Jewish Journal

James D

  • Is the Electoral College Good for Jews?

    November 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Almost as soon as it became apparent that the disputed vote in Florida would determine the winner of this month's presidential election, politicians around the country started hurling rhetorical grenades about the Electoral College.

    Hillary Clinton, now the Democratic senator-elect...

  • Jewish Surprises on Election Day

    November 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Last week just didn't go at all like the pundits and prognosticators predicted.

    The presidential election proved to be the unwanted gift that keeps on giving - with recounts, lawsuits, accusations and frantic efforts by Florida to fend off charges that it is the newest tropical banana...

  • Low Expectations

    November 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Nov. 7 is still a few days away, but Jewish leaders are already patting themselves on the back for a job well done.

    Jewish clout is alive and well, they're telling each other; more than ever, candidates in both major parties are saying the things Jewish audiences want to hear.


  • The Hope Deficit

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Since the latest spasm of Mideast violence began almost a month ago, American Jewish leaders have been getting together for almost daily conference calls.

    The teleconferences follow a standard format: the machers talk about how to defend Israel in the media and how to deal with an...

  • What Makes Joe Run (So Well)?

    September 28, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    What's with Joe Lieberman?

    Less than two months ago, when Al Gore tapped Lieberman as his vice-presidential running mate, pundits predicted the Connecticut senator would put the nation to sleep. Sure, he has integrity, they said, but he's hardly any more animated a campaigner than...

  • Media Sex and Violence Hits Political Big Time

    September 14, 2000 | 7:59 pm

    Sex and violence were shoved into the forefront of the presidential campaign by the shocking findings in this week's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report on the marketing of violent movies, music CDs and video games to children.

    Across the spectrum, Jewish groups expressed concern...

  • St. Joe Faces the Image Crunch

    August 31, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    For Joseph Lieberman, elevated to a kind of sainthood by a press corps enraptured by his Orthodox Judaism and his image of rectitude, the next few weeks could offer some harsh splashes of reality. Lieberman the paragon could find himself challenged by Lieberman the tough and...

  • Briefs

    April 27, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish relief agencies and the government of Israel are mobilizing to send rescue missions and humanitarian aid to Turkey, in the wake of a devastating earthquake that, at press time, may have claimed more than 4,000 lives.

    The Israel Defense Force sent a 200-member rescue team to...

  • Internet Activism: Power, No Accountability

    April 20, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    By now it's a cliché: the Internet, a medium that gives anybody with a computer access to a worldwide audience, is changing the way we share information. And, because information is power, it also changes the way we do politics.

    The Internet is democracy with a vengeance, with...

  • There Oughta Be a Law

    April 20, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have again introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, hoping a new set of supporters will help push it into law.

    The bill, introduced Tuesday, is aimed at preventing workplace religious discrimination by forcing employers to...

  • Endpaper

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Long before last August, when he had his bar mitzvah at Santa Monica's Beth Shir Shalom, 13-year-old Alex Miller has practiced what he has been preached: charity and tikkun olam.

    For him, it all began in 1996, when Miller's third grade class participated in Super Sunday.

    "I really...

  • Living in Denial

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    When Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa met with Jewish leaders in Washington recently, the topic was supposed to be the Mideast peace process. But the Egyptian official was pummeled on a different subject: the anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial that continue to flow from the...
  • A Letter From The Editor

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    I first thought of publishing an Orange County section of The Jewish Journal -- or better yet a separate edition -- about five years ago. When I took a closer look, though, our resources seemed too thin. We lacked the necessary funds and staff. And so we -- the publisher, the board...
  • Letters

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Re: "Our Birthright," by Gene Lichtenstein (Jan. 15):

    A Jewish tour of Europe certainly would be enlightening for some, but clearly an Israel experience is more fundamental and transformative, appealing to Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews alike.

    An Israel program is a "whole body" Jewish...

  • Assad’s Chump Gambit

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Administration officials were in stiff-upper-lip mode this week in the wake of the failed Geneva summit between President Bill Clinton and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad.

    But just beneath the official resolve to persist were other reactions: anger, disappointment and genuine...

  • Reform Rabbis: Same-Sex Ceremonies Kosher

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Modification or compromise?

    Whatever you want to call it, the Reform rabbis' final decision on Jewish same-sex commitment ceremonies is being touted as "groundbreaking" and a major step forward for gay and lesbian Jews.

    After years of often heated debate on gay marriage, Reform...

  • Flip Side of Gun Debate

    March 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    This week the debate over gun control -- already not a model of civil democratic dialogue -- reached new depths when the National Rifle Association (NRA) accused President Bill Clinton of tolerating gun violence to further his own narrow political ends.

    The White House denounced the...

  • Does the Jewish Vote Matter to Gore and Bush?

    March 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    As fast as it began, it ended: the political fireworks ignited by the New Hampshire presidential primary and the meteoric rise of insurgent Republican contender John McCain ended with a fizzle after last week's "Super Tuesday" contests.

    There was a parallel story on the Democratic...

  • Washington Watch

    March 9, 2000 | 6:59 pm

    Spending 90 minutes in a small room with Yasser Arafat doesn't quiet old qualms. In military garb and his trademark headdress, Arafat still evokes images of the stubble-bearded terrorist mastermind who caused so much misery and fear for Jews worldwide.

    But in person, it's also easier...

  • Ivry to Jews: Don’t Lecture Us

    February 24, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    David Ivry isn't the slickest or most media-savvy envoy in recent years, but he knows what he wants, and has the right credentials to get it.

    As he starts his term, Israel's new ambassador in Washington is laying down clear markers. Ivry and his bosses are tired of American Jews...

  • Stars, Bars and the Jewish Vote

    February 17, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Jewish Republican leaders are singing an optimistic song about their party's prospects in this year's presidential election.

    But listen to voters, and you hear a different melody. Despite what many analysts see as a modest conservative shift in the Jewish electorate, even some Jewish...

  • Resisting Palestinian Calls for Intervention

    February 10, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Jewish activists are confident the Clinton administration will just say "no" when it comes to Palestinian demands for more direct U.S. intervention in the mired Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    And administration sources say they're prepared to do just that, although the "no" will be...

  • U.S. at Center Stage in Syria Talks

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    They were called "Syrian-Israeli" talks, but this week's second round of negotiations between the two countries was very much an American affair -- in a storybook small town chosen by the White House, with President Clinton playing host and mediator.

    So it was no surprise that when...

  • Washington Report

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    It may be the worst of times for Christian right groups -- which could be good news for Jewish leaders.

    The Christian Coalition, once a surging force in state and national politics, is in disarray, and a leadership vacuum threatens the group's hard-won gains. In the 106th Congress,...

  • Washington Report

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Rep. Peter King (R-NY) isn't Jewish, but this week's political about-face by the Long Island lawmaker reflected a mounting problem for Jewish backers of Texas Gov. George Bush.

    King, who had endorsed the GOP presidential frontrunner, abruptly switched horses and announced his support...

  • A Gathering of Friends

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Last month The Jewish Federation held a party for about three hundred. The occasion: to honor outgoing Federation Chairman of the Board Lionel Bell and to welcome the incoming designated Chairman Todd Morgan, who assumes office January 18. It was a festive occasion with plenty of food, speeches (all of them brief) and warmth. In a sense, a gathering of friends.

    All the photos were taken at the event by Peter Halmagyi.

  • Washington Report

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Since childhood my father had always introduced me as his "Kaddish." It wasn't until my teens that I realized the implication of that honor. Upon his death 53 years ago, I went to a local synagogue morning and night for 11 months. It was a tiny shul near the intersection of La...
  • Barak: Don’t Write Off American Jews

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The revived Syrian-Israeli talks, which began this week in Washington, could be yet another false start on the twisting road to peace. Or the two countries could move with blinding speed to conclude an agreement that will transfer the Golan Heights back to Syrian control.


  • Snoozing Toward November 2000

    December 2, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    This week, a bevy of presidential candidates paraded before the Republican Jewish Coalition to display their political wares. The RJC did its best to pitch the event as a watershed in Jewish politics, but that's a stretch; in reality, the first election year of the new millennium is...
  • Nation/World Briefs

    December 2, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    From the beginning, there were clear indications of the kind of year that lay ahead.

    As the Days of Awe approached last September, President Clinton reached for a High Holidays prayer book and turned to the Yom Kippur liturgy in his search for the right words of contrition following...

  • Tough Choices for Hate Law Boosters

    November 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For Jewish leaders, lobbying sometimes involves tough choices between winning and doing the right thing. That dynamic is very much in play this week as many Jewish groups, with a boost from President Bill Clinton, fight desperately to save a new hate crimes law that has become cannon...
  • Managing the Bitter Debate Ahead

    October 7, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Next month, Prime Minister Ehud Barak will travel to Atlanta for the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities, the central philanthropic and service organization in the American Jewish world.

    Israeli officials say that one goal will be to renew his appeal for Jewish unity as...

  • Arafat’s Final Chapter

    September 30, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Spending 90 minutes in a small room with Yasser Arafat doesn't quiet old qualms. In military garb and his trademark headdress, Arafat still evokes images of the stubble-bearded terrorist mastermind who caused so much misery and fear for Jews worldwide.

    But in person, it's also easier...

  • Peace by Fits and Starts

    September 2, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Despite the usual last-minute posturing, complaining and maneuvering in the region, administration officials prepared for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Mideast trip this week confident Israel and the Palestinians will sign an agreement that will lay out implementation of...

  • Touching Her Bases

    July 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton touched all the Jewish and pro-Israel bases and avoided treacherous curve balls during a Tuesday appearance before more than 2,100 delegates at Hadassah's 85th national convention in Washington.

    In a speech laced with nods to the Jewish community's...

  • Barak Wows Washington

    July 22, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    A self-confident Prime Minister Ehud Barak dazzled administration Mideast policy-makers during his inaugural official visit to Washington this week -- and reshuffled the American Jewish deck by elevating a pro-peace process group to the top rung of the communal hierarchy.

    Without a...

  • Auschwitz Talks to Resume

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Negotiations over the future of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in Poland could begin in a matter of weeks now that hundreds of crosses planted by Polish Catholic extremists have been removed, according to Miles Lerman, chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and the head of the...
  • AIPAC Adapts

    May 27, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    That squeak audible over Washington this week was the sound of the pro-Israel lobby turning on a dime.

    Stung by criticism by some Labor leaders of a longstanding pro-Likud tilt, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), began a quick readjustment at this week's annual...

  • Preparing for the Worst

    April 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Mark Levin knows about as much as anybody about Jews in the former Soviet Union. But sitting in his office during a recent chat with reporters, he admitted he had no easy answers to the toughest question of all: When should Jewish leaders push the panic button and do everything...

  • Israeli Election: Who Cares?

    April 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli voters go to the polls on May 17 in what could be the most critical election in the young nation's history. But many American Jews, perplexed by the ever-shifting lineup of personalities, parties and positions, are reacting with a collective yawn, according to community...

  • Turning a Blind Eye

    April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The congressional spat over the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group described as a slicked-up white supremacist organization with links to extremist groups around the world, is in danger of devolving into political farce.

    In part, that's because of the stubborn refusal of...

  • 33 Parties File for Israeli Elections

    April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Thirty-three Israeli political parties signed up by Tuesday night's registration deadline to run in the May 17 Knesset elections, breaking the previous record of 27 parties. In addition to the large political parties, several special-interest parties and newcomers to the political...
  • Overshadowed Again

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat came to town this week, seeking Washington's blessing for Palestinian statehood in return for postponing a unilateral declaration on May 4, when the interim Oslo period expires.

    Despite the fears of some Jewish leaders, he didn't get it; instead, he...

  • Tough Times for the Religious Right

    March 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It may be the worst of times for Christian right groups -- which could be good news for Jewish leaders.

    The Christian Coalition, once a surging force in state and national politics, is in disarray, and a leadership vacuum threatens the group's hard-won gains. In the 106th Congress,...

  • Too Close for Comfort

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh recently had some ominous words for Congress, but legislators and many Jewish leaders weren't in a listening mood.

    At a hearing on counterterrorism, Freeh described the rise of independent, well-financed foreign terrorists such as...

  • ‘We Made Him a Symbol’

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Even the weather suggested mourning; at the Jordanian Embassy in northwest Washington, a cold drizzle turned the adjacent construction sites into mud holes, and a large portrait of King Hussein, who died on Sunday, was streaked with rain. Still, a steady procession of mourners...

  • Jerry Falwell: Antichrist is Jewish

    January 21, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The Rev. Jerry Falwell may be good friends with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but he also believes that an apocalyptic whirlwind is about to descend on the world -- and that the ultimate villain in these events will be a Jew.

    Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority, chancellor...

  • Pollard, Once Again

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Jewish leaders often lust for media attention, but mention the Jonathan Pollard case, and most dive for cover.

    And with good reason: Caught between Pollard's ardent supporters and their potent brew of humanitarian concerns and wild conspiracy theories, on one side, and government...

  • Seeking Moral Restitution

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    This week's Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets was intended to zero in on the rapidly growing list of stolen Jewish property and the governments that have balked at returning it. But growing unease among Jewish leaders over the relentless focus on property and not "moral...

  • The Ethnic Revolution

    November 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Contrary to the ever-hopeful predictions of the Republicans, Jewish voters proved remarkably resistant to change in this month's congressional voting.

    But that predictability -- Jews voted overwhelmingly Democratic, with a few regional exceptions -- belies a seismic shift in ethnic...