Today, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) released a microsite, titled Mitt Romney and Iran, showing the troublesome economic ties Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has to Iran. While Romney tries to talk tough on Iran, he allowed his personal investments and Massachusetts's pension fund to directly benefit from business with Iran.
Jewish voters deserve to know the numerous financial ties Mitt Romney has with Iran. Governor Romney often talks a good game when speaking about preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but when he had the opportunity to act-both as governor and with his personal investment-he came up far short. Former Congressman Mel Levine summed it up best:
If Romney has seemingly gotten away with this ... in the name of gaining even more personal wealth, imagine what he would do as president when he actually has the responsibility to make tough decisions to stop Iran.
Kol Nidre is the traditional Aramaic declaration recited for the Yom Kippur evening service. This solemn ceremony is meant to release the community from oaths which were made in error or under duress. The Rabbinical Assembly of New Haven has created a variant of the Kol Nidre formula for use by Congressmen, Senators and otehr politicians trapped by their pledge to Grover Norquist.
Dissolution of "No New Tax" Pledge
All vows, renunciations, bans, oaths, formulas of obligation, pledges, and promises that were made by members of the House of Representatives or the Senate and other public officials, lawmakers, city officials and candidates for office in the United States of America before this Yom Kippur 5773 (17 September 2012), whether in writing or orally, to not raise taxes or impose new taxes, all are undone, repealed, cancelled, voided, annulled, and released, and regarded as neither valid nor binding by our community. They are hereby released and forgiven by this Earthly Court, and so may they be released and forgiven by the Highest Court.
Thus ordered, thus decreed and thus released by the signatories below, constituting a rabbinic court of three under our authority and the authority of the Rabbinical Assembly of New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and others who have joined with us.
Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen,
Rabbi Yaakov Komisar, and
Rabbi Baruch A. Levine
Rabbi Murray Levine,
Rabbi Alan H. Lovins, and
Rabbi Joshua Ratner
כל נדרי ואסרי וחרמי וקנמי וכנויי וקנוסי ושבועות והבטחות והתחייבויות דנדרו ודאשתבּעו
ודאחרימו ודאסרו ודהבטחו והתחייבו חברי בית הנבחרים והסנאט ופקידי הציבור
ומחוקקים וחברי וועדי העיר ומועמדים למשרד בארצות הברית עד יום כפור זה שנת
ה׳תשע״ג בין בכתב ובין בעל פה בכוונה ללא להעלות מיסים וללא להטיל מיסים חדשים
כלּהון יהון שרן שביקין שביתין בטלין ומבוטלין לא שרירין ולא קימין. אין כאן לא נדר
ולא אסור ולא חרם ולא קונם ולא קנס ולא שבועה ולא הבטחה ולא התחייבות ויש כאן
מחילה וסליחה וכפרה. וכשם שמתירים בבית דין של מטה، כך יהיו מֻ תרים מבית דין של
כך צוים וכך גוזרים וכך מתירים אנחנו، חתומי מטה، בישיבת בית דין של שלשה של כנסת
הרבנים בניו היבן ומצטרפים עלינו עוד רבנים מוסמכים כאן בעיר ניו היבן קנקטקט במדינת
Honorary gala co-chairs (L) Ron Rubin of Narberth and (R) Ed Rosen of Bryn Mawr with
(C) gala co-chair Jerome Muchnick of Philadelphia.
— by Scott D. Bluebond and Ann Hilferty
On the evening of Thursday, June 7, 2012, the Golden Slipper Club & Charities (GSC) hosted its 90th annual anniversary gala at Vie at 600 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia. The gala co-chairs were Jerome N. Muchnick and Barbara Frishberg, the tribute book co-chairs were Nanci and Ken Gilberg and Joseph H. Levine, the honorary co-chairs were Edward H. Rosen and Ronald Rubin, the young gala co-chairs were Megan and Brian Gilberg and Rachel Giuliano and Matthew Bagell, and the executive director is Paul Geller. Approximately 213 guests enjoyed fabulous food, cocktails, live music with Eddie Bruce, dancing and more, all to benefit GSC.
The evening looked back throughout Golden Slipper history by honoring past presidents, gold medallion recipients, and Horatio Alger honorees. These individuals created the Golden Slipper overnight camp, the Center for Seniors, a scholarship program for college students, and the human needs and services program. They also celebrated the induction of the second term of club president, Stephen H. Frishberg and the incoming officers and board members.
Collaboration between Golden Slipper Club & Charities and Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service Brings 253 Volunteers Together to Help the Cause
Volunteers line up to prepare boxes of food for those in need in South Jersey.
— by Scott D. Bluebond and Lara Barrett
(VOORHEES, NJ) Golden Slipper Club and Charities and Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service of Southern New Jersey (JFCS) hosted the first Family Food Distribution Day in Voorhees on Sunday, June 3, 2012. Volunteers traveled to warehouse space donated by NFI Industries in Voorhees, New Jersey to help to pack and deliver supplemental food boxes to over 220 families in need in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington and Cumberland Counties in South Jersey. The day represented a way to give back to the community, family style, for volunteers from toddlers to senior citizens.
A Green Kippah, a film directed and produced by Philadelphia's Sally Mitlas, was aired numerous times throughout Yom HaZikron on Israel's Channel 10.
This moving documentary, originally created for Philadelphia's 2011 Yom HaZikron ceremony, chronicles the lives and tragic death of three Pennsylvania Jews: David Solomonov (z"l), Rita Levine (z"l) and Michael Levin (z"l).
All three heroes died in the prime of their lives — through an act of terror, a sniper's bullet and defending Israel's border — reminding us that when Israel loses a son or daughter, it is felt by every Jew around the world.
Following the Channel 10 screenings, Sally received a flood of emails from Israelis who were moved by the documentary. One said
I have just finished watching the movie Green Kippah on Israeli television. I would like to thank you for sharing these stories with us. It is because of families like you, who have a deep love for Israel, that all of us can have quiet peaceful lives. My heart and love is with you...
A Green Kippah was screened at many memorial ceremonies and educational programs across our region (and in the U.S.) including locally at Drexel University, Kohelet Yeshiva High School, and Politz Hebrew Academy.
Last month, Democratic National Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) gave an interview to Charley J. Levine of Hadassah Magazine. Wasserman Schultz discussed a number of issues pertaining to the Jewish community including Israel, President Barack Obama's record, and the Jewish vote.
Wasserman Schultz said regarding Obama and Israel
:[Obama] proposed more than $3 billion in aid to Israel in a very difficult economy because he recognizes how important Israel's security is. He authorized and supported $205 million for the Iron Dome missile defense system, which is effective against rocket attacks that have been occurring mercilessly against Israel. He authorized the sale of the bunker buster bombs, where President Bush had declined. I would argue he has been a better, more consistent friend to Israel than previous administrations.
Former Representative Mel Levine (D-CA) helped differentiate between the facts of President Barack Obama's extensive pro-Israel record and the distorted portrayals created by many of the Republican presidential candidates. In his op-ed in Haaretz, Levine took special aim at former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for disregarding Obama's efforts to protect Israel and isolate the Iranian regime. Levine wrote:
Gov. Romney recklessly and inaccurately misrepresents President Obama's record of leadership in foreign policy in general. His disdain for the President Obama's foreign policy conveniently ignores the president's leadership in building international coalitions which have imposed exceptionally stiff sanctions on Iran....
And, ironically, in terms of inventing his own facts, the core policies Romney advocates have already been accomplished by President Obama. (Perhaps the former Governor has not been paying attention.) For example, Romney argues that current sanctions against Iran are weak and specifically states that 'if there ever was a possibility of gaining the Kremlin's support for tougher sanctions against Tehran ... President Obama foreclosed it.' But he fails to recognize that President Obama succeeded, where others had failed, in obtaining both Russian and Chinese support for international sanctions against Iran, sanctions as a result of the president's leadership are the strongest that have been obtained by any U.S. president.
President Obama's policies toward Iran have been tough and clear. As has been his staunch support for Israel. This president understands the threat which a nuclear Iran poses to the international community. That a serious candidate for the Presidency would intentionally distort and misrepresent that clear policy does a disservice to our nation.
Success Stories and Strategies for Interfaith Action
-- Rabbi Warren Stone
I was invited to Rome to speak by the U.S. Embassy and the Vatican's Pontifical Gregorian University for a major one-day conference on October 12, entitled: "Building Bridges of Hope: Success Stories and Strategies for Interfaith Action." The program's vision was to include the Abrahamic faith traditions on three global issues panels, each of which included a Christian, Jewish and Muslim leader. The issues were:
Equitable and Ethical Development,
Caring for the Environment and
Atttending the conference were worldwide ambassadors to the Vatican, Vatican Bishops and officials, seminary students from Gregorian and the international media.
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