News

Conservative Jews Hit the Hill

Troubled conservative moment beefs up its Washington presence

05/20/2009
Washington Correspondent

Even as leaders of a troubled Conservative movement try to fend off an incipient rebellion by some synagogues and deal with declining affiliation, they are accelerating their efforts to create an active, visible — but cautious — Washington presence.

Obama’s New Iran Timeline Could Force A U.S.-Israel Divide

Obama’s Iran deadline bought some time in his relationship with Israel and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

05/20/2009
Washington Correspondent

While President Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu halfway on the volatile issue of Iran during their inaugural meeting in Washington this week, gaps between the two allies on the issue remain wide — and could get wider still as the administration begins dealing with a palate of unattractive policy options.

Obama Confident In Taking On Settlements Obama

Jewish backlash may be blunted

06/03/2009
Washington Correspondent

The Obama administration is confident it will retain strong Jewish support even as it ratchets up the pressure on Israel and offers clues that, unlike its predecessors, it means what it says about the thorny issue of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

While the pro-Israel establishment is already reacting angrily to the administration’s shifted red lines on settlements, many analysts say President Barack Obama’s ability to soften tough positions with pro-Israel reassurances will prevent a broad Jewish backlash.

Dialing Down The Heat On Iran

Tamped-down rhetoric on Iran seen as “accommodation” with Obama’s new policy shift on Iran.

06/17/2009
Washington Correspondent

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dialed down his intense rhetoric about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran in his long-awaited public response to a tightening squeeze from the Obama administration on Sunday.

Despite Iran Flux, Groups Hold To Tough Line

The unfolding drama on the streets of Tehran vastly complicates the fight for sanctions against Iran. getty images

06/24/2009
Washington Correspondent

On Monday AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby group that has been at the forefront of efforts to impose and stiffen sanctions on Iran, distributed to reporters an interview with an Iranian demonstrator calling on the international community to apply “much more sanctions” on the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Open Door Policy In Queens

10/02/2009
Staff Writer
The corner of Main Street and Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills is “on one hand a lousy location,” says Marvin Gruza, who has lived in the Queens neighborhood 20 years. Loud buses go by every few minutes. “On the other hand,” he says, “I’m in the perfect location.” A perfect location for doing chesed.

Remembering Marek Edelman

10/09/2009
Staff Writer
The best advice I ever received about a forthcoming interview concerned a septuagenarian cardiologist in Warsaw. I was about to interview Dr. Marek Edelman, the last-surviving commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in 1993 for a series of stories commemorating the event’s 50th anniversary. A Polish Jew who knew him told me what to expect: Dr. Edelman would give me some time, but if he felt bored he’d probably walk away without warning.

Emanu-El Broadcast Needs A New Home

10/09/2009
Staff Writer
The rabbis and cantors of Temple Emanu-El have for decades kept an eye on the clock on the bima near the end of Friday night worship services. Since 1940, WQXR Radio — and before that, WHN — carried a live broadcast from the sanctuary starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending exactly at 6 o’clock.

Remembered In Granite

10/09/2009
Staff Writer
Nearly 300 Jews who died 10 to 20 years ago without money, without mourners at their graveside, without a marker on their grave on Staten Island, got a gravestone the other day. On a cool, overcast Sunday morning, a crane unloaded 266 granite markers from Georgia at Staten Island’s Mount Richmond Cemetery. Over the next month, they will be set up at their respective graves as the latest installment of the 18-year-old Leave a Mark project of the Hebrew Free Burial Association.

An Author Whose Sources Are Disappearing

10/16/2009
Staff Writer
Pundits have warned for decades that water — or the scarcity thereof — may be the issue that brings the Middle East to the brink of war, more than ideology or territory. Israel, Jordan, and Syria and the Palestinians are united by common, fast-disappearing sources of water, and a desire to control those sources.
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