Preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah is hard work, involving years of intense study and the courage to lead an entire congregation in prayer. Organizing a party to celebrate this milestone — well, that’s no picnic either.
Israeli markets rose on Wednesday on investor hopes that the outcome of the previous day's election means Benjamin Netanyahu will remain prime minister and ultra-Orthodox parties have no role in government.
Israel’s budget deficit for 2012 was more than double the government target, coming in at 4.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition, debt is 74 percent of GDP, making economic growth in Israel difficult.
There is a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff — the self-imposed Jan. 1 deadline by which time a budget agreement must be passed and signed or there will be automatic cuts to defense and social programs of more than $1 trillion.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs is calling on Congress to think about “the most vulnerable among us” as it works on creating a budget and avoiding the fiscal cliff.
With recent polls showing that support has fallen below 50 percent for Proposition 30 — Gov. Jerry Brown’s temporary tax hike initiative that would help fund education across California — Jewish organizers working on behalf of the measure are working hard to convince Californians to approve the measure.
The first public cause to which Ayn Rand donated her own money was the State of Israel. I find this little-known nugget fascinating for two reasons.
Anointing Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney attached a name and face to his fiscal policy. Jewish Republicans, including the House majority leader, say they are thrilled with Wisconsin's Ryan emerging as the ticket's fresh face, hailing the lawmaker as a thoughtful and creative budget guru bent on taming out-of-control federal spending.
Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate on the Republican ticket will help win Jewish votes. For the Democrats.
Partisan Jewish groups focused on Paul Ryan's leading role in the budget stand-off in assessing Mitt Romney's pick as running mate.
We Californians love to use direct democracy to perform amateur surgery on our state government. As heirs to a century-old tradition of progressive reform, we believe that if we tinker with the rules, we will get much better outcomes.
There was common ground on Iran and preserving the social safety net at a meeting between Democratic senators and Jewish community leaders, although subtle tensions on both issues emerged.
"Starting from zero," the foreign assistance plan touted by leading Republican candidates at a debate, is getting low marks, and not just from Democrats and the foreign policy community. Pro-Israel activists and fellow Republicans also have concerns.
The Palestinian Authority will pay only half wages this month, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday, the second time in three months it has taken such a step because of a financial crisis it blames on donors failing to provide promised funds.
When two-fifths of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate met this week in Washington with representatives of Jewish groups, the senators delivered a clear message: If you agree with us, it’s about time you spoke up.
Please don’t run a countdown clock on the debt ceiling.
Does anyone dare ask how the government can spend ever more on, say, education, health and poverty, when schools decline anyway, health care becomes more chaotic, and the dependent class grows exponentially … and then liberals predictably claim the only problem is we’re not spending enough?
In the midst of the near shutdown of the federal government, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) launched an attack on Democratic-created safety net programs. He proposed an entirely new budget, calling for the privatization of Medicare and the devolution of Medicaid to the states, where Republican governors would be able to cut health care for the poor at will.
With the federal budget battle in full swing, Congress, media pundits and most of the general public have their attention riveted on proposed changes to Medicare and Social Security. But Social Security — dubbed the “third rail” of politics — is likely to remain intact, even in today’s hyper-partisan political climate.
Jewish groups and a key Jewish lawmaker condemned the U.S. House of Representative's budget proposal for 2012, saying it will hurt the Americans most in need. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs said in a statement released Wednesday that the Republican-backed budget proposal unveiled the previous day, which slashes nearly $6 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years, "relies on cuts which will be harmful to many of those in America who are most in need."
New York's state budget includes tuition grants for college students attending some private religious institutions, including Orthodox rabbinical schools. The money is available as part of the state's Tuition Assistance Program, under which any theological student who meets certain criteria, including attending a three-year program at a tax-exempt institution based in New York, can be eligible for the grants.
If there was ever a time for Jewish parents to fight for Los Angeles public schools, this is it.
Even if real life affects the bottom line of your bridal budget, you can still make your shower or brunch reception the first-class affair of your dreams.
A Republican Congress would seek to remove funding for Israel from the foreign operations budget, a GOP leader said.
Rabbi Samuel Levine has a problem -- and it’s echoing throughout the Jewish day school world.
More than 100 Jewish community organizations are backing President Obama's 2010 budget while expressing "significant concerns," but not opposing, a proposed decrease in the tax deduction for charitable contributions.
Throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District, the recession is prompting middle-class parents to take a look at public middle and high schools they have long disdained.
Most brides want beauty and romance during their wedding -- an expression of their love in the form of a grandiose ceremony. But for many couples, a lavish wedding would require a major financial sacrifice at time when few can afford to do so.
If your organization is having trouble raising funds for a building or a major physical expansion, now might be a good time to consider more creative and less costly ways of fulfilling your mission.
No one has gone unscathed by the convulsions of the global economy. Even the wealthy are losing money -- and if they cut their charitable giving, it is likely to ripple across the Jewish nonprofit sector
Have tough economic times forced you to scale back your child's bar or bat mitzvah party plans? With your 401(k) down, is the ice sculpture out? Is your resetting ARM making you reconsider that 18-piece orchestra?
While economists fret over how the falling U.S. dollar will affect global markets, Jewish charities that rely heavily on U.S. fundraising to support programs outside the United States are facing serious budget crunches.
You may not wear white for your wedding or hold your ceremony in a synagogue, but chances are you'll incorporate flowers into your day somehow, whether it's with an extravagant bouquet or a simple hair accessory. Here's what to consider when choosing your blooms:
Corporate, private and organizational donors underwrite the day, including Temple Israel. The budget this year is $450,000. The city's participation will include providing security, busing and street closures. Additional donors are both welcomed and needed, Levinson said.
Americans seeking to buy in Jerusalem prefer the neighborhoods of Talbiyeh, Rehavia, Katamon, Baka and Sha'arei Hessed, and are willing to pay up to $1million for apartments of less than 100 square meters, Hershkowitz said. Recently they have discovered Nahlaot, he added, and many people are now buying their holiday homes in this more colorful part of Jerusalem.
Post-Bar Mitzvah Stress Disorder (PBMSD) usually follows a case of Pre-Bar Mitzvah Stress Disorder. This is characterized by speed-dialing your caterer several times daily until you actually hear him chewing antacids while you speak; zipping around so frantically from errand to errand that you have no time to eat anything other than large brownies in the car (perversely, this still causes weight gain), and bursting into tears with no warning because your little boy is no longer a little boy but a newly minted teen who has the audacity to catapult into puberty before your very eyes.
Cruising isn't what it used to be. And to the more than 10 million people who took to the high seas last year, that's a good thing.
This month House Republicans will try to wrap up work on proposals aimed at slowing the hemorrhage of red ink from federal budget ledgers while finding a way to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars of hurricane relief and for two wars that don't seem about to end anytime soon.
I have a friend who may come into a large sum of money. Not millions, but tens of millions. Sometimes, she told me, shedaydreams about all the charities and causes she'll donate to.
"That's what I want to be, one of those people who sits around all day and gives out money," she said.
When the child is born, start saving! It's not a bad idea to start two savings accounts; one for college and one for the bar or bat mitzvah.
Compassionate conservatism seems to have finally hit rock bottom.
The air in these days in Sacramento -- while still hovering at a perfectly balmy Californian 79 degrees -- is rather bleak for agencies hoping to get government funding.
Should synagogues and Jewish day schools get federal tax dollars to help them beef up security to meet the rising terror threat?
It's spring in Sacramento, and that means the Capitol steps are jammed again with protesters against government cuts -- the first protesters to show up in mid-March were thousands of community college students demanding that California taxpayers continue paying the nation's steepest college subsidies per student.
A 55 percent vote still requires a larger majority to pass our budget than 47 other states and the federal government. Arkansas and Rhode Island are the only other states that currently require a two-thirds vote to pass a budget.
If you study the state budgets over the last few years as I have, you would see that we have had a deficit at the end of each year that keeps getting larger each and every year. Even when revenues were perceived to be at a peak, we were outspending those revenues. The state budget began each year in the hole that just got deeper as the months went by.