Monthly Archives: September 2008

RJC Running Negative Poll On Obama’s Jewish Issues

Have you gotten a call from the Republican Jewish Coalition recently? If you live in a contested state like Florida, Michigan, or Ohio, you just might have. You might have thought it was just another pollster, and were ready to hang up…

These kinds of polling phone calls are commonplace in battleground states during an election year. But what makes the RJC’s recent phone initiative distinctive is the controversial line of questioning, which has Barack Obama supporters up in arms.

ABC News, Politico, and Ha’aretz reported on the calls, which implied or said that Obama had given money to the Palestine Liberation Operation, that Hamas supported Obama and that Obama’s Middle East advisers are pro-Palestinian, among other things. Continue reading

Announcing the 2007 Moment-Karma Short Fiction Contest winners

Moment Magazine is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Moment Magazine−Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest, our prestigious international contest for Jewish short fiction. This year’s winners—Joe Kraus of Scranton, PA; Andi Arnovitz of Jerusalem; and Ellen Davis Sullivan of Andover, MA—will be honored at our annual event, this year featuring guest judge Geraldine Brooks, on December 9 at 7:30 pm at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City (257 West 88th Street).

The contest, cosponsored by Moment Magazine and the Karma Foundation, was established in 2000 to recognize the renaissance in Jewish literature that has occurred over the last decade.

At the event, Geraldine Brooks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March and People of the Book, will read from her work and the contest winners will read from their stories. A reception and book signing will follow. The event is free, but registration is required. Register online at momentmag.com or call our editorial office at (202) 363-6422.

The winning stories will be published in our next issue (November/December). Each of the winners will receive a cash prize: first place $1,000, second place $500, and third place $250. Read on for bios of our winners. Continue reading

Palin and Evangelicals Give Jews the Creeps. Relax, People.

By Inthemoment contributor Larry Kessner.

OK, I understand why the Jews are nervous about Sarah Palin. Forget all the chatter about Obama being “out of the mainstream” because he’s Kenyan/Kansan/Hawaiian/Malaysian-ite-whatever-whatever. He’s not out of my mainstream. The top of my class was full of Obamas. I knew Obamas in college, law school and just about every walk of life.

For many American Jews, it’s Palin, not Obama, who is a creature from another planet. She does not live in our Volvo-ridden neighborhoods, she does not visit Wellfleet in August, she did not attend any of the colleges on our kids’ lists (and she went to five of them), and her book club (if she had one, which is unlikely) would not be full of therapists and lawyers.

So, naturally, she gives Jews the heebie-jeebies. No pun intended.

And it’s not just the things she doesn’t do. It’s the things she does do. Names her kids Track, Trig, etc. Shoots large animals, guts them and poses next to them while smiling beatifically. Has a pregnant teenager and makes the poor kid marry her self-described “(expletive) redneck” baby-daddy. Lets her husband spend his down-time vrooming snowmobiles across Alaska.

Most of us just don’t get her. Continue reading

Reminder: Post Questions for Ariel Sabar

Don’t forget to post your questions for Ariel Sabar regarding his story in our current issue. Leave a comment, and your question might be answered by him in a later post.

Inappropriate Politics at Beijing Games Continues

This weekend, the Iranian men’s wheelchair basketball team competing at the Paralympic Games in Beijing quit the tournament. The reason given was “dissatisfaction” with their “schedule,” although there is speculation that they quit because of the possibility they would play the Israeli team in the next round.

According to theTehran Times:

The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the International Paralympics Committee announced that Iran has pulled out of competition “due to their dissatisfaction with the draw proposed for the cross-over round and subsequent schedule”. Continue reading

Dreams about Sarah Palin (with Jewish content)

At some point before I cast my ballot this November, I am going to have a dream about Sarah Palin. It is just inevitable—she is everywhere right now. And though I may be a would-be Palin dreamer, I am not alone. As of Friday, Slate received almost 500 letters from readers whose partisan, bipartisan, juicy and just plain weird dreams about Palin were, as we would say in California, totally awesome:

It’s hard to generalize about such a large group of dreams, but there were a few persistent themes: Palin as a gun-toting animal killer, pregnancies and denied abortions, baby Trig, and the landscape of Alaska. Many of you reported dreaming about John McCain dying and Palin taking over the Oval Office. Both men and straight women reported sexual fantasies involving the Alaska governor…

Palin appeared sticking her finger in Indian pudding, washing dishes at a Jewish summer camp, and making a hotel bed in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, the Jewish summer camp dream was not one of the 20 entries Slate published, so we may never know whether Palin was there in the capacity of a pushy Jewish mother or as an undercover missionary from the Wasilla Assembly of God.

Whatever the case, more gold is out there. I know that you have had dreams about Governor Palin. There’s no shame! It happens to all of us. Or will soon. Did you break challah with Palin? Had a tryst at a Tel Aviv nightclub? Did she officiate at your daughter’s bat mitzvah? Was Palin sworn in as the prime minister, shattering that “hardest, highest ceiling” in Israel “once and for all”? Oh wait, they already had Gold Meir.

Let it off your chest! Post away your dreams in the comments section below.

Nonna Gorilovskaya

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As Chinese Come to Israel, Recalling One Israeli in China

We’ve come a long way since 1985, when Israeli travelers I met in China had to hide their “real” passports from local authorities and most Chinese I met had never left their home province, let alone crossed a national border. The China Daily recently reported that, on September 25, Chinese tourists will visit Israel for the first time without special business visas.

I hope Israel’s new guests find friends around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, which top their itinerary. I know I was never lonely during the year I spent roaming the People’s Republic with a manual typewriter and three changes of clothing. Besides billions of Chinese for company, I encountered a small army of other “foreign ghosts” traveling, like me, without tour guides or coach buses. In our dorm-style accommodations and in the streets, train stations and open-air markets, they were hard to miss.

Just a few of my fellow backpackers were Israelis. I was lucky enough in Lhasa, Tibet, to become fast friends with one of them, a dry-witted anthropologist from Netanya named Dina Heimann. Our decision to travel together after a planned rendez-vous with her brother, Eli, embroiled me in her life, and Israeli culture, in ways I never would have expected. Continue reading