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Cruz And 'New York Values'

What did Ted Cruz really mean when he said Donald Trump represents "New York values?"

On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, where the evangelical vote is critical for Republicans and the Texas senator and New York real estate mogul are in a virtual dead heat, they've broken their bromance and begun trashing each other.

Trump has polished up his birther credentials and changed targets from Barack Obama to the Canadian-born Cruz. 

2015 National Jewish Book Awards Announced

Jewish Week theatre critic Ted Merwin was named winner of the 2015 Jewish Book Award in the category of  Education and Jewish Identity for  “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli,” a well–researched and lively work of cultural history.

Courtesy NYU Press

Shir Inclusion: No Madness Involved

Michael’s life took a turn for the better when he became a volunteer at Melbourne’s first ever Jewish Music Festival, Shir Madness. After a phone interview he was allocated to one of the most senior volunteer roles of venue manager. He attended the training and spent some time clarifying details of the task at the volunteer briefing. He did a really great job on that day. Unbeknown to us, Michael had spent many years at a special school and had never before in his life been given a position of responsibility.

Some of the Shir Madness Mensches. Courtesy of Melinda Jones

Jewish Museums Leave Nostalgia In The Dust

A lively, sometimes contentious symposium at the Center for Jewish History on Sunday emphatically showed that Jewish museums in Central and Eastern Europe have reached a state of fruition worthy of celebration and vigilance. The symposium celebrated a new double issue of East European Jewish Affairs. Its participants threw themselves into exploring the move of Jewish museums “away from nostalgia and toward … a new self-definition,” as Judith Siegel, director of academic and public programming at the CJH put it.

David Shneer, Olga Gershenson, Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Anna Manchin and Ruth Ellen Gruber

What Hillary Clinton's Autism Initiative Really Means

On Jan. 5, Hillary Clinton revealed an autism initiative that is fairly comprehensive in scope. It includes programs tailored towards all age groups, from early diagnosis in toddlers (particularly those in underserved communities), to educational support and anti-bullying strategies for students, to increased housing and employment options for adults.

More impressively, Clinton navigated the political minefield that is the autism community fairly successfully.

The author with her son. Courtesy of Amy Lutz

For The Time Being

So what do we mean when we talk about Jewish time? Always late by ten minutes? Days divided by requisite prayer services, weeks punctuated with the slowing down of Shabbat, years marked by yahrtzeits? Or is Jewish time always set in different time zones, as the Jewish people are dispersed throughout the world?  Or, as my grandmother would ask, Are you keeping time with anyone? To her, time meant sharing hours and it meant being together, in sync.

Installation view of "Using Walls, Floors and Ceilings: Valeska Soares." The Jewish Museum, NY. David Heald.

2015 Z"L

It was a year that saw historic advances in gay rights, freedom for a long-serving Israeli spy, the overthrow of a Speaker of the House, Israeli lawmakers felled by charges of sexual harassment, a PM on his way to jail for corruption and a major political defeat for AIPAC and Bibi Netanyahu.

Straight Talk From An Employer About Mental Disability

How can you accommodate what you don’t see? Just because a disability isn’t always visual doesn’t mean it should be ignored. In fact, in our experience, it’s a time for an employer, whether large or small, to shine. We frequently hear that hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. It’s common to think of employees with disabilities as individuals who are in a wheelchair or blind. But what happens when the disability isn’t visible?

It’s not obviously apparent when you hire someone that they have a hidden or mental disability. There’s no label that says "HELLO! I’m a qualified employee who is prone to panic attacks." It’d be illegal if there was. It’s a personal choice for that employee to disclose their disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects that right.

However, we’ve seen that our employees like to talk about their individual disability in a safe space.

Accessibility Partners Employees. Courtesy of Jennifer Kline Vallina Photography

Deri Returns To Scene Of The Crime

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled he plans to name as his next interior minister a convicted felon who went to prison for bribery and corruption the last time he held that job.

Glowing Sands

When I heard Ted Cruz boast that that he'll "carpet bomb [ISIS] into oblivion" to see if "sand can glow in the dark," and Donald Trump bloviate about how he plans to "bomb the shit" out of ISIS, I was taken back to January 20, 1981.

I'd taken my family to the Mall to watch the Inauguration of Ronald Reagan.  He wasn't going to be another wimp like Jimmy Carter; no, he would get tough with America's enemies, starting with Iran, which had held 52 American diplomats and other citizens hostage for 444 days.

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