Political theorist Michael Walzer: The founders of Israel, India and Algeria believed religion would wither away.
Photo by David Holzel

Where did the founders go wrong? They underestimated the power of the ‘old religion,’ says political theorist Michael Walzer

These are difficult times for the pro-Israel left, according to political theorist Michael Walzer, himself a member of that troubled circle. Walzer, whose books include Just and Unjust Wars, is a member of “a group of left-wing academics who are fighting BDS” — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel — “and at the… Read More

Del. Mark Levine (D-District 45) meets with Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day participants in his legislative office Tuesday at the General Assembly in Richmond. With him are, from left, AJC Washington Regional Director Alan Ronkin, constituent Janet Garber, Jewish 
Foundation for Group Homes CEO Vivian Bass and Todd Schenk, CEO of the Jewish Social Service Agency.
Photo by Josh Marks

BDS at issue for Virginia Advocacy Day

RICHMOND — The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The final vote tally was 89-2 with six of the 34 Democratic legislators and two of the 66 Republican lawmakers abstaining. Northern Virginia Jewish community members traveled to Richmond to voice their support for… Read More

.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) saw in Israel’s justice system a lesson for the United States.  
Photo by Daniel Schere

Justice Department is pushed to prosecute Palestinian terrorists

Using a congressional subcommittee hearing as their venue, activists on Tuesday called on the federal government to prosecute those responsible for alleged Palestinian terror attacks on Americans in Israel. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, was among legislators who questioned Brad Wiegmann, deputy assistant attorney general about why the Justice… Read More

Larissa Marco, from left, Deborah Rosen and Melissa Murphy are among this year's 11 ConnectGens fellows.

Innovators seek to create options where few exist

Larissa Marco asked the grandmother of a friend if she would want to remain in her home once she was unable to drive herself around. “Her answer was, ‘No. I’d want to move into assisted living,’” says Marco, 29. “AARP found that 90 percent of seniors want to age in place. When they choose assisted… Read More

Lauren Charma’s social media campaign is #SnapForInclusion. “My overall goal is to spread understanding of how to make everything inclusive,” she says.

Teen says encouraging disability inclusion is a snap

Lauren Chmara has a snappy response to the lack of inclusion she sees for people with disabilities. Snapping fingers, she explains, is a way of getting attention or a substitute for applause. So when the 16-year-old Falls Church resident was looking for a hook for a social media project for Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion… Read More

resident Barack Obama talks about fighting anti-Semitism in his address at the Israeli Embassy last week, the first visit by a sitting president to the diplomatic mission.
Photo by Suzanne Pollak

A righteous night at Israeli Embassy

Updated on Feb. 3, 2016 Four people were honored posthumously at the Israeli Embassy as Righteous Among the Nations for having the moral courage to stand up to injustice and evil and saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust. President Barack Obama, the first sitting president to speak at the embassy, told 225 people gathered the… Read More

Simha and Leah Goldin came to Washington, D.C., last week to win support for their efforts to obtain their son’s body, which is being held by Hamas.
Photo by Suzanne Pollak

Parents say son’s body is a Hamas bargaining chip

All Simha and Leah Goldin want is to be given their son’s body to bury. “This is the basic, humane thing to do, in all religions,” said Leah Goldin, whose son, Hadar Goldin, was killed in 2014 by Hamas fighters during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Goldin was 23 years old, a lieutenant in… Read More


Zoning approved for D.C. day school expansion

Groundbreaking for a middle school at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital is set for June 2017, now that the District of Columbia zoning board has approved its expansion plans. “We are excited,” said Naomi Reem, head of schools. “Getting zoning approval makes it much more concrete that this is happening.” The… Read More

Md. bill would trim expenses for nonprofits needing annual audits

Nonprofit organizations in Maryland taking in less than $750,000 a year may get some financial relief if a bill in the General Assembly that proposes to increase the amount of charitable income that is required for an audit becomes law. The required income level is currently $500,000. The proposed level would be $750,000, a change… Read More

Mazon President  Abby J. Leibman submitted testimony to the House Subcommittee on Nutrition.

Nonprofit targets food insecurity in military

Food insecurity is a pervasive problem among military and veteran families, the leader of a Jewish nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger in the United States and Israel told Congress. “Across the country, service members were, and still are, showing up at food pantries, sometimes in uniform, looking for help in feeding their families,” Abby J…. Read More


Real D.C. rabbi appears on ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’

Mark Novak is kvelling in his 15 minutes of fame. Well, make that 15 seconds. The District of Columbia rabbi and cantor, who founded and leads the alternative Minyan Oneg Shabbat, made a cameo appearance on the Bravo reality show The Real Housewives of Potomac. The clip is brief. But it got a lot of… Read More

Unfriendly fire: How an anti-Semitic protest overtook premier LGBT conference

Progressive LGBT activists and many of our straight allies were unable to escape the recent firestorm of concern and complaint that raised the specter of anti-Semitism across traditional and digital media. Condemnations abounded, fixing the community’s collective focus on the protest that shut down a Jan. 22 reception and program hosted by A Wider Bridge… Read More