J Street U Picks Muslim Leader, Jews Freak Out

Amna Farooqi address J Street U Conference

The new president of the campus arm of the liberal Zionist organization J Street was elected last week at the J Street U summer leadership conference.After taking a class at the University of Maryland, where she is a senior, she “fell in love with Zionism,” noting that Zionism is about taking ownership over the story of one’s people.” She also spent a semester at Hebrew University in Jerusalem to get a better idea of what Israel was all about.Could there be anything more wonderful for a g … [Read more...]

340 Rabbis Come out in Support of Iran Deal

Iran talks

September is a busy month for the Jews this year. As is usually usual, the “high” holidays fall in the middle of the month. As is most definitely unusual, so does the vote in Congress about a certain nuclear arms deal with Iran.I imagine that many rabbis will use the first occasion to comment on the second. It’s harder to gauge where American rabbis stand (outside of the Orthodox) on this issue than where American Jewry does (see my previous post).I have joined 339 other American rabbis w … [Read more...]

Iran Deal: Leaders Out of Step with American Jewry

By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As I wrap up my vacation, it’s time to return to blogging. A few weeks ago I received an email message from the local Detroit Jewish Federation announcing that it has decided to explicitly oppose the Iran nuclear deal. I thought this would be an anomaly. I predicted that only a small number of Jewish federations would take a position while the vast majority would exercise better judgment by facilitating debate while remaining neutral. I was wrong. Many others have done the same, including the fe … [Read more...]

Bring on the Disparagement

By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws'08 (21)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s so much more enjoyable watching the right wing foam at the mouth from this side of the historic decision on same-sex marriage. Part of this is just the smug satisfaction that the good guys won. But there’s something else going on, too. It bubbles up in many of their stuttering reactions and expressions of disbelief. I’m referring to their fear that, as opponents of same-sex marriage, they will now be looked down upon.I noted this in my previous post about Jewish reactions to the decis … [Read more...]

Jewish Reaction to Gay Marriage Decision

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So how has the Jewish community responded to the marriage equality decision?My own Facebook page demonstrates 100% approval. But that’s not really so scientific. Nevertheless, it does reflect the actual American Jewish consensus. The last poll of the community indicated that 83% supported marriage equality.The Forward provided a breakdown of Jewish celebrities. We Jews do love bragging about our celebrities. The 83% support of American Jewry combined with Hollywood’s nearly 100% approval … [Read more...]

Personal Reflections on a Great Day

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I grew up in Miami in the 1970s.Those were the years when a woman named Anita Bryant led an attack on gay rights in my hometown.Back then homophobic bigots like her were not condemned. Civic leaders, respected broadcasters, clergy from liberal denominations all heeded her cry to “save the children.”I was one of those children. She didn’t save me.Instead, what she and the narrow-minded, ignorant and unthinking people who followed her did was to consign me and others like me to an a … [Read more...]

Terrorist’s Heroes Contributed to GOP Candidates

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress

In his racist manifesto, terrorist and murderer Dylan Roof allegedly cites the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) as an inspiration for his views. Now there are reports coming out that Earl P. Holt III, one of the leaders of CofCC, has donated generously to the campaigns of several Republican presidential candidates. From the Guardian: Earl Holt has given $65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years while inflammatory remarks – including that black people were “the laziest, stu … [Read more...]

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Allies

By Pete Souza (White House (P032013PS-0320)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

President Obama gave a pretty important interview last week to a major news channel. You probably didn’t hear about it because the interview was with Israel’s Channel 2 News. More on this below. Meanwhile, this week the Treasury Secretary of the United State, an Orthodox Jew named Jack Lew, was booed and jeered and heckled by attendees at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York. This happened when he told the audience that the president remains enormously committed to the security of Is … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Dear My Magical Body

It’s just over a week since Todd Akin presented his surprising scientific findings about rape and pregnancy.  This was the response of one young woman I know....  It’s not what I typically publish.  It’s better. … [Read more...]

Republican Roundup: Santorum, Kennedy, Romney & Posthumous Conversions

J.J. Goldberg, frequently one of the most sane voices in American Jewish journalism, has a very interesting post about Santorum and his negative effect on the Republican brand name.  Basically a historical review of Jewish support for Democrats, Goldberg points out that, while never a majority, Jewish support for Republicans has seen better days and that a strong showing for Santorum will cause further alienation.  I think he’s right about that.  Santorum’s comments about wanting to “throw up” wh … [Read more...]


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