism, but this concern has hopefully lessened since Senator Lieberman was a serious Presidential candidate while being open about his traditional Jewish practices and perspectives. In our commitment to build a just society, we have an imperative to ask questions about the religious views of our politicians.
If you were in shul today, as on any Rosh Chodesh, you may have heard the distinctive sound of a gabbai or chazan's hand whacking the bima immediately prior to the Amida (or Shemona Esreh). At many shuls this sound is accompanied by a verbal reminder to add the Rosh HaShanah prayer "Yaaleh b'yavoh," or in many cases the sound itself is meant to be a self-explanatory reminder.
This got me thinking about how this intriguing and efficient concept can be applied to other aspects of synagogue and Jewish life. Here are some humble suggestions:
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In Texas, the Tea Party passed its first Jewish test even before its legislators had been sworn in.
Deeply conservative forces in the Lone Star State firmly repudiated the effort by evangelical Christians to unseat the powerful Jewish speaker of the Texas House of Representatives because he wasn’t a “true Christian conservative.”
With congressional efforts to win convicted spy Jonathan Pollard's release on the uptick, it's interesting to consider the Republicans awkward Pollard problem. (Read the Jewish Week editorial "Release Pollard Now" here)
That problem was evident earlier in the month when 39 House members signed a letter calling for Pollard's release – every last one of them a Democrat.