Philadelphia — Clifford Lipkin is a lifelong Democrat who has been active in local party politics. But with barely three weeks before the election, his vote is up for grabs.
“I’m so disillusioned” with Democrats and their candidate, said Lipkin, 71, a retired public school administrator, standing in the doorway of his home in the Sun Valley neighborhood of the northeast suburbs here.
When it comes to rallying the Jewish vote, former Mayor Ed Koch has emerged as the Bush-Cheney campaign’s weapon of mass discussion.
Koch, a Democrat, is on a tour of speaking engagements at Jewish venues in battleground states, making the case for Republican President George W. Bush’s re-election.
His schedule this week called for debating New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a supporter of Democrat John Kerry, in suburban Philadelphia, then traveling to Florida. An Ohio trip was also in the works.
Jerusalem (JTA) — A CNN producer who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip was freed a day after he was seized in Gaza City by four armed men who approached the car in which he was traveling. Palestinian Authority officials, perhaps concerned that the kidnapping could be seen as an indication of their inability to keep Gaza secure if Israel carries through on its planned withdrawal next year, are believed to have been involved in negotiating the release of Riad Ali, an Israeli Druse.
Lawyers for New York City have asked federal Judge Sterling Johnson to recuse himself if there is a new civil trial in the shooting of Gidone Busch in 1999. In a rare ruling last month, Johnson vacated a 2003 jury verdict in favor of five police officers involved in the incident that led to Busch’s death, calling it a “miscarriage of justice.”
Seeking a strategy for survival in a changing demographic landscape, members of the Rego Park Jewish Center may soon look to a mechitza as the answer to their prayers.
The 65-year-old Conservative congregation, which has lost more than half its members in the past five years, is considering a shift to Orthodoxy to remain viable.
Organized by the campus Hillel chapter, a coalition of students at Rutgers University is planning to take control of a campus humor publication after it ran a widely panned satirical Holocaust cartoon on its cover.
“Students on a grassroots level have to step up and take charge,” said Andrew Getraer, Hillel director at the state-funded college in New Brunswick, N.J.
Leaders in Orthodox neighborhoods will organize centrally located, controlled fires for chametz burning next Passover, hoping to avoid incidents like the one in Brooklyn last week in which five people were burned.
Amid unusually blustery weather on April 5, a fire company in the Borough Park section reportedly put out 125 dangerous fires set by residents partaking in the ritual of incinerating non-leavened food on the eve of Passover.
Fasting on Yom Kippur is one of the most widely observed rituals among Jews. Based on recent surveys, more than half nationally and as many as 72 percent locally will abstain from eating this Saturday.
But for those unable to partake in the fast because of medical reasons, having a meal on the Day of Atonement can be a difficult, guilt-ridden process. That’s particularly true in the case of those recovering from eating disorders, for whom a day without food may lead to a relapse, but who might not consider their illness severe enough to forgo the fast.
With Sen. John Kerry’s lead in New York dwindling to single digits according to two new polls, the heavily Democratic state may emerge as a surprise battleground in the final stretch of the election.
And if Jews, who have made up as much as 17 percent of likely voters here in recent races, support Republican George W. Bush as heavily as some believe, they could play a larger role than usual in deciding how the state’s 31 electoral votes are cast.
Along the busy streets of Borough Park where Gidone Busch spent his final days, the events that led to his death five years ago have been analyzed again and again: a barely dressed man with a tallit and a hammer; two visits by the police; 12 gunshots; a dead man in a driveway.