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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.
Almost daily accounts of vandalized cemeteries, spray-painted swastikas and bomb threats to JCCs and other Jewish agencies have naturally evoked considerable alarm.
Recently, a part of the Orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles was struck by a serious outbreak of measlesdue to the actions of some parents choosing to forgo vaccinating their children. So far,20 people have been infectedby the disease. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, none of these families were able to provide concrete proof that their children had been vaccinated. Not only was this choice counter to the interest of their children, it was a flagrant violation of the law (California lifted religious exemptions from vaccinations six months ago).
Whatever the motivation of the Obama administration, the events of the waning days of last year mark a dramatic low point in U.S.-Israel relations. The Kerry speech has commanded the most recent attention, but the disastrous decision to abstain on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2443 is more likely to be recorded as a milestone that doomed the peace process. It is a moment that could trigger any number of highly destructive consequences for Israel and the two-state solution that the administration claims to champion.
The Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association and Generations After has issued the following statement:
Chairing the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s campaign reminds me daily of the mitzvot that our donors do by allowing our Jewish family around the world to be strong, resilient and independent. I see this in our teens, young adults and seniors here in Phoenix, Paris and Israel.
The New Israel Fund (NIF) recently received a grant to “research and report on anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses.” On the surface, this appears to be a welcome development – a progressive group being mobilized to confront a major social malady plaguing institutions of higher education.
Recently my wife, Lynda, and I were privileged to participate in a World ORT mission to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. This opportunity to experience the work of this wonderful organization and its valuable educational network was as energizing as it was concerning in regards to the sustainability of Jewish life in Russia.
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.
Shabbat in Jerusalem was like no Shabbat I have ever experienced.