Francis and Kim

"Pope Francis - Caricature" by DonkeyHotey via Flickr [CC BY-SA 3.0]

I was not planning to write about the visit of the Bishop of Rome, whom I unaffectionately refer to as Pope Fluffy.But that was before I read about his meeting with Kim Davis.Yesterday’s edition of the Times reported that Fluffy was asked what he thought about government employees who refuse to do their jobs: Asked about government employees who refused to discharge their duties as an act of religious conscience, including refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, Francis did n … [Read more...]

Now ALL the Jews Hate Ann Coulter!

By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

All the Jews are up in arms about Ann Coulter.Liberal Jews, like liberal everyone-elses, have been pointing out for years that this woman is a rabid racist. Her latest book alone should be enough to demonstrate that.But now all the Republican Jews are whining about her, too. They've suddenly discovered that she’s just as much a Jew-hater as a hater of all people who are not white northern Europeans.Here’s the odd thing. Taken as a whole, what Coulter tweeted was not the most inac … [Read more...]

Christian-Jewish Relations in 5776

Jews and Christians disputing scripture (the Jews are wearing the poiny hats) in a 15th c. Dutch woodcut.

Let's talk about the state of "Christian-Jewish" relations!For most of the past 2,000 years, our relations consisted of Christians alternatively killing and forcibly converting (and killing and forcibly converting and exiling) the Jews.Since the rise of the state of Israel, all kinds of power dynamics have changed and today the word “complicated” hardly begins to describe it. So as we begin the new year of 5776, let's take a look at how representatives of two of the world's most int … [Read more...]

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 (], 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 (], 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

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 9.35.40 AM

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


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


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...]