A Message from
President Dr. Robert Wexler
Although John McCain has already
been anointed as the Republican nominee, we still do not
know who will be carrying the Democratic banner. Nevertheless,
I thought I would say a few words about the only really
significant issue in any American campaign: How will the
Jews vote? But before I venture an opinion on this subject,
let me test your Jewish voting I.Q.
Question #1: Who was the last
Republican to win a plurality of the Jewish vote?
Question #2: Since 1960, which
Democrat won the highest percentage of the Jewish vote?
Question #3: Since 1960, which
Democrat won the lowest percentage of the Jewish vote?
Question #4: According to recent
surveys, what percentage of adult Jews identify as Liberals,
Moderates or Conservatives?
Are you ready for the
#1: Warren G. Harding in 1920 was the last Republican to
win a plurality (43%) of the Jewish vote.
Johnson in 1964 won 90% of the Jewish vote when he ran against
#3: Jimmy Carter in 1980 got only
45% of the Jewish vote when he ran against Ronald Reagan
and John Anderson.
#4: According to a 2007 survey
by the American Jewish Committee, 43% of Jewish respondents
were self described liberals, 25% were conservative and
31% were moderates.
In general, Jews have been fairly
consistent in their voting patterns with 78-80% of the vote
going to Democratic candidates who are perceived as centrist,
like Kennedy, Humphrey, Clinton and Gore, and 65-70% going
to candidates who are considered more liberal, like McGovern
Politicians tend to assume,
incorrectly, that the U.S. relationship with Israel is the
core issue that catalyzes Jewish voters. In poll after poll
we see that the connection of younger Jews to Israel is
(unfortunately) weakening, and there is little direct evidence
that a candidate's approach to Israel materially affects
the Jewish vote. Nevertheless, we do have within our community
a highly committed pro-Israel segment that includes some
very large political donors, and their support can be crucial
to any Democratic campaign.
So what will all this mean for
2008? Should I take a chance and make a nonpartisan, semi-scholarly
prediction? Tempting, but I think I'll take a pass. After
all, if I get it wrong, I will have to give up political
commentary altogether and go back to writing commentaries
on the weekly Torah portion.
First Abayudaya Ugandan Ordained
at Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
the first few minutes that you are with Gershom Sizomu,
a 5th year student in the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies,
you realize that you are in the company of someone extraordinary.
He is a spiritual leader from a distant world that has come
to our realm to acquire knowledge for the betterment of
his community; his very presence embodies the mythological
Gershom, as his father and grandfather
before him, was and will return to being, the spiritual
leader of the Jewish community in Uganda. He presides over
their life-cycle ceremonies -- and yes Jewish Ugandan grooms
do break the glass at their weddings - he conducts their
religious services, and is the official word in their Torah
Words vs. Actions in Political Race
Edelman, Ph.D, Dean of College of Arts & Science
The verbal jousting between
Senators Clinton and Obama over the place of oratory versus
action in the polis has been enlightening and a little frightening.
As a professor of both Rhetoric and Jewish and Holocaust
Studies for almost 37 years, I find myself reflecting long
and hard on this conflict between two very accomplished
Hosts Prejudice Awareness Summit
For LAUSD Middle School Students
On February 26th, AJU held its
10th annual Prejudice Awareness Summit (PAS), bringing the
total number of LAUSD students invited to participate
since the program began to more than 3,000.
Keynote speaker, Dr. William Gregory Sawyer, Vice President
for Students Affairs California State University, Channel
Islands and Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Sue Kapitanoff
with AJU students.
AJU's PAS programs are under
the direction of Psychology Chair, Dr. Sue Kapitanoff, and
facilitated by AJU students who have completed a course
in the Psychology of Prejudice, along with special training
for the Summit. Programs consist of group exercises that
encourage honest and open dialogue to help the diverse middle
school students better understand the experience of prejudice
and allow them to explore their own feelings. Also examined
are the roots and damaging effects of prejudice.
M.A.Ed Program Alumni
Recognized as Outstanding Educators
Samantha Pearline with one of her students
Smotrich Family Foundation Award is presented to outstanding
educators who have taught for two to four years in schools
affiliated with the Bureau of Jewish Education, and who
have demonstrated excellence in their work with children.
Winners receive a prize of $1,000, and their schools receive
an additional $500 in their honor. This year, both honorees
are alumni of the M.A.Ed program at AJU.
AJU Joins Tel Aviv/L.A.
Dr. Gabe Goldman,
Director of Experiential Education, AJU
"On this walk, in Franklin Canyon,
participants collected oak galls (the source of ink used
to write Torah scrolls for the past 3,000 years); learned
to make kosher-for-Passover "bread” from tree bark; and
witnessed a "hands-on Middrash” demonstrating how Abraham
could have held a fire in his hands as the Torah claims
he did when taking Isaac to sacrifice him.”
Preparing Passover Dinner
The Fifth Question
you need help with your Passover dinner, the kitchens of
AJU are offering a solution -- delicious, ready to go, kosher
Seder dinners. In addition, if you want to entertain a large
group on the second night (Sunday) but are short space,
you can enjoy your own private Seder at AJU. Whether it's
at your home or at AJU, you, and your family and friends
will be able to relax and enjoy a Seder with the goodness
of a homemade meal. To order your Seder meals, call 310.440.1597,
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Symposium: Iran, Israel, U.S. in 2008, 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Alonim/Gan Alonim Open House, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Palm Springs Follies, 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
04/18 - 04/28:
Ramah's Passover Institute/Ojai
Public Lecture, 7:30 PM, Bill Maher & Tony Snow
05/02 - 05/04:
Founder's Weekend Brandeis Bardin Campus
University Women's Artist & Authors Luncheon Beverly Hilton, 10:00 AM Boutique
Queen Mary Art Deco Tour, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Alonim/Gan Alonim Open House, 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Commencement, 3:00 PM
Ziegler Ordination Sinai Temple, 7:30PM
Dinner Honoring Stan Ross at B.H. Hotel
05/23 - 05/26:
Ramah Family Weekend
Shabbat Dinner With Kirk Douglas, 7:15 PM
5/30 - 06/01:
Marriage Weekend, Almost or Newly Married, Married 2 - 10 Years
More Continuing Education
Platt Gallery Opening
The Natural World/Diverse Perspective, May 25 through July 20,
Introduction to Judaism
An educational journey for those interested in learning
more about Jewish history, life and culture
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