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Passover ... And Easter

The seder was a big success.

Our relatives liked our Haggadah, with many reporting it was more meaningful and easier to understand than the tattered version we’d been using for years. And no one complained about the length (which, really, wasn’t all that long).

An "imposed" settlement?

 Israeli newspapers are seething with rumors of an likely attempt by the Obama administration to “impose” a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That seems unlikely to me, if for no other reason than you can't very well impose a two-state solution when there are, in fact, three entities that are part of this equation, and one of them – Hamas – has no interest in anything resembling peace.

A Page From The Song Of Songs

On this, the Shabbos of the Song of Songs, take a look "A Page From The Song of Songs" by Sholom Aleichem. It is sometimes painted as a "children's story" but in reality it is the first of four stories -- taking place on a Pesach, a Shavuous, and a Pesach and Shevuous many years later -- culminating in an excrutiating romantic misunderstanding between two young adults that can break the hearts of old men and women long past their childhoods.

Homemade Haggadah

 Monday night we attended a very informal seder in the neighborhood in which most of the families were intermarried and/or the children of intermarriage. I was impressed with the Haggadah, “The 30-Minute Seder,” which cleverly packs in all the key seder components, including the third and fourth cups and opening the door for Elijah, BEFORE the meal.

ADL applauds repeal of religious garb ban in Oregon schools

This just in: the ADL is applauding the repeal of an Oregon law barring teachers from wearing religious garb in public school classrooms.

That puts Oregon in line with most other states, which do not prohibit teachers from wearing head scarves, turbans, religious-themed T-shirts - or kippot.

ADL regional director Hilary Bernstein had this to say:

Table For One

Years ago - and I'm not kidding when I say years ago - there was this movie playing in the theaters called, "Nobody Loves Me."  I was living in New York at the time and went with a girlfriend to see it.

"One for Nobody Loves Me," I said in full volume to the ticket lady. You can imagine the jokes that ensued.

But I am reminded of it every evening when I cook dinner. Because there is nothing sadder than eating alone.

Drill, Baby, Drill: The (barely audible) Jewish response

The Reform movement, which really wants to like President Barack Obama even while some other Jewish segments bash him because of the diplomatic chill with Israel, isn't exactly happy with his newly announced energy policies, which some environmentalists say could turn East Coast beaches into a gooey mess and actually forestall genuine energy independence.

AIPAC letter reveals: Obama Israel policies making House members nervous

 So AIPAC has convinced some 327 members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter essentially telling the Obama administration to keep its criticisms of the Israeli government private.

Mazel tov; that's an impressive achievement for the pro-Israel lobby group, although it probably didn't take much arm twisting; there's a lot of unease on Capitol Hill about where this administration's Mideast policy is headed.

Ed Koch's 5 Top Current Movies

Okay, everybody knows Ed Koch is a former New York mayor and a major player in Jewish politics. In 2008 he campaigned aggressively for Democratic nominee Barack Obama; these days he's giving President Obama heartburn by leading the charge against his current Middle East policies.

But Ed Koch is also a film buff and a keen-eyed critic, as recipients of his movie review emails know.

Mr. Koch was kind enough to share his top movie picks of the past 12 months with the Jewish Week:

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