Religious Action Center Welcomes New Leader Washington confab highlights Reform movement’s activism

Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rabbi David Saperstein (left), Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs (center) and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner. (Photo Pat Jarrett)

Though the Reform movement’s social action arm has a new leader, the goals of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism remain the same. Close to 400 clergy and Reform movement activists packed the DoubleTree hotel in Arlington, Va., April 26 during the RAC’s three-day Consultation on Conscience to thank Rabbi David Saperstein for his… Read More

Maintaining the Moral Center State Sen. Raskin running for Congress

State Sen. Jamie Raskin is among a field of Democrats seeking to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is running for the U.S. Senate. (Provided)

At his campaign kick-off, Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin  declared that his “ambition is not to be in the political center.” “My ambition,” said the congressional candidate, “is to be in the moral center.” It’s a refrain that Raskin, who is Jewish and who is seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen… Read More

Jewish Community Protests, Marches, Prays

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About 100 members of the Baltimore Jewish community marched and rallied in Baltimore City on Friday afternoon. Among the group was about a dozen rabbis from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.-area synagogues. The group, led by Jews United for Justice, merged with a march led by Casa de Maryland, who held a rally outside of City… Read More

Taking a Stand

Ethiopian-Israeli Danny Ayanou (center) meets with students during a 
Confronting Apartheid event at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

As anti-Israel rhetoric heats up on college campuses throughout the world, a cadre of young people at Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya has dedicated themselves to countering this disturbing trend. Participants in “Israel at Heart,” IDC’s leadership program for students from the Ethiopian-Israeli community, feel they are in a unique position to counter the charge… Read More

Protests Remain Peaceful on Wednesday

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A crowd of hundreds marched from Baltimore’s Penn Station to City Hall and back Wednesday evening, waving signs and shouting chants of “No justice, no peace. No racist police.” National Guard troops, Maryland State Police and Baltimore City Police stood behind barricades in front of City Hall and helped direct march and vehicular traffic. While… Read More

Jackpot!

From left: Alfred Moses, a former ambassador to Romania, and Robert and Bill Gottesman, of the Gottesman Fund, are applauded as Jewish Primary Day School officials announce that their gifts from Moses and The Gottesman Fund will enable Washington’s only Jewish day school to add a middle school. (Provided)

With a total of $21 million in gifts, the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital will finally get the middle school its parents have always wanted. “This is among the largest gifts to a Jewish Day School in the country,” said Adina Kanefield, director of institutional advancement at JPDS. The only Jewish day… Read More

The Jewish Community and Freddie Gray Protests

Thousands of people chanted and waved signs as they marched from West Baltimore toward City Hall Saturday afternoon, in a mostly peaceful demonstration to protest the alleged mistreatment and death of Freddie Gray and demand increased police accountability. Gray, 25, was arrested by Baltimore police on April 12, and sustained severe injuries of unknown origin… Read More

Lighting the Way

In its first three days, the crowdsourced fundraising campaign for the Kosher Switch nearly met its $50,000 goal.

NEW YORK — It promises a revolutionary innovation that could transform Jewish Sabbath observance. By changing the way a light switch works, the patented Kosher Switch offers a novel — and, its backers say, kosher — way to turn light switches (and, perhaps, other electrical appliances) on and off during Shabbat, circumventing one of the… Read More

Sense of Urgency

FBI Director James Comey (Photo United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Addressing the guests of the United States Holocaust Mem-orial Museum’s 2015 National Tribute dinner, keynote speaker FBI Director James Comey called the Holocaust the most significant event in human history. “It is of course significant because it was the most horrific display in the world of inhumanity,” Comey told the 1,000 donors, dignitaries and survivors… Read More

Taking on the ‘Israel Lobby’

Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton University, accuses the United Nations of being biased against the Palestinians. (National Press Club)

A daylong seminar — “The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the U.S.? Is It Good for Israel?” — was convened last Friday to discuss the so-called Jewish lobby’s power to influence politicians on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration. Such perspectives are rarely heard, but a safe space was provided by the National Press… Read More