National

Obama Signs Iran Sanctions Law

07/02/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama signed enhanced Iran sanctions into law.

Obama invited representatives of a number of pro-Israel groups as well as the Congressional leadership of both parties to witness the signing Thursday evening of sanctions that target third parties that deal with Iran's energy and finance sectors, as well as human rights abusers.

Stuart Levey: The Man Trying to Make Iran Sanctions Work

07/01/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets -- terrorist groups and rogue nations -- when he figured out how to soft-talk nations and private businesses into going along.

Levey is that rarity -- a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.

Stuart Levey (U.S. Treasury Department)

Is Kagan’s Jewishness Being Used Against Her?

Her background surfaces even as Jewish groups mostly silent on wider nomination battle.

06/30/2010
Washington Correspondent

 A Jewish community divided over key constitutional questions is watching closely but mostly silently as a hyper-partisan Senate debates President Barack Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to succeed the retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens — and as hints that the nominee’s Jewishness is being used against her surface.

Elana Kagan

Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle

New sanctions surge could lead to new dilemmas for groups that have banked on issue.

06/23/2010
Washington Correspondent

Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and  the White House.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Fresh Debate Emerging On U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance

New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.

06/09/2010
Washington Correspondent

A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.

So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.

Respected foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman: Genuine alliances are two-way streets.

Koogle It

06/26/2009
Editorial Intern

Search for “beef” and you’ll find listings for two restaurants and four butchers. Search for “bacon” and you’ll get no results.
Doesn’t sound like Google? It’s not.

For Hebrew Learning, The Skype’s The Limit

Internet tutoring is on leading edge of use of technology beyond the classroom.

05/26/2010
Associate Editor

Walk around Temple Micah when religious school is in session, and you will see children praying, having discussions and working on art projects. 

What you won’t find are alef-bet drill sessions, or language instruction of any kind.

While Hebrew is on the curriculum at this 485-family Reform congregation in Washington, D.C., students now do all their Hebrew learning from home, through private tutoring sessions conducted via the Internet videoconferencing service Skype. 

A student at Washington, D.C.’s Temple Micah learns Hebrew with her online tutor. Courtesy of Temple Micah

Rand Paul Victory Poses Risks For Jewish Republicans as Tea Party Movement Surges

RJC, in unusual move, opposes Tea Party candidate.

05/26/2010
Washington Correspondent

 Rand Paul, the Tea Party insurgent who was the upset victor in last week’s Kentucky Republican Senate primary, could be the biggest headache yet for a Republican Party that hopes to capitalize on the populist surge without getting tainted by the angry movement’s extremists.

Some observers say Rand Paul’s strong pro-Israel views could draw Jewish campaign givers.

Jim Joseph Foundation Grant Pushes Historic Partnership Of Jewish Seminaries

$33 million grant for teacher recruiting and training.

05/25/2010
JTA

Spurred by a major grant from one of the largest Jewish foundations, the rabbinical seminaries of three major synagogue movements are forging a groundbreaking partnership to train Jewish educators.

The Jim Joseph Foundation announced Monday that it was giving a combined $33 million to the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion, the Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University and the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, top, and HUC’s president, Rabbi David Ellenson: New partners.

Rubashkin’s Wife: Sholom Deserves ‘Time Served’

On eve of sentencing, family living ‘on charity’; denies feds’ claim of ‘rich lifestyle using Agriprocessors money.’

05/21/2010
Staff Writer

 As she awaits her husband’s sentencing next Thursday for federal bank fraud, Leah Rubashkin described him as a man who “always had a hard time” running the family’s kosher slaughterhouse and “did everything he could to keep all the bills paid.”

Leah Rubashkin said hers is a "humble family" with a broken down van.
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