National

High Stakes Outreach For Obama At Jewish Federations GA

Jewish leaders divided on what Obama should stress in his GA speech.

11/04/2009
Washington Correspondent

President Barack Obama’s speech to the Jewish Federations of North America (formerly UJC) General Assembly next week, his first to a Jewish group since his inauguration, could be a turning point in his low standing in Israeli polls and help blunt the skepticism of many Jewish leaders here about his Middle East policies.

(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also speak, an embarrassment of media riches for the group.)

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Charities Anxious Over Market Volatility

03/19/2008
Staff Writer
Does the collapse this week of Bear Stearns, with its long history of strong philanthropic ties to UJA-Federation of New York, mark the beginning of a major tailspin affecting Jewish charities? Voicing concerns that parallel worries over the impact of the Bear Stearns’ buyout on the market in general, Jewish officials say it is too early to assess the impact but recognize that the coming period will be marked by uncertainty and belt-tightening.

Sotomayor Gets Preliminary Thumbs Up

05/29/2009
Staff Writer
Sonia Sotomayor has ruled on only a limited number of cases directly involving the Jewish community or Jewish issues during her 17 years as a federal judge, but her record seems reassuring, according to legal experts and representatives of Jewish organizations. President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Sotomayor, from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Associate Justice David Souter, who is stepping down from the Supreme Court when its current session ends this summer.

Beyond The Prom

06/26/2009
Staff Writer
Houston - The sanctuary-multiuse room of Congregation Beth El, a Reform synagogue in Sugar Land, a bedroom community near here, was converted one recent spring afternoon into a one-day-a-year use: an enormous dressing room. Amid racks holding more than 500 chic gowns, with bima and Israeli flag in the background, two dozen teenage girls tried on the dresses behind makeshift barricades, and browsed at tables piled with jewelry and other accessories.

Nonprofits Already Feeling The Squeeze

01/23/2008
Staff Writer
Leaders of Jewish foundations and nonprofits are bracing for slashes in available funding this week as global and domestic markets tumble and fears of a recession loom. And some are already starting to feel the pinch as anxiety mounts among philanthropists and leaders of the groups they fund. On Tuesday, the development director for an Israeli nonprofit with solid roots among American donors said two of his organization’s funders had just informed him that money they committed to give in the first quarter of the year would be pushed back to the fourth quarter.

Evolution Of The Feminist Seder

04/14/2000
Staff Writer
In Richardson, Texas, they call it “Miriam’s seder.” “Hers Seder” is the term of art in Pennsylvania, at the American Jewish Congress gatherings. And in a diverse cross-section of neighborhoods, towns and cities, from the semi-suburbia of Hollis Hills, Queens, to the flatlands of Canton, Ohio, to the East Bay of San Francisco, to the deep South of Birmingham, Ala., the event is known simply as a women’s seder.

‘If You Stream It, They Will Come’

09/15/2009
Staff Writer
Lisa Gilbert, a native of Cincinnati who now lives in Manhattan, listened to the rabbi’s sermon and the choir’s singing at her family’s Cincinnati congregation on the High Holy Days last year. From her New York apartment. Online. Gilbert, a 30-year-old research analyst, watched the live streaming Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services of Congregation Beth Adam, on the humanistic synagogue’s Web site, because she had attended several congregations after moving here and did not feel welcome or comfortable at any one of them.

Stream Of Criticism For Jewish Comic Larry David

11/03/2009

 Lenny Bruce cursed a blue streak. Don Rickles insulted anyone within hearing distance. Sacha Baron Cohen has raised embarrassment of the unsuspected — Jews and non-Jews alike — into an art form. And for Sarah Silverman, not even the memory of the Holocaust is sacred.

David in mid-stream during last week’s episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Beyond The Prom

06/26/2009
Staff Writer
Houston - The sanctuary-multiuse room of Congregation Beth El, a Reform synagogue in Sugar Land, a bedroom community near here, was converted one recent spring afternoon into a one-day-a-year use: an enormous dressing room. Amid racks holding more than 500 chic gowns, with bima and Israeli flag in the background, two dozen teenage girls tried on the dresses behind makeshift barricades, and browsed at tables piled with jewelry and other accessories. The fashion items, all donated, were for the high school seniors during the recent end-of-school-year prom season.

Sotomayor Gets Preliminary Thumbs Up

05/27/2009
Staff Writer
Sonia Sotomayor has ruled on only a limited number of cases directly involving the Jewish community or Jewish issues during her 17 years as a federal judge, but her record seems reassuring, according to legal experts and representatives of Jewish organizations. President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Sotomayor, from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Associate Justice David Souter, who is stepping down from the Supreme Court when its current session ends this summer.
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