Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon got his share of applause when he praised President George W. Bush at the Anti-Defamation League’s East Side offices Monday morning.
He was also confronted by a questioner who called Bush “the worst president ever in the White House” because of his administration’s style of diplomacy.
Heavily Democratic New York may not be a battleground state in this or any other presidential election, but as the Republicans roll into town for this week’s convention, the newly minted New York regional director of the Republican Jewish Coalition is thinking well beyond November.
For Greg Menken, exchanging business cards is as important as gathering votes or checks.
Amid a tale already bristling with competing allegations of victimization — one by New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and another by a former aide — the ambitious and rapidly expanding Touro College is also depicting itself as a bystander in the unfolding saga at Trenton’s statehouse.
Two weeks after federal officials indicted a Texas-based nonprofit foundation and its officials for aiding terrorism, plaintiffs in an $875 million lawsuit are alleging that the group laundered “tens of thousands of dollars” through the Madison Avenue branch of Arab Bank.
Ever since the Nov. 21 arrest of 42 teens on drug and alcohol charges at a wild party thrown by a Livingston, N.J., yeshiva student, there has been a buzz around The Lockers.
“It’s being blown out of proportion,” one New Jersey teen opines, “but I’m glad that it is. If it weren’t, there would be no lesson learned, people would keep doing it.”
Another teen seems exasperated. “I know I’m sheltered- but imagine like … being a 14-year-old freshman and getting arrested. Pretty scary!”
Call it a Brooklyn Jewish version of the red-state, blue-state chasm.
As the borough’s Orthodox community continues to thrive and spread, liberal Jews are looking for a voice, as well as reaching out for new blood.
A bold step in that direction is the Institute for Living Judaism in Brooklyn, which will kick off a series of lectures, workshops and support groups next month.
With the mayoral race in its infancy, the two leading candidates are making early pitches for support among chasidic voters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid a visit last week to the grave of the late Lubavitcher rebbe, while a likely challenger, Democrat Fernando Ferrer, prominently featured a photo of himself with Williamsburg chasidim on his campaign Web site.
In Ferrer’s case, the move backfired when two men in the picture objected, saying the photo implied an endorsement, highly premature at this stage.
Watching last week’s Veterans Day parade on Fifth Avenue, Rabbi Irving Elson was filled with emotions. One of them was anger.
“So many people didn’t give a second look,” he recalled later that day. “They didn’t even stop talking on their cell phones.”
Rabbi Elson conceded that he might be oversensitive, having just returned from a second tour in Iraq.
As the political landscape continues to shift under a re-elected and re-energized Bush administration, local Jewish agencies are bracing for what could be a sea change in government assistance to human services in an age of tax cuts and a surging federal deficit.
Federal funds and aid to states that allow local grants amount to about 50 percent of the billion dollars on which UJA-Federation depends to run its vast network of beneficiary agencies.
On the 33rd floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel Tuesday night, Sheldon Silver’s mood transcended that of the Democratic crowd in the ballroom below. Silver, the state Assembly speaker, was elated that he had held onto his majority in the state’s lower house, and even gained a seat, as staff members and politicians in his suite noshed kosher deli sandwiches and checked off names and districts on a large chart.