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Barack's Chanukah Gifts For Bibi

Chanukah came early for Bibi Netanyahu this year when Barack Obama gave him a very big gift he's always craved and the promise of another. 

Just before Bibi arrived for his first White House meeting since he launched his bungled attempt to block the Iran nuclear agreement, senior administration officials told reporters that the President was throwing in the towel on efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians for the remaining 14 months of Obama's term. 

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Menorahs

The White House is looking for a special menorah for this year's Hanukkah celebration hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Past menorahs have ranged from historical treasures to original art.  In 2012 it came from a synagogue damaged during Hurricane Sandy and the following year it came from a synagogue destroyed during the Holocaust.  Another that year was the "Statue of Liberty Menorah" from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

'Best Part Of Being Jewish'

Donald Trump has suggested customers should begin boycotting Starbucks because the company's traditional red holiday cups don't have any Christmassy decorations.

"Did you read about Starbucks?  No more Merry Christmas on Starbucks," the bloviating billionaire told a rally in Springfield, Illinois, this week. 

Three Ways Teachers Can Make Parents Their Partners

Editor's Note: Thanks to Lisa Friedman and Matan for sharing this blog, which originally appeared on the Matan web site.

In our Matan Institutes we work with Jewish Educators to guide them in including children of all abilities in Jewish education, offering concrete teaching tools for reaching every student and empowering them to make lasting change in their schools and communities. One of the things we discuss at length is the critical need for strong partnerships between parents and the school.

Educators and classroom teachers can often get “stuck” on the various ways that parents challenge them and they typically want specific pointers on how to handle difficult conversations with parents.

Parents As Our Partners. Courtesy Of Matan

Willy Loman’s Alter Heym

The first word in the opening scene has not yet been uttered and already you are transfixed.  The old salesman approaches the spare stage clutching two worn, oversized leather valises. At first you don’t notice him. No spotlight shines near him and he somehow seems invisible, a nobody. But there he stands, gathering up himself one more time. He winces, squints, opens and shut his eyes. Is he fending off a nightmare or trying to recapture a lost dream? 

Willy Loman is coming home.

Avi Hoffman as Willy Loman (foreground) and Adam Shapiro as Howard in “Death of a Salesman.” Ronald L. Glassman

Ruderman Inclusion Summit: "Including Humans In Human Activity"

More than 550 activists in the field of inclusion for people with disabilities from around the world came together for the Ruderman Family Foundation’s first-ever international Inclusion Summit, which took place in Boston on November 1st and 2nd.

Award-winning journalist John Hockenberry. Courtesy of Noam Galai

Senator Tom Harkin, Driving Force Behind The Americans With Disabilities Act, Receives Morton E. Ruderman Award

“We’ve come so far as a country since passage of the Americans with Disability Act. However, the work is far from over. Economic self-sufficiency, that's the bone in my throat. That's the thing that we just haven't really accomplished," former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat of Iowa, told over 500 leaders in disability inclusion Sunday night November 1st at the inaugural 2015 Ruderman Inclusion Summit.

At the Summit, the Foundation honored Senator Harkin with the Morton E. Ruderman Award for his lifelong dedication to disability inclusion, including his steadfast work on the historic ADA bill. As part of the award, a $100,000 donation will be made to the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Citizen Engagement at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa to help further tackle the most pressing issues facing those with disabilities.

Oy Vey, Send Money

Are you feeling lonely and neglected because nobody writes or calls? No one seems to care?  Do you stare at an empty email in-box as you sit around waiting for the phone to ring?

Well I have a simple solution to your problems: Write a check.

Incitement Works Both Ways

Palestinians keep accusing Israel of planning to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount by tearing down the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to make way for a Third Temple.

Preposterous, says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  He insists repeatedly and loudly that Israel always has and will continue to respect and protect the status quo on Mt. Moriah, including banning Jewish prayer.

So where do Palestinians get such dangerous ideas? 

Speaking Truth To Power Takes Guts

Benjamin Netanyahu returns to Washington on November 9 for the first time since his acrimonious campaign to defeat President Obama's signal foreign policy achievement, the Iran nuclear agreement. Unlike March, this time he has an invitation to the Oval Office.

Both men will be trying to bury the proverbial hatchet, at least publicly, but it will be mostly for show given the anger, frustration and distrust between them.

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