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Jewish Journal

Matthew E. Berger

  • Putting a question mark on Jewish earmarks

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    This year's loss of earmarks, the spending amendments lawmakers attach to larger bills, has cost Jewish federations millions of dollars, officials say. And earmark-reform proposals could present even more headaches in coming years.

    The new Democratic majority in Congress, backed by...

  • 9/11 Museum Head Uses Shoah Lessons

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Alice Greenwald vividly recalls touring the Auschwitz concentration camp with a Holocaust survivor and watching how the woman shared her story with her children and grandchildren.

    It was as if she was trying to instruct her heirs as to the kind of people she wanted them to become,...

  • AF Academy’s New Religion Rules Hit

    February 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The U.S. Air Force last week introduced revised guidelines on religious tolerance and practices at its training academy, and they are widely regarded as a step backward.

    A number of Jewish leaders say their efforts to change the Air Force Academy's position on Christian proselytizing...

  • Abramoff Linked to Jewish Ventures

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Reading the indictment against Jack Abramoff, one might not know that he was prominent in Washington Jewish circles. But in coming months, his ties with Jewish and Israeli organizations may emerge as a prominent piece in the lobbyist's web of questionable activities.

    Last week,...

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  • Battle Lines Emerge on Marking Holiday

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The sound of angry Christians railing against the marginalization of Christmas has become the new tune of this holiday season.

    Across the country, from department stores to town halls, battle lines have been drawn over how to mark the winter holidays.

    Led by evangelical groups,...

  • JDate Welcomes Gays

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    For all the nice Jewish boys looking for other nice Jewish boys, JDate.com has come to the rescue.

    The popular Jewish online dating site expanded its search capabilities this month to allow gay men -- and also lesbians -- to seek matches. The Web site now asks people for their gender...

  • Rabbi Quits After Reported Sex Sting

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    An official with an educational program for Jewish high school students has resigned after allegedly searching the Internet for liaisons with underage boys and sending naked pictures of himself.

    Rabbi David Kaye resigned from Panim on Oct. 31, several days before being featured on...

  • Air Force Flies New Tolerance Guidelines

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Just in time for the High Holidays, U.S. Air Force officials are disseminating new guidelines for religious tolerance, in hopes of improving an atmosphere that some airmen say is unwelcoming to religious minorities.

    However, while some are calling the new regulations a good first...

  • Rehnquist’s Legacy: Church-State Rulings

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Chief Justice William Rehnquist was often the sole dissenter on the separation of church and state after he joined the United States Supreme Court in the early 1970s, arguing that while religion did not deserve extra protection, it merited federal funding.

    But now, after leading...

  • Specter Trademark: Taking on Big Fights

    September 1, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Soon after the late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), himself fighting Hodgkin's disease, wrote to the journalist. Work is the best antidote for cancer, Specter told him.

    Specter may be trying to prove the...

  • Pollard Appeal Fails; Few Options Left

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    There appear to be few legal options left for Jonathan Pollard, after a U.S. federal appeals court last Friday rejected the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst's claim that he had inadequate counsel when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for spying for Israel.

    The court...

  • Roberts Draws Little Jewish Opposition

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    So far, the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court has ruffled few feathers in the American Jewish community.

    Many Jewish organization leaders were poised to fiercely oppose a conservative nominee -- and to earmark resources to influence senators who must confirm...

  • O’Connor Played Key Church-State Role

    July 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The modern-day legal guidelines on how religion fits into the American public square have largely been the creation of one woman: Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has been fiercely divided for a quarter-century, with four justices opposing religious...

  • Ten Commandments’ Future Unclear

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The U.S. Supreme Court's split rulings this week on the public display of the Ten Commandments is likely to lead to further confusion on what's permissible and what's not, analysts say.

    The high court determined that some monuments cast a religious message and therefore violate the...

  • Orthodox Lobbyist in Eye of Ethics Storm

    May 12, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    Missions to Israel are a staple of Jewish organizations, but when Pepe Barreto leads a group tour there in August, it'll represent something new.

    Barreto is perhaps the most popular drive-time host on Spanish-language radio in Los Angeles and a major player in a new drive to...

  • New Study Breaks Down 2004 Election

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    Newly compiled information suggests that a few more Jews voted for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry last November than originally reported, and highlights several areas where Republicans are gaining momentum within the Jewish community.

    The analysis by the Solomon...

  • High Court Hears Prison Religion Case

    March 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

      

    The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to side with American Jewish organizations advocating for religious minorities' rights in prison.

    While it's impossible to determine how the high court justices will rule later this year, Jewish organizational officials who listened to oral...

  • B’nai B’rith Radio Launches on Web

    February 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     Â 

    Headphones on, face pressed against the microphone in a cramped cubicle, the leader of one of the best-known Jewish organizations in the country is reliving his youth.

    Well, sort of.

    "This is B'nai B'rith Radio, and I'm your host, Dan Mariaschin."

    Mariaschin is far from the...

  • Bill Cracks Down on Killers of Americans

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    A Jewish community initiative to bring to justice those who kill Americans overseas has become law.

    Provisions of a bill spearheaded by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), dubbed the Koby Mandell Act, were incorporated into the omnibus spending bill President Bush signed...

  • Condi vs. Holbrooke on Foreign Policy

    October 28, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Just days before the U.S. elections, the presidential candidates are sending the same broad messages about their approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the greater Middle East, but they differ sharply on the details.

    In exclusive interviews with the Jewish Telegraphic...

  • Key Congress Races Hold Great Import

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Perhaps it makes sense that Allyson Schwartz's campaign headquarters sits above a Russian Jewish market on a small strip mall -- after all, Schwartz is considered to have the best chance of any candidate to join the Jewish caucus in Congress.

    The Democratic Pennsylvania state...

  • Court May Tackle

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The U.S. Supreme Court may tackle questions regarding the legal rights of religious prisoners this session, as well as whether the public display of the Ten Commandments violates the separation of church and state.

    In what may be the last year of the current makeup of the court,...

  • Is FBI Watching Other Groups?

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    New twists and turns in the case of alleged wrongdoing by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have left many in the Jewish community baffled.

    A week after allegations first broke suggesting that AIPAC was involved in the exchange of classified information from the...

  • Bush Says Magic Word: Israel

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    What's in a word?

    President Bush one-upped John Kerry by uttering the word "Israel" in his speech Sept. 2 accepting the Republican presidential nomination, but it's unclear whether the simple mention of the Jewish state will have any effect on Jewish voters.

    "Palestinians will hear...

  • Sept. 11 Report: Israel Was a Target

    July 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Long before the Sept. 11 attacks, Al Qaeda was planning terrorist attacks against Israeli and American Jewish sites.

    That, at least, is one conclusion of the 9/11 Commission Report, which was released Thursday.

    The report shows that American intelligence agencies received signals...

  • Dems Finalize New Pro-Israel Platform

    July 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The Democratic Party wants to send the right message to the American Jewish community about its priorities in the Middle East, but its platform fails to include several positions Jewish groups recommended.

    The platform, finalized this weekend in Miami, resolves to uphold the close...

  • Edwards Garners Jewish Praise

    July 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    U.S. Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) doesn't need to represent a state with a lot of Jews to understand the needs of the Jewish community, supporters say.

    "In a lot of ways, John Edwards transcends North Carolina," said Lonnie Kaplan, a former president of the American Israel Public...

  • AIPAC Gives Bush Standing Ovations

    May 20, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    President Bush knew what he was doing when he took his case for staying the course in Iraq to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). No audience appreciates the president more for sticking to his guns in the Middle East than the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

    Bush...

  • Jews Note Role in Historic School Case

    May 13, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Esther Swirk Brown wasn't the Brown for whom the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case desegregating schools is named -- but she is the Jewish woman who helped find Oliver Brown, no relation, to be the lead plaintiff in the historic case.

    As a young woman in Kansas, Esther Brown was...

  • Bush Slaps Several Sanctions on Syria

    May 13, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    President Bush has imposed sanctions on Syria, heeding the call of lawmakers and American Jews who wanted the Bush administration to get tougher on Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    The president imposed several sanctions Tuesday, banning U.S. exports to Syria, except for food and...

  • What Went

    February 5, 2004 | 7:01 pm

    Four years ago, he was the toast of the Jewish world, the favorite son who became a symbol of opportunity for American Jews in the United States.

    But when he went out on his own this time around, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) failed to catch on as a top-tier candidate.

    Lieberman...

  • Where Will Backers of Lieberman Go?

    February 5, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    The withdrawal of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) has left many Jewish fundraisers and donors without a candidate and has sparked a new round of fundraising calls and solicitations.

    Much of the discussion focuses on Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who has emerged as the front-runner after...

  • Life After New Hampshire

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Now that the race for the Democratic nomination for president is moving south and west, Jewish scrutiny of the candidates is likely to intensify.

    Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.), who won New Hampshire with a healthy margin, was propelled forward with his second win in two weeks. He has...

  • When It’s Federal Aid, Pork Isn’t Treif

    January 15, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    When it comes to politics, even the Jews want pork. American Jewish communities and some national organizations have become well versed in getting their share of millions of dollars available for social service programs, medical research or other community essentials.

    A search of...

  • Dean’s Judaism Ties Span Decades

    January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    In the middle of a rowdy rendition of "I Have a Little Dreidel" at the Sobelson family Chanukah party in Concord, N.H., Howard Dean walked in and declared himself the cantor. 

    The Democratic presidential candidate recited the blessings over the candles in near-perfect Hebrew in...

  • Jewish Elderly May Pay More for Drugs

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    A law that was supposed to ease the burden of prescription drug costs for the elderly may force some Jewish seniors to pay more than they do now.

    The Medicare reform legislation, signed by President Bush this week, grants some relief in prescription drug costs for seniors. But other...

  • Survivors Sue Claims Commission

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Survivors are suing the commission on Nazi-era insurance claims, a commissioner has called for the resignation of its chief and Jewish officials handling the claims acknowledge serious problems.

    But they also say there probably isn't a better way to dole out the claims.

    The anger...

  • Raising Concerns About Patriot Act

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Two years after the USA Patriot Act became law, Jewish groups are still searching for the balance between law enforcement and civil liberties.

    The passage of the legislation in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks divided Jewish groups who were ambivalent about the...

  • Bush Expands Mideast Agenda

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    With the death toll mounting in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian "road map" plan in tatters, the Bush administration and Congress want to put out other Middle East fires before they get out of control.

    Administration officials and lawmakers recently launched initiatives to sanction...

  • Arab Groups Assail Bush Appointment

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish and Arab leaders say President Bush's appointment of Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes to a federal think tank -- despite the objections of Arab groups and some congressional Democrats -- offers a window into White House thinking on Middle East issues.

    Bush's Aug. 22...

  • Will U.S. Jews Keep Pace With Israel?

    June 5, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Publicly, most Jewish organizations support the "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace that President Bush is promoting in his Middle East travels this week and at his summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his new Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas.

    But...

  • ‘Map’ OK Opens Way for Forceful U.S. Role

    May 29, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    In the end, the message from the White House to the Jewish world could have been this: When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the vision that President Bush set forth last June is like the Torah.

    The "road map" peace plan is like the Talmud, explaining that vision -- but...

  • New Chance to Build Israel-Iraq Ties

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As the United States begins rebuilding Iraq, pro-Israel activists are watching closely, seeing an opportunity for the Jewish state to improve ties with another Arab neighbor.

    Much of that hope has been placed in the hands of Ahmed Chalabi, a leader of the Iraqi National Congress...

  • Note to AIPAC: ‘Road Map’ Is Alive

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The Bush administration is calling out the heavy hitters to convince the American Jewish community that it won't ignore Israel's concerns as it mounts a renewed push for Israeli-Palestinian peace. 

    Five Bush administration officials addressed the American Israel Public Affairs...

  • Will He or Won’t He?

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    As the Palestinians move forward with the confirmation of a new prime minister, many are looking to the White House to see when President Bush will unveil the "road map" toward Israeli-Palestinian peace.

    They may be waiting a while.

    Administration officials and analysts say that...

  • Bracing for War

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When Scud missiles fell on Tel Aviv at the beginning of the 1991 Gulf War, David Harris was there.

    "We did not want Israel to face Iraqi Scud missile attacks alone," said the executive director of the American Jewish Committee.

    Now, though he does not know what's in store for...

  • Moranic Statement

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    A furor over comments by a U.S. lawmaker is highlighting the resurgent trend of blaming Israel and the Jewish community for the impending war against Iraq.

    Six rabbis from northern Virginia have asked for the resignation of Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), after he told constituents last...

  • Plan in Motion

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Neither the United States nor Israel wants the Jewish State involved in an anticipated war against Iraq. To minimize the chances of that happening, however, Israel has become very involved in planning an attack.

    U.S.-Israel coordination becomes ever more crucial after U.S....

  • Will Lieberman Run?

    December 19, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Can a Jew become president of the United States? We may soon find out.

    Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) is expected to announce his candidacy for president next month. A declaration seems more likely following former Vice President Al Gore's revelation Sunday that he would not seek...

  • Kenya Attacks Blur Lines of Terrorism

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The attacks on Israeli targets in Kenya are not expected to divert the United States from a possible war with Iraq -- or change U.S. limits on Israel's response to Palestinian terror. One immediate effect of the Nov. 28 attacks, thought to be the work of Al Qaeda, may be a subtle...

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