Shabbat Surfing: Post-Iowa Caucuses

This week, Iowa finally got the ball rolling on the 2012 Republican nomination. While Jews make up just 0.2% of Iowa’s population, the internet was still abuzz about implications for the Jewish community as we get closer to a nominee.

Next stop, New Hamphire. Shabbat Shalom!

Book Trailer: How the End Begins

Author Ron Rosenbaum will take part in our Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival panel “Israel, Loose Nukes and the End of the World” on November 1.

In Case You Missed It: BHL Talks About the Failure of European Liberals at the LitFest

Bernard-Henri Lévy coming to DC via Tblisi and Gori

UPDATED: This event has sold-out, but you can submit a question for BHL and have it answered online.

This year’s Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture will be delivered Saturday, September 20 by Bernard-Henri Lévy at La Maison Française at the Embassy of France. His new book, Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism, “scrutinizes the totalitarianisms of the past as well as those on the horizon, and argues powerfully for a new political and moral vision for our times.”

Although BHL (as he is known in France) came to greater American attention only in 2003 for his investigative book, Who Killed Daniel Pearl?, he has for decades been a leading philosopher/journalist in France who cut his teeth covering the 1971 Bangladeshi War of Independence from Pakistan. So perhaps it is not surprising that he was recently in Georgia to observe the situation on the ground in Tblisi and Gori which he recounts in the Huffington Post:

As we approach Gori, the situation is different, the tension is suddenly palpable. Georgian jeeps are sprawled in the ditches on the sides of the road. Farther along is a burnt-out tank. Even farther along is a more important check point which completely blocks the group of journalists we have joined. And it is here that we are clearly told that we are no longer welcome, “You are in Russian territory now,” barks an officer puffed up with importance. “Only those with Russian accreditation may go farther.”

The post ranges from the war-torn streets of Gori and Kaspi to the inner-sanctum of besieged Georgian President Saakashvili to a suprising admission from a Russian General regarding Israel’s support for the Georgian army, “We summoned the Israeli Foreign Minister to Moscow. And he was told that if he continues to supply arms to the Georgians we would continue to supply Hezbollah and Hamas.” BHL concludes his essay with a moral charge sure to resonate with the themes of his talk on September 20, “Either we are capable of raising our voice and saying STOP to Putin in Georgia. Or the man who went, in his own words, “down into the toilets” to kill the civilians in Chechnya will feel he has the right to do the same thing to any one of his neighbors. Is this how we will build Europe, peace and the world of tomorrow?”

Eric Cantor for Veep? He can thank the Q Street Preschool

Well, since the air is buzzing that McCain will be announcing his running-mate any day now (possibly even tomorrow), I thought it was now-or-never to cash in on our connection to this year’s VeepStakes. Loyal readers may recall that our Pre-K Yanshufim class did a Reggio project on elections during the Primary season that was supposed to last six weeks, and well…went on for a lot longer than that.

Rep. Eric Cantor for Veep?

Rep. Eric Cantor for Veep?

As part of their project they went to visit Congressman Eric Cantor, the Republican chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives. I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with the Congressman when we first posted about the visit. You figure anyone who makes time in their day for a bunch of pre-school students (from the no-vote-in-Congress-District-of-Columbia) can’t be too important. I guess I sold him short. Way short. Because this past weekend I read this in the Washington Post.

Cantor for Veep Movement Gaining Steam

Conservatives wary of John McCain and worried about who he’ll choose for a running mate are offering up ideas left and — more to the point — right. One of the ideas gaining momentum in conservative circles is Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

The case for a McCain-Cantor ticket has some strong logic behind it:

Cantor, the 45-year-old Republican chief deputy whip of the House, has three great attributes: youth, conservative bona fides and geographic desirability, as Virginia will likely be a crucial swing state in this year’s presidential election.

Oh, and in a year where Jews are seen as a potential swing vote, Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House. Now, that didn’t work out so great for Gore/Lieberman in 2000, but don’t let that stop you John.

So just in-case Cantor is chosen (and he doesn’t even appear on some shortlists on the same Washington Post website) we want to say, “We knew it all along.” If you want to make sense of politics in Washington, just let the four-year-olds lead you.

Q Street Preschool Exclusive: Obama and Clinton Talk on the Phone

The Q Street Preschool\'s Primary Election MapWe’re not the first to observe that the Democratic primary season has gone on for a long time. How long? Well, in our Q Street Preschool the Yanshufim class that began a Reggio Emilia-inspired project looking at politics back in January, thinking it would be an undertaking demanding their attention for a few weeks, has seen it go on for months. While the nominating process went on and on, the children grew several inches, had new siblings join their families and doggedly stuck with their project. Now that it has “ended” with Barack Obama earning enough delegates to claim the nomination, the Yanshufim gathered in circle time this morning to consider the political moment and like alot of pundits, consider the way forward. When their teachers Jill and Gary told them that according to reports, Obama and Clinton spoke on the phone this morning, the class re-created what might have been said:

Alex- Obama will ask, “Can you be my running mate?” Clinton will say, “I would like to be your running mate.”

Anna- Clinton will say, “I want to be your running mate.”

Zoe- Obama will say, “If you want to keep running you may, but if you want to drop out you may also.”

Gabriel – Obama will say, “I think we can beat John McCain together.”

One girl in the class summed up her feelings as being, “Happy and Sad. Sad because Hillary didn’t win, but happy because Obama got the nomination.” This may have been the most apt observation, as the Democrats’ chances in November ride on whether enough grown-ups will also feel the same.

Helping Mayor Fenty

It seems some people are upset that Mayor Adrian Fenty chose to outfit himself in a Fleet Feet t-shirt while jogging through Rock Creek Park–a photo of which is now being used as part of a Destination DC ad campaign to lure tourism dollars to the District. The problem is that the Adams Morgan store is owned by his parents and those “some people” have suggested that an ad campaign financed by public dollars ought not provide free advertising for the family business. We don’t take a position either way, except to offer the mayor, who normally needs no sartorial advice, the use of a Washington DCJCC t-shirt then next time he goes for a run.

Adrian Fenty in DCJCC t-shirt

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