The New York Jewish Week reports on the withering of Harlem’s Commandment Keepers, “the nation’s oldest African-American [Jewish] congregation,”
Also in The Jewish Week: Producers of a new musical look for an actor to play a Hasid who falls in love with a Brooklyn hipster, and Cynthia Ozick rips the paper’s coverage of Tova Reich’s satirical novel “My Holocaust.”
The Connecticut Jewish Ledger continues its series devoted to Jewish soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq. This installment remembers Sgt. Aron Blum, Cpl. Ryan J. Clark, Capt. Robert Michael Secher, and Pfc. Colin Joseph Wolfe. May their memories be a blessing.
A 26-year-old Jewish veteran of the Afghanistan war is making a run for the Missouri House of Representatives, The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle reports. “I got a close up view — firsthand, really — of the results of the Bush and (Missouri Gov. Matt) Blunt philosophy of government when I was overseas,” Jason Kander, a Democrat, told the newspaper. “We should be winning that war, and instead we are struggling in Afghanistan because of short-sighted, conservative policy choices. … The false urgency of Iraq is costing us success in the place where it’s truly in our interest to succeed. The terrorists with international reach are in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not in Iraq. … And it got me to thinking about the consequences of short-sighted, conservative policy choices on the state level, which is how you end up with 100,000 people being cut off from Medicaid; which is how you end up with a higher-education policy that is not working for folks … and all these things together made me want to run.”
A tug of war for control of Temple Bnai Moshe, a Conservative congregation in the Brighton section of Boston, has landed synagogue board members in Superior Court. According to Boston’s Jewish Advocate, the conflict has its roots in a struggle over the synagogue’s religious orientation. Members of an Orthodox minyan that meets in the synagogue’s building have proposed making the shul an Orthodox place of worship, which has angered other congregants. “I feel it’s like a real attempt to take over our temple,” said Vladimir Foygelman, a board member. “We tried to help them.… For me, this is like someone coming into my home and saying, ‘You know, I like this place so get out.’”
Jonathan Tobin, editor of Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, writes that “there’s something about having your name mentioned as a possible presidential candidate that seems to bring out Zionists in the most unlikely places.” But, he writes, more important that “pandering to pro-Israel sentiment,” is the question of what the candidates would actually do about Iran.
Also in the Exponent, Adina Matusow asks: Where can a nice Jewish boy or girl find that special Jewish someone, when he or she is gay?
Alex Kasriel of London’s Jewish Chronicle found a novel way of responding to British unions’ efforts to boycott Israel. For a week, she bought only goods and services made in Israel (or by firms targeted by boycotters for their ties to the Jewish state). Thanks to the wide-ranging ire of the boycotters, Kasriel’s task turns out to be pretty easy, though she does get a stomach ache from her dinner of Israeli-grown roasted sweet potatoes, with dates and figs for dessert.