JTA’s new blog on Jewish philanthropy The Fundermentalist (get it?) kicks-off with a bang by scooping Yossi Beilin’s claim that he invented the Birthright program sending kids on free trips to Israel courtesy of mega-philanthropists Michael Steinhardt and Charles Bronfman. What impressed us what not the scoop itself, but where the Fundermentalist got it:
Beilin, speaking with the Fundermentalist within sight of both Steinhardt and Bronfman – at their own party, no less – said that he, Beilin, came up with the idea to send Diaspora Jews to Israel for free in 1993, when he, Beilin, was deputy Foreign Minister under Shimon Peres.
Elsewhere Joe Lieberman has been getting added grief from around the blogosphere for his continuing allegiance with Rev. John Hagee–he of the divinely inspired Hitler remarks. Daniel Koffler at Jewcy sums it up pretty well, asking “What village do you have to start a pogrom in to be called an antisemite these days?”
When Shavuot ends next week, the Jewish wedding season will get into full swing. Jewess looks at the topic from the perspective of an 1898 article in the magazine American Jewess written by “An Immigrant.” It is a great on-going feature of that blog that you should definitely check-out.
Finally, while we know it is a mitzvah to visit the grave of a Jewish scholar, this is just creepy–not to mention we question the hygenic conditions.