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Time For GOP Leaders To Lead

It's time for Republican leaders to do more than simply shake their heads and cluck their tongues over Donald Trump's bigoted attacks on a federal judge because of his ethnic heritage.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) today said Trump's behavior is "the textbook definition of racist comments" and should be "absolutely disavowed."

He's right.  So what's he going to do about it?

Other leaders have made similar statements, but Trump responded by doubling down in his attacks on the judge.

Newt Nyet For VP?

If anyone has been campaigning to be Donald Trump's running mate it is Newt Gingrich.  He even had backing from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who had just pledged a reported $100 million to help Trump's campaign and get a high level job for the former speaker of the House. 

But that all apparently came crashing down on Sunday when Gingrich had the audacity to criticize the Donald's racist attacks on a federal judge hearing a case involving one of Trump's many failed enterprises.

Friendship At Auschwitz

A birthday card made in the Third Reich’s most notorious concentration camp? Seems impossible, doesn’t it?

Courtesy Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster

Another missed opportunity

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blew it. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed him a major political victory on a platter and Abbas dropped it.

In his zeal to block a French-led effort to convene an international Middle East peace conference, Netanyahu told his French counterpart that such a meeting would be useless, but he's ready to "fly to Paris tomorrow" for one-on-one negotiations with the Palestinian leader.

Two School Solutions For Jewish Children With Disabilities

If you are the parent of a Jewish child with disabilities, you have already learned that public schools “magically” welcome, include and teach children with disabilities very well. Indeed, where I live around the nation’s capital in Maryland, there are some of the best public school programs for children with disabilities in the country. Moreover, they are doing it with expert skills for tens of thousands of children at no cost (other than taxes) to families.

Take A Deeper Look: Supporting All Families

When a child has a medical problem, when a child is in the hospital, we get it.  As family, friends, and neighbors, we understand the emotional and physical strain on the child and his or her family.

Whether we call, send texts, arrange for meals, run errands, drive carpools, or simply check in to offer support, we know we need to do something. We often feel awkward or guilty if we don’t at least offer to help.

The Steinart family. Courtesy of Michelle Steinhart

The Kindness Of Strangers And The Strangeness Of Family

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Rabbi Heschel’s famous saying that when he was younger, he admired people who were clever, but as he grew older, he admired people who were kind.  There is genius in that, in recognizing that kindness is key, to everything.  And most especially when there’s a disabled child in the mix. 

Nina Moglinik

Hatch's Senior Moment

Sen. Oren Hatch wrote in an article in a newspaper in his home state of Utah that he left a meeting with Judge Merrick Garland convinced that nothing happened in the session to change his opposition to President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

There was just one problem with that conclusion. The 82-year-old senior Senate Republican had not yet even met with the Jewish nominee to the high court. 

After 40 years in the Senate Hatch is starting to remember things that happened tomorrow.   Maybe he's been there too long.

Tracking Bezalel In Chelsea

Last Wednesday morning, seven well-heeled, middle-aged ladies ambled around Chelsea, making stops at art galleries. The group, which was organized by the American fundraising arm of Bezalel, sought to view pieces by graduates of the prestigious Jerusalem art school. Some of the women were collectors, others simply interested.

Guy Yannai. Light Bulb, 2015, Oil on linen. Courtesy Ameringer McEnery Yohe

Seeing The Person, Not The Disability

Most weekends, my thirteen-year-old son George and I go food shopping together. He likes to push the cart, pick out his favorite treats and help me count out pieces of fruit and drop them into bags. He’s also very fast and organized at unpacking our grocery cart.

The author's son George helping unpack groceries. Courtesy of Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
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