Time to raise the minimum wage in Md.

Any discussion of the minimum wage should begin with the fact that Costco pays a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states. Compare that to the $7.25 minimum wage mandated by federal law, the state of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia; and the $8.25 minimum wage in the District. In Maryland, a new… Read More

Resolve and hope on Yom Kippur

With the High Holidays falling at the earliest time since 1899, they also coincide with the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the dozen years since that fateful day of horror and tragedy, the initial sense of dread and helplessness has in many ways given way to resolve, hope and a greater understanding and… Read More

Who owns Iraq’s Jewish past?

In the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, U.S. troops discovered a treasure trove of Iraq’s ancient Jewish community in the waterlogged basement of Saddam Hussein’s secret police headquarters. The vast collection included more than 2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents, the earliest from 1540. They were left behind… Read More

Red lines, green lights and mixed messages

The past week has been witness to a dizzying array of political brinksmanship, even in a town like Washington, D.C., where changing strategy can be as commonplace as changing shoes. More than a year ago, President Obama declared that if Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, used chemical weapons to attack his own people, he would be… Read More

Do we need a White House Jewish liaison?

When Matt Nosanchuk was appointed associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for Jewish Outreach last month, the former defense department staffer became the fourth in a series of President Obama’s “Jewish liaisons.” It is a role that goes back officially or unofficially to FDR and Harry Truman. The Jewish liaison is… Read More

Hamas’ sudden vulnerability

The chaotic changes in the Middle East have had at least one positive result at the moment: the weakening of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. Because of alignment decisions made by the Islamist group in both Egypt and Syria, Hamas has emerged as a big loser. Having been a strong supporter… Read More

The Sela Hebrew charter school experiment

The Sela Public Charter School, which opened its doors in Washington on Monday, is a Hebrew-immersion school. It is not a Jewish school. And it is not an Israeli school. It is something quite different, and it could deliver results that will go beyond the learning of an old-new language. Sela is an American school… Read More

Another Syria?

With the death toll in Egypt now at more than 1,000, and through its ongoing deadly security sweeps targeted at supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian military has ended the pretense that it is supporting a civilian government and a return to the rule of law. Among the victims of the chaos in… Read More

Paying the price for quality Jewish education

If the closure of the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning and its replacement by a Jewish Federation of Greater Washington education department changes the priority our community gives to Jewish education, we hope it will only be to raise it. So much of Jewish life revolves around learning that a community that merely pays… Read More

More than a time-out needed with Russia

With the cancellation of President Obama’s meeting early next month with President Vladimir Putin, the administration’s hoped-for political reset with the Russians has suffered a further setback. Mr. Obama canceled the planned bilateral meeting in Moscow shortly after Mr. Putin granted political asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The grant of asylum to Snowden was… Read More