Focus on Middle East at JCPA

There were two Steve Bannons at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs gathering in Washington this week. At one session, the presidential adviser was the man seeking the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” as Bannon put it last week. At a session an hour later, Bannon was a man of the people who “has been… Read More

Sanders Brings Down the House at J Street 'Occupation runs counter to fundamental American values'

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) received a hero’s welcome at the J Street conference in Washington today for a speech that suggested that the way forward for the left is to double down on progressive values. Toward the end of a wide-ranging address that touched on President Donald Trump, the Iraq War and climate change,… Read More

J Street in the Age of Trump

The 3,500 Jews from across North America who descended on Washington last weekend for J Street’s annual policy conference arrived to tell a new president and Congress that the prospect of a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians should not be abandoned. “Political muscle” was the phrase used by J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami… Read More

Owings Mills JCC, Md. Day Schools Receive Non-Credible Bomb Threats

The Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC, along with 22 other JCCs and eight Jewish day schools in 16 states, received a bomb threat on Monday, which proved to be “noncredible.” The Owings Mills JCC received the phone threat around 10 a.m., and after consultation and an extensive sweep of the building, it was determined that an… Read More

Vandalism at Philadelphia Jewish Cemetery Stirs Fears of Anti-Semitism

Less than a week after vandals desecrated a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, knocking over 154 headstones and causing considerable damage, the same thing has happened in Philadelphia. Early Sunday, reports surfaced that more than 100 headstones had been overturned at Mount Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section in Northeast Philadelphia. Police were dispatched to… Read More

Well-Connected Day School Teacher Suspected of Sexual Abuse in Pittsburgh

After a lengthy investigation, a former teacher at Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh, an important institution in the Chabad-Lubavitch educational system, is a suspect in several alleged incidents of child sexual abuse. According to police, Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, who is well connected in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community and is the son of an influential Minnesota-based rabbi,… Read More

Pew: Jews are Best-Liked Religious Group in America

Jews are the most warmly regarded religious group in America, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. It was the second time in a row that Jews topped the survey, in which respondents rate how they feel about various religious groups on a “feeling thermometer.” On the scale of 1 to 100,… Read More

Top Chabad Court: D.C. is Shemtov’s Exclusive Domain

The Central Committee of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbis has declared that the movement’s activities in Washington fall entirely under the authority of Rabbi Levi Shemtov, settling a longstanding feud between the District of Columbia rabbi and Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, who oversees Chabad programs in Maryland. In its decision, the three-person beit din, or rabbinical court, ruled completely… Read More

The Great Divide Love him or hate him, Trump has put his presidency on the firing line

President Donald Trump’s first three weeks in office is all the confirmation Bernie Salganik needed to reinforce that he voted for the right candidate. Salganik said it initially took some time for him to get behind Trump. But Salganik, a registered Republican who refers to himself as an “independent,” said he was drawn to Trump… Read More

Hopkins President Shares Family Refugee Story in Letter Opposing Immigration Ban

The executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 27, which implemented a 120-day travel ban from seven majority Muslim countries, sparked numerous protests (including at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport) and legal challenges. One such challenge resulted in a nationwide hold on the ban by a federal judge last week. The 9th Circuit… Read More