Six Shot at Seattle Federation

July 29, 2006 at 2:23 am | Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Fellow YDAJC members,

I’m writing to let you know that members of the Seattle Jewish community are deeply saddened by the situation. Our active YDAJC members from Seattle are physically safe, but some of us know victims of the shooting personally and our thoughts and prayers extend to those recovering and their families.

More information and links to local news stories can be found at

–Rob Dolin

‘Mean-Spirited’ Measure Seeks To Discourage Americans From Asserting Their Fundamental Religious Liberty Rights In Court, Says AU’s Lynn

July 25, 2006 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Church and State | Leave a comment

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today urged the House Judiciary Committee to reject a bill that would make it more difficult for Americans to bring church-state violations into court.

The so-called “Public Expression of Religion Act” targets those who challenge church-state infringements by government officials. The measure, H.R. 2679, denies legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses to plaintiffs who win lawsuits under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. It is scheduled for a vote in committee on Wednesday.


Report Faults Safeguards in Religion Program

July 25, 2006 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Church and State | Leave a comment

(NY Times) The Bush administration’s program of financing social service initiatives run by religiously affiliated groups lacks adequate safeguards against religious discrimination and has yet to measure the performance of the groups, a new Congressional report says.


Shock at death of ‘peace champion’

July 10, 2006 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Other | Leave a comment

(BBC) Describing their devastation at the loss of their son, stabbed to death in the US, Alan Senitt’s family said the world had lost a champion of peace.

“We have lost a much-loved son and brother.

“The Jewish community as a whole has lost one of its bright young leaders and the wider world has lost a champion of peace and goodwill,” a statement read.


Texas GOP: No church-state split

July 9, 2006 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Church and State, political parties | Leave a comment

(Chicago Tribune) When the Texas Republican Party adopted its platform recently, party leaders left no question as to the importance it placed on religion.

The platform calls America a “Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian principles,” and that has drawn a frustrated reaction from Jewish groups that consider the language exclusionary.


Exhibit is meant to counter stereotypes of Jewish moms

July 9, 2006 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Fun | Leave a comment

(San Jose Mercury News) Photographer Lloyd Wolf looked at the negative stereotypes of Jewish mothers in TV shows such as “Seinfeld” and books such as Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” and did not like what he saw.

“There was no positive material on Jewish mothers,” he said. “It didn’t correspond to reality.”

To remedy the problem, Wolf and writer Paula Wolfson decided to interview and photograph dozens of women across the country, “from very alternative to very orthodox types of people.” The project yielded portraits of real, capable women: midwife Alice Bailes, who calmly delivers a squealing infant; grandmother Sydell Laskowitz, posing at her bat mitzvah at age 101; doctor Rachel Eitches, proudly breast-feeding her twin daughters.


Jewish family flees Delaware school district’s aggressive Christianity

July 9, 2006 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Church and State | Leave a comment

(Jews on First) A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The religion (if any) of a second family in the lawsuit is not known, because they’re suing as Jane and John Doe; they also fear retaliation. Both families are asking relief from “state-sponsored religion.”


Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts

July 8, 2006 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Announcements + Events | Leave a comment

(NY Times) A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.


What we love about America

July 3, 2006 at 9:03 am | Posted in Identity, political parties | Leave a comment

(Boston Globe) IT IS BETTER to be a half-formed and rough idea than a brilliant cliché. Such preference for the imperfect new defines America. As we celebrate the birth of our nation, can we put words on the reason we love it? Let me try.

Because Europeans measured what they found here against what they had left behind, newness was the main note of the settled land. In the beginning, religiously enflamed politics had made life intolerable in the old country, a story that achieved its master form with the coming to Virginia and Massachusetts of the English dissidents.


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