Shabbat Surfing: Leap Year Edition


  • Dr. Marion Usher, our interfaith guru, was interviewed on NPR’s Tell Me More. According to a new survey by the Pew Forum on Religious Life, 44 percent of adults change their religious affiliation from that of their childhood. A roundtable of spiritual counselors discusses how the challenges of intimate interfaith relationships might support the new findings.  It airs today on WAMU at 2pm but can be heard on their website as well.
  • The blogosphere has been buzzing with posts analyzing Barack Obama’s positions on Israel and Tim Russert’s injection of Louis Farrakhan as a campaign issue. The JTA has a decent round-up of all bloviators and a follow-up post with more reactions. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton’s Jewish supporters soldier-on in Ohio, and John McCain’s  campaign, in a weird manuever, suggests a tri-lateral debate between the candidates’ Jewish surrogates and then withdraws at the last moment.
  • Prince of Petworth asks a question that’s occurred to me every time I’ve walked out our Q Street entrance for the past 11 years.
  • Jehan Harney, a local filmmaker, gets selected for an online film festival for her documentary, Soul Mechanic that tells the story of a Muslim mechanic who creates artworks inspired by three religions in his garage.
  • The National Capital Memorials Advisory Commission rejected a sculpture as a memorial to victims of terrorism designed by New York sculptor Suse Lowenstein, whose son was killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The commissioners said they preferred something more abstract and timeless than Lowenstein’s 76 figures of women locked in the pose they were in when they learned their loved one had been killed. The figures in the work, Dark Elegy are nude, which the artist says reduces them all to the same level, but which the commission feared would offend some sensibilites and encourage distasteful vandalism. While I understand the commission’s decision, I was profoundly moved by Lowenstein’s work when it was displayed in my home town some years ago, and hope it can find a home somewhere in the DC-area.
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