Addressing Racial Bias

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In Ferguson, Mo., and again in Staten Island, N.Y., the widely reported decisions by grand juries not to indict white police officers accused of killing unarmed black men has brought protesters into the streets. The Jewish community, while not silent on the decisions, has been spotty in its response, perhaps reflecting the view that as… Read More

A Bad Bill for the Jewish State

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In what has largely been seen as a political move by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved a controversial bill that would declare Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people. Such legislation, coming at this time, is not in Israel’s best interests. Sunday’s vote was the result of heated negotiations… Read More

Obama Goes It Alone

President Barack Obama’s declaration that he will enact immigration reform by executive order has generated much comment, including near universal approval from Jewish groups. According to the administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill, the president made his move because the House of Representatives has refused to take up immigration reform, specifically the version of a… Read More

Wealth Versus Democracy

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In the world of politics and diplomacy, we are accustomed to understatement and a fair degree of obfuscation in much of the public discourse that unfolds around us. So when someone says what’s really on their mind, and does so in a direct and unvarnished fashion, it gets our attention. That is so particularly when… Read More

Let School System Do Its Homework

Montgomery County’s Board of Education was not being a Grinch when it removed the names of religious holidays from the school calendar and replaced them with secular names such as “winter break.” The board vote drew national attention and became an instant cause for extremists, hatemongers and conspiracy theorists. But with its vote, the board… Read More

Working with Governor-Elect Hogan

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Maryland’s Republican governor-elect, Larry Hogan, sailed to his historic victory Nov. 4 on the tide of a poorly run campaign by his Democratic challenger, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, and fatigue after eight years of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley. Yet, little is known about Hogan, other than that he is pro-business, that he wants to cut… Read More

The Mighty Dollar at Brookings

Martin Indyk.
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In September, news that Martin Indyk, a director of the prestigious Brookings Institution, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and U.S. Mideast peace negotiator, had accepted a $14.8 million gift from Qatar on behalf of Brookings raised the question of foreign-influence peddling in Washington. At the time, critics of the gift pointed out that Qatar funds… Read More

Jewish Community Recharger

On Sunday, close to 3,000 Jewish professionals and lay leaders will gather at the National Harbor on the Potomac River to discuss Jewish issues, to network with other active Jews and to learn how to be more effective community leaders. The three-day General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, billed as a retreat… Read More

Conversions and Politics

Immediately after Rabbi Barry Freundel of Kesher Israel Congregation was arrested and charged with placing hidden cameras in the changing room of the ritual bath adjacent to his synagogue, the question arose whether the conversions he oversaw over many years were still valid. The response from the Rabbinical Council of America, on which Freundel served,… Read More

For Maryland, Brown and Frosh

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In the races for the top two state positions on Tuesday, Brian Frosh for attorney general and Anthony Brown for governor, both Democrats, are more experienced and more in tune with mainstream Maryland voters than their opponents. Frosh, a proud member of the Jewish community, has been a state senator representing District 16 since 1994…. Read More