Spending a week in Florida on the eve of a presidential election has become a habit for me — one I cherish. Meeting the elderly women who suddenly become interested in politics; attending synagogues, to which the candidates flock in droves to speak.
Jewish groups expressed concerns about proposed Obama administration cuts in poverty assistance, but praised the U.S. budget for preserving aid to Israel. The White House's proposed budget, released Monday, projects cuts in programs such as heating for the poor and in blocs of money funneled to the states for social programs, and increases funding for education and for "clean energy" development.
U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is being remembered in the Jewish community for his huge impact on domestic issues such as education and health care, but also as a giant in the Soviet Jewry movement.
High roads, low roads, potatoes, potahtoes, change,real change,mavericks, you betcha.
Obama aides say they will be increasingly pushing the idea that Barack Obama, and not John McCain, is in line with Jewish voters on economic policy, reproductive rights, church-state separation and the Supreme Court.
"In religious communities, especially the Charedi communities, people don't have televisions at home. Whereas a secular person comes home after work and turns on the TV to watch news, a religious person comes home and turns on the radio," said Ido Lebovitz, CEO of Radio Kol Chai.
Gov. Gray Davis' proposed state budget for 2002-2003 has local Jewish organizations worried. With the state's approximately $12 billion deficit (in a proposed $98 billion budget) covered by program cuts, along with loans and spending deferrals, local agencies such as Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Jewish Vocational Service may face a significant reduction in funding.
In the days following the attacks, domestically based extreme-right organizations struggled to formulate a position that balanced their ostensible nativism with an otherwise tailor-made opportunity to lash out at Jews and U.S. support for Israel. Typical of their commentary:
There are a thousand stories in the naked city of Los Angeles, but when it comes to nannies, there are at least a million - nannies who have a free reign of the household, nannies who make good salaries, nannies who get help from their employers to buy cars or put a down payment on a house. But there are the other stories as well - the nanny who works long hours for little pay, with no holidays, no sick days, no breaks. "I knew when I was here without papers, I didn't deserve to be here," says nanny Carmen Davis, "but still, that didn't mean I deserved to be treated without respect."