In the Jewish-legislators-in-trouble department, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis) could face his stiffest challenge yet, if current polls are accurate.
According to a survey conducted for Wisconsin Public Radio, Feingold, who is in his third term, trails former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican who hasn't even announced his candidacy yet, by 12 points.
“March Madness” is much, much more than a basketball tournament. As Jewish students on campuses across the country were exhilarated – or disappointed -- by one of the most exciting NCAA college basketball post-seasons in recent memory, they’ve also been involved in exciting developments at home and abroad, from Passover celebrations to fighting an anti-Israel divestment vote at the UC-Berkeley campus.
Passover on Campus Celebrations
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor last week announced the creation of an institute for advanced Judaic studies, made possible by a $20 million gift from Samuel and Jean Frankel, two UM alumni. It is believed to be the largest gift ever earmarked for Jewish studies at any university, and the most sizeable donation ever given to UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.When it opens in the fall of 2007, the institute, to be housed in the existing Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, will bring together 14 international Jewish studies scholars.
Joshua Boettiger may be the only rabbinic student who can trace his roots to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The 31-year-old is a great-grandson of Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Depression and World War II leader alternately exalted and reviled by the American Jewish community.The elder son of an Episcopalian father –– the son of President Roosevelt’s daughter, Anna –– and a Jewish mother, Boettiger grew up attending church and synagogue. “I don’t know whether to be Jewish or Christian,” a 5-year-old Boettiger told his parents.
About 12 years ago, Joel Chasnoff had a personal crisis. Fresh out of the University of Pennsylvania, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. His father’s success as a doctor in Chicago made him insecure, feeling like he had too big a pair of shoes to fill. And his passions — acting, stand-up comedy — hardly promised a stable alternative. But Chasnoff did have a strong Jewish identity, the result of a day school education, and an especially romantic vision of Israelis.
1980 was a golden year for Jewish Republicans. That November Ronald Reagan won nearly 40 percent of the Jewish vote for the presidency, a modern record for the GOP and a mark that they have never come close to achieving since then.
It’s been so long since I celebrated the High Holidays as a layperson that I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like. Truth to tell, I miss the chance to have those precious days be cathartic for me personally, as opposed to being focused on making them cathartic for others. The pressure on rabbis and cantors to “be at their best” during this season is enormous, for all the obvious reasons. As my nephew would say, “it is what it is.”
Waking up as the tour bus crawled to a stop on the shoulder of an otherwise empty Israeli highway, I opened my eyes to see eight strangers piling their luggage into the bottom of our bus and climbing up the steps. Clad in identical olive-shade uniforms differentiated only by their multi-colored berets, they walked down the aisles among the 40 wide-eyed Americans, taking the empty seats we had left for them.