Obama to Rabbis: Help Pass Health Care Reform

By JTA

Published August 20, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

President Obama appealed to a group of rabbis to help him pass health care reform legislation.

“I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,” Obama said on the conference call on Wednesday, according to Rabbi Jack Moline of Agudas Achim congregation in Alexandria, Va. Moline was quoted by the Washington Jewish Week, which was tracking the rabbi’s posts from the social networking Web site Twitter.

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” Obama said. The president concluded by wishing the rabbis a “Shanah Tovah.”

Moline later deleted the Twitter feed, saying that it was a “huge mistake.” The conference call, organized by the Reform movement but including about 1,000 rabbis of all denominations, was supposed to have been off the record.

It was a day that the White House devoted to outreach to faith groups to pass a plan for universal health care. The plan has been beset by questions about cost and unsubstantiated rumors that it will make the government an arbiter in life-and-death decisions. On Wednesday evening, the president and senior White House officials spoke to clerics across the nation in a call that was available to the public through the Faith for Health coalition. Speakers included Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics and lay leaders.

“This debate over health care goes to the heart of who we are as a people,” Obama said on that call. “Time and again men and women of faith have been able to show us what’s possible when we’re guided by our hopes and not our fears.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.