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Sen. Byrd dies: no friend of the pro-Israel lobby, but a 'venerable institution'

 Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) has died at the age of 92 in a Washington-area hospital.

Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who became a fierce advocate for West Virginia, one of the Senate's most liberal members and a vehement opponent of the Iraq war, was not among the 95 best friends of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. Senate.

But that didn't stop him from winning the respect of colleagues in both parties who recognized his unmatched understanding of the legislative process and his ability to reach out to political adversaries.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren - U.S. and Israel drifting apart?

What to make out of yesterday's report in Ha'aretz that Amb. Michael Oren, meeting with Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, said the U.S. and Israel are in a “tectonic rift” and drifting apart?

Goodbye Dates! Shalom Sabbatical!

“You need to take a break,” a friend tells me.

Just three weeks, she says. Believe her, I will feel better.

“You will be able to re-charge a bit so that when you are ready to get back into it, you will not feel so despondent,” is her reasoning.

But I seem to be incapable of actually taking the dating Sabbatical I talk so much about.

Jerry Seinfeld calls Lady Gaga "a jerk," Sarah Silverman & Scarlett Johannson: healthy lunches, Gwyneth Paltrow eats fried food

-Following fellow Jewish actress Scarlett Johannson, comedienne Sarah Silverman is standing up for a national plan for healthy school lunches at public schools: the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010

-Not all celebrities stick to a lettuce and celery diet -- Jewish actress Gwyneth Paltrow enjoys cooking with a deep fryer

Jewish Democrats blast Palin, so what else is new?

I generally stay out of the 'hit-Sarah-Palin-for-the-stupid-things-she-says thing because ...well, it's just boring, there's so many of them.

And stories about the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) criticizing Republicans are real yawners. It's their job, after all.

Have I Got a Guy for You (Not!)

“I met a guy I think you’d like.”

Words every single gal likes to hear, right?

But what if after these words are uttered, and you heartily agree to being introduced to said perfect gentlemen, you then you sit back and ...wait.

And wait some more.

I mean, how many times can you remind someone that they were the one who promised to set you up in the first place without looking like a total pathetic loser? Or worse, like you’re desperate?

Boston Globe Corrects Its Coverage Of Brandeis-Oren Story

This is the Globe's coverage of Ambassador Michael Oren's commencement address at Brandeis University (May 23). The Globe now has added a correction and editor's note:

Jewish groups praise Iran sanctions passage, dovish groups split

My email inbox today has been chock full of statements from Jewish organizations and Capitol Hill politicians lauding final passage of the new, tougher Iran sanctions bill, and groups like AIPAC deserve a pat on the back for getting the legislation through a largely gridlocked Congress.

This from AIPAC:

Will Women-Only Torah Study Soon Become Old-School?

The most remarkable aspect of the first full-time co-ed learning program just ending at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, a pioneer in advanced Torah study for women, is how unremarkable it felt.

I visited the experimental program for college and graduate students spending the month of June in a “student immersion program” that combined Talmud and philosophy in examining “the relationship between spirituality and community involvement and action,” according to the program description.

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