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Why I say Merry Christmas

AS a Jew, and a religious one at that, this week, I am wishing my fellow Americans a Merry Christmas.

Not “Happy Holidays.” Merry Christmas.

I write, “my fellow Americans” because, as reported by the Pew Research poll released Wednesday, Dec. 18, nine in 10 Americans say they celebrate Christmas.

Apparently, many Americans have forgotten that Christmas is not only a Christian holy day, but also an American national holiday. Just as we wish one another a “Happy Thanksgiving” or a “Happy Fourth,” so, too, we should wish fellow Americans a “Merry Christmas.”

Last Updated ( Friday, 27 December 2013 04:32 )

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View from Central Park

As a child suffers . . .

Heartbreakingly, many of us have heard of the tragic plight of the little boy from Texas, Rephael Elisha Meir ben Devora Cohen. Aside from the fact that many of us are praying for him, a petition sent out on behalf of his family asks for 100,000 signatures so the government can make an exception and dispense non-FDA approved experimental drugs in a last ditch effort to save this precious child’s life. Conventional medical treatment has failed. At first many signed the petition, not knowing...
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View from Central Park

No nuance from American Studies Association

The American Studies Association (ASA) has officially joined the BDS movement — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — against Israel. ASA has heeded the Palestinian call, joining the many Europeans already boycotting Israel. For American intellectuals to stand opposed to Israel in this way is unprecedented. To fight injustice, oppression and suffering is crucial. To pick and choose who you will take a stand against based on your prejudices versus realities on the ground is a different story...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 December 2013 12:36 )

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View From Denver

Denverite: ‘I survived Mengele six or seven times’

Denverite: ‘I survived Mengele six or seven times’I COULDN’T believe my ears. If I read the body language correctly, my interlocutor’s level of belief wasn’t much greater. After all, it is now 68 years since the end of the Holocaust — and even longer since Cantor Zachary Kutner was in Auschwitz — but just now, something clicked. Something dawned on him. It took some 70 years for the realization, not, perhaps, of the facts themselves, but of their weight. In a mixture of anguish and wonder — sort of counting them up as he went — ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 December 2013 04:17 )

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Reflections

Lesson from a rattlesnake

A few years ago I was climbing up a jagged canyon wall when I heard a noise akin to the sound of a tambourine. I looked up and saw it — a rattlesnake sat curled on the ledge about three inches from my right hand. We both froze and stared at each other for what seemed like hours. I was too afraid to move, too fearful to call out, so I just waited and prayed until he finally slithered away into a crevice in the mountain wall. In hindsight, I think that rattler was actually a very decent fellow...
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U.S., Israel teaming to push Israel into visa waiver program

Ron Kampeas The United States and Israel are creating a working group to help Israel advance toward joining the visa waiver program. ... [Link]

After his hunger strike, Alan Gross’ backers ramp up calls for U.S. action

Ron Kampeas Supporters of the imprisoned American subcontractor want the U.S. government to ‘do whatever it takes’ to win his freedom from Cuba. ... [Link]

Empower play: Ghada Zoabi’s news site aims to uplift Israel’s Arabs

Ben Sales Bokra says the site is attracting 850,000 unique visitors a day with its mix of journalism and public advocacy. ... [Link]

With a nudge from advocates, more Jewish groups embracing paid parental leave

Julie Wiener While paid maternity leave is a rarity in the U.S. private sector, scores of Jewish groups are embracing it in response to a campaign by a Jewish women’s advocacy group. ... [Link]

From Bible heroines to Bernie Madoff: Alicia Jo Rabins strikes new chord

Julie Wiener In a rock opera inspired by the biblical story of Elisha, the versatile Rabins presents the Ponzi schemer through the eyes of seven disparate characters. ... [Link]

Andrew Garfield says Spiderman is Jewish

Talia Lavin Andrew Garfield, a British actor most famous for playing the iconic superhero in the most recent run of Spiderman movies, has given us a new Spidey revelation in advance of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2... [Link]

Interfaith memorial at JCC remembers K.C. victims

mbrodsky Hundreds gathered at a suburban Kansas City JCC for an interfaith memorial service for the victims of shootings there and at a nearby Jewish retirement home. ... [Link]

Putin in Passover greeting: Russian Jews make huge contribution

Cnaan Liphshiz Russian Jews are making an enormous contribution to strengthening Russian society’s cohesion, President Vladimir Putin wrote in a holiday greeting to the Jewish community. ... [Link]

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