Israel asks U.S. Jews, ex-pat Israelis: Where do your loyalties lie? Israel’s immigrant absorption and foreign ministries distributed a survey commissioned by an Israel lobby group that asks questions about dual allegiance and the Jewish lobby in America. Following the report in Haaretz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the ministries to immediately halt the distribution of the questionnaire.
American boy’s bedazzling bar mitzvah becomes YouTube hit: Sam Horowitz, star of the newly viral video, makes a spectacular entrance in sparkly white suit in the lavish ballroom of the Omni Hotel in Dallas.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, says U.S. Jewry is “afraid” to conduct internal discussions regarding Israel.
“Conversations about Israel often get polarized,” Jacobs told Haaretz this week, “so we’ve stopped having them. And that’s the worst kind of disengagement there is.”
Jacobs, who is the “scholar in residence” at this year’s General Assembly in Baltimore, also believes that U.S. Jewry must insist on a new definition of religion and state in Israel. Read more.
President Barack Obama won 69 percent of the Jewish vote in the 2012 elections, according to an exit poll.
Republicans, meanwhile, noted the discrepancy between Tuesday’s numbers and the 78 percent Obama garnered in 2008 exit polls.
Jewish Democrats lauded Obama’s victory, praising the support given to him by American Jewish voters. Read more.
Gilad Shalit, the 1962 version: How a 10-year-old boy rattled the Mossad, the Soviets and the Americans.
The country was in uproar over two Jews in the summer of 1962. One was a 10-year-old boy, a native of the Soviet Union named Yossele Schumacher, who had immigrated to Israel as a young child with his parents. The other was a 62-year-old psychiatrist who had been convicted of spying for the Soviets, Dr. Robert Soblen.
The child had been smuggled from Israel to New York; Soblen fled from New York to Israel.
The two never met, but starred in one story that preoccupies Israel to this day: the story about the connection between Israelis and Jews. Read more.
A new poll has found that young American Jews are growing more attached to Israel.
Renowned sociologist Professor Steve Cohen says the result is probably a result of the “cumulative impact of Birthright Israel.”
At the same time, however, these strengthened links to Israel have not yielded any greater support for Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, according to the findings of a survey of American Jews carried out by the progressive social group the Workmen’s Circle. Read more.
Chemi Shalev / If it’s Obama vs. Romney, the battle for the Jews is on
Jews might sympathize more than others with the Mormon candidate’s need to put on a mask in the company of Christian conservatives.
Rick Santorum’s departure from the Republican presidential race means that America probably won’t witness the kind of now or never, black-or-white, life or death campaign that is par for the course in Israeli elections. And in a race that now seems to be bound for the heart of the American center, Barack Obama and the presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney will be waging fierce battle for the support of American Jews as well.
Romney stands a fighting chance of making inroads among the 78% or so of the Jews who voted for Obama in 2008. If he can allay Jewish concerns about the influence of Christian conservatives on his social agenda, Romney might convert enough Jewish votes in places where it could theoretically make a very big difference. If he keeps Obama at or around the 62% of the Jewish vote that a recent survey of the Public Religion Research Institute gave him, Romney will have come close to or even equaled the best results ever achieved by Republican presidential candidates. Read more.