President Obama in his second inaugural address spoke of U.S. involvement throughout the world and Americans working together at home.
In Barcelona’s Old City, there’s a narrow street off the well-trod tourist path that leads to what was once the Jewish quarter. In 1391, 100 years before the official start of the Inquisition, Barcelona massacred many and expelled the rest of its Jews, who historians say made up as much as 20 percent of the population. The City Hall in Plaça Sant Jaume was built on land taken from some of these families.
The thought of Klara Kogan, who exists on a paltry government pension, haunts Steven Schwager, executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which provides relief and welfare to Jews abroad.
Without much fear of contradiction, Mark Paredes observes, "I think I'm the only biracial Mormon representing the state of Israel abroad."
Paredes, a personable bachelor in his early 30s, appointed earlier this year as press attaché at the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, has other claims to distinction.
He speaks seven languages fluently (English, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Portuguese), served as a U.S. foreign service officer in Mexico and Tel Aviv, and studied at Brigham Young University, University of Texas and the Moscow University of Steel and Alloys.
I found myself at a seder in Cochabamba, Bolivia on a cool spring evening during Passover 1999. At the time I was spending a semester abroad as part of my major in international studies at Macalester College.