By now Ron Bloom's professional road to becoming the Obama administration's car czar has been widely reported. Missing from the coverage, however, has been any mention of those formative years at Jewish summer camp.
A dearth of leadership talent is wreaking havoc on the Jewish day school system as schools find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain qualified heads.
Marty Kaplan is often referred to as a "public intellectual." His current title is dean of the Annenberg School at USC and chairman of the Norman Lear Center. But Kaplan has led many lives -- molecular biologist, comedy writer, White House speechwriter, Disney exec, radio host. As Kaplan recently wrote me in an e-mail when I asked, "Which of those is you ?"
Outrageous statements by Iran's president calling for Israel's destruction put Iran back on the front page for a few days in October. Such belicose rhetoric should surprise no one; the destruction of Israel has been Iranian state policy since the 1979 revolution.
So do you think America should go to war with Iraq?
With all the discussion, confusion and controversy about the Bush administration's planned actions against Saddam Hussein,it's ironic that President Bush, a born-again Bible reader, appears to have rejected the Christian position and adopted instead the Jewish stance on self-defense and responding to evil people.
In Jewish communal boardrooms in New York and Washington, all eyes are focused on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the tricky matter of U.S.-Israeli relations in a changing era.
One message from this week's rally at the Capitol was clear -- solidarity with the State of Israel and its people. Much less clear was the message to the Bush administration. Signs, speakers and more than 100,000 demonstrators touted support for the U.S. war on terrorism. But few expressed support for Secretary of State Colin Powell's current mission in the Middle East, his meetings with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and the Bush administration's call for Israel to end its military incursions into the West Bank. A handful of U.S. senators and non-Jewish political leaders mentioned the Powell mission. American Jewish and Israeli leaders skirted it. But while the Jewish leadership tried to stick to positive tones, a State Department official said the lasting image of the rally will be the negative response to the Bush administration's sole representative, who spoke from the administration's playbook.
For those who believed President George W. Bush would chart a moderate course, the administration's first two months must come as a rude awakening. Those who were lulled into believing that Bush was a compassionate conservative have now discovered that only the latter half of this otherwise vacuous campaign slogan is true.
There are few times when a sense of community is more necessary than when our lives are touched by death. Perhaps that is why more than 400 people from every point along the spectrum of the Los Angeles Jewish community came together Sunday at the site of the new Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Mortuary in Simi Valley for the opening of the park's chapel and administration building.