AIPAC policy conferences – the annual pro-Israel extravaganzas meant to spotlight the power of the pro-Israel lobby group – are always the most interesting in presidential election years, or when they're a big fight brewing over U.S. foreign policy.
Some things in life are predictable – like the fact that every time a top U.S. official travels to Israel, the government in Jerusalem will announce some decision on settlement construction or East Jerusalem housing that angers the visiting Americans.
It's a strange thing about some liberal rabbis. They knock the concept of "Das Torah" (the unilateral and unquestioned right of sages to guide their community based upon their mastery of Torah). But then, when a rabbi such as Avi Weiss want to create a woman rabbi, he acts unilaterally, without respecting any communal consensus, based upon what he says is his own mastery and understanding of Torah. In other words, his Das Torah.
In the stories-that-never-die department, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the stewardship of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), has passed a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
In more than two decades of covering the Jewish scene in Washington, I've found this to be one of the most durable stories, returning every few years with different actors but much the same script, with Jewish groups playing bit parts, although some of the main players think they should be stars.
JTA’s Ron Kampeas has an excellent piece out today on the effect of social media on organized Jewish communal life as personified by one William Daroff, the Washington director of Jewish Federations of North America, who is the one person I know that probably pushes up against Twitter’s maximum hourly output.
Over at the Jerusalem Post, blogger Shmuel Rosner has a provocative analysis of last week's Gallup Poll, which shows that support for Israel is at a 19 year high among the American public – but which also a widening gap between Democrats and Republicans on the
The AP reported today that the Obama administration is unhappy about Israel's designation of the Cave of the Patriarchs and the tomb of Rachel as “national heritage sites,” which comes amid a “flurry” of U.S. diplomatic activity in the region.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.