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Exit polls point to dramatic conservative surge

Looking at some of the early exit polls, there's a fascinating one by NPR.

According to the public radio folks, 41 percent of today's voters labeled themselves “conservative.”

Why is that important? It's up from 34 percent in 2008, 32 percent in 2006. That's a pretty dramatic shift, and points to how the final tallies are likely to go tonight.

It will be very interesting to see if we get some Jewish numbers on that question

More on Tuesday's election, the expected GOP wins and Obama Middle East policy

Since last week's story on the issue I've had a lot more conversations about the impact of tomorrow's election and likely GOP gains on the Obama administration's Middle East agenda. But talk doesn't necessarily lead to illumination.

Jewish hawks and doves are pretty much divided in parallel ways.

Jewish Innovation Not Confined To U.S.

 Conventional wisdom has it that young American Jews are leading the trend toward innovation in Jewish life through entrepreneurial start-ups. There is also the widespread belief that European Jewry is on its last legs, the victim of an aging and shrinking population, and the rise of anti-Semitism, primarily from Arab Muslim immigrants.

But a survey of new Jewish initiatives in Europe concludes that per capita, young Europeans are even more active than their American counterparts in these social, educational, cultural and historical ventures.

Help! I've Assimilated And I Can't Get Up!

Perhaps at no time more than Halloween am I struck by the huge chasm between Orthodox/traditional Conservative Jews and the rest of us.

Among most of my Jewish family and friends, there has never been even a question of whether or not to join other Americans in dressing up in costume, carving a jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treating. Halloween is a fun holiday and of course we partake.

Now I know Where the Boys Are

I couldn’t believe my four eyes.

Which is another way of saying, there were so many men at this rooftop party in Tel Aviv – So many single men! So many straight, single men! So many non-religious, straight, single men! – that I nearly passed out from the shock of it all!

'Pirate Jenny' On Election Day

 

The Jewish Week ran a story last week by a J Street college girl, "Exclude Me At Your Own Peril" (Oct. 26) in which the Columbia student complained that she was made to feel like "a stranger" in her synagogue because -- at a political event, not prayer services -- representatives of the left-wing J Street were met by "hisses" and boos.

What Jon Stewart's "Restore Sanity" rally tells us about liberals

I was trying to figure out exactly why Jon Stewart's “Restore Sanity / Keep Fear Alive” rally in Washington on Saturday made me so uneasy, and then the Daily Beast's Peter Beinart neatly put his finger on it.

On one hand, the good spirits and humor of the rally – look at sideshows to get a good chuckle – were a welcome balm after months of vicious attack ads and years of talk-show venom, most of it coming from an increasingly extreme right.

A most un-illuminating election

Question: what have the congressional election campaigns told us about the state of the debate over U.S. Middle East policy?

Answer: Nothing good.

The fierce, bitter midterm campaigns have demonstrated once again that a small but vocal minority in the Jewish community thinks only of partisan concerns – partisan support for a political faction in Israel, or for the Republican party in this country – and not much about the need to strengthen U.S.-Israel ties or to ensure support for Israel is a bi-partisan affair, not just another partisan wedge issue.

Back in the Driver's Seat, Again!

“How are you, Avigail?” my driving teacher asked, full of good cheer.

“Tired!” I said, grumpily.

And why shouldn’t I be? It was 8:30 pm after all, the time of evening that any decent person would be home, having a lie down after a long day at work.

Can I Interest You In Chanukah (Surveys)?

Lamenting the increasingly premature arrival of all-things-Christmas is a favorite American (especially American Jewish) pastime.

However, this year, with the first night of Chanukah on Wednesday, Dec. 1 (ack — just four and a half weeks away!) we Jews can be credited with ushering in the holiday season early this year.

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