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Jews everywhere, myself included, have been horrified to see the beginnings of a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, which threatens to shatter families and communities and send people back to dangerous circumstances they fled.
Passover in America is widely reported to be the most-celebrated Jewish holiday of them all. More American Jews will have attended Passover seders this week than will attend High Holiday services this fall. No doubt this is due, at least in part, to homemade matzah ball soup, various iterations of the recipes for sweet charoset, and a time for family and friends to get together – a time to catch up on what everyone has done over the past year.
In another sign that the Trump administration is moving toward greater stability and more traditional governance, the president last week signed an executive order removing White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council. Bannon’s appointment to the council and to its principals committee was roundly criticized as the infiltration of a radical nationalist political operative into the national security system – a toxic mixture. His removal solved that problem, and is seen as a sign of the growing influence of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army three-star general.
Arizonans should be proud of their U.S. representatives and senators.
We were as surprised as anyone else by the arrest of a suspect in the bomb threats against JCCs and other Jewish institutions in the United States and abroad, even as we counseled three weeks ago that “at least until we get a better idea of who did what, and why, we need to be careful not to impugn one political side or the other for incubating the perpetrators.”
David Friedman was confirmed last week by the U.S. Senate as America’s ambassador to Israel. But that was only after a highly contentious debate and, unfortunately, only because there is a Republican majority in the Senate.
In selling the new administration’s astonishingly thin budget proposal last week, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney said that it “represents a president who is beholden to nobody but the voters.” “He is following through on his promises,” Mulvaney went on. “We did not consult with special interests on how to write this budget. We did not consult with lobbyists on how to write this budget. The president’s team wrote this budget, and that’s what you’ll see in the numbers.”
Earlier this month, 85 students from Arizona’s universities traveled to Washington, D.C., for J Street’s National Conference. Last month, President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally met for the first time in Washington. Those of us who long for peace and are committed to Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state have been troubled by the Trump administration’s ambivalence about some of the most fundamental issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and their first public appearance together did not assuage our concerns.
The Israel Video Network has announced the winner of the "Inspired by Israel" contest sponsored by The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.
The “Inspired by Israel” video contest has started its 10-day period of online voting to determine which 10 video entrants will move on to the final phase of the contest and be evaluated by an elite panel of judges.
Between the challah bake, the Shabbat Project and conferences in Washington, D.C., it's been a busy week.