The party of Lincoln has indeed made some inroads with its strong support for Israel and an assertive foreign policy. For many at this November gathering, the terror attacks of Sept. 11 and the radical left's strident rhetoric against Israel led them to do the formerly unthinkable.
Israeli politics is always a mix of high drama and low comedy, but the current fight within Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's divided government is anything but entertaining for Jewish leaders here.
Israeli commentators have noted that it is a struggle for the soul of the Likud party. How that turns out will have consequences for the U.S.-Israel relationship and on Israel's already-low standing around the world.
In a sea of competitors, 17-year-old Ilya Gurevich of Israel is alone in the field of theoretical physics. All the other teenagers competing in the physics division at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair have entered projects in practical physics, Gurevich said, but he stuck with the theoretical.
"The world's largest science fair," formerly known as the Westinghouse Competition, is taking place at multiple locations May 9-15, including the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
I'm fond of saying my identity as a Jew formed well before my identity as a Democrat. And I have always believed that a significant part of my mission and role in Congress is to weigh in and provide leadership on issues of critical concern to the Jewish community here and in Israel.
To a great extent, these issues are obvious -- the U.S.-Israel relationship, combating anti-Semitism, fighting off erosion in First Amendment protections of religious exercise, scraping for resources and laws that maximize the ability of Jews living under tyranny to immigrate to Israel or the United States and ensuring the social safety net doesn't forget Jews in trouble.