(JTA) — Over a dozen Jewish groups and congregations are participating in the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
The People’s Climate Movement, which is organizing the event, advocates for global action against climate change. The march is scheduled to go from the Capitol to the Washington Monument by way of the White House.
Jewish partners of the march include the American Jewish World Service, Avodah, Hazon, Jewish Climate Action Network, Repair the World NYC, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, the Greater Washington Muslim Jewish Forum, Philadelphia Jewish Voice, Adat Shalom Klezmer Workshop, Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community, Aytzim: Ecological Judaism, Baltimore Jewish Green and Just Alliance, Kehila Chadasha, Ohalah and the Kehillah.
Local synagogues Adas Israel and Sixth & I are hosting meals before and after the march.
Robert Bank, the president of American Jewish World Service, criticized the Trump administration’s environmental policies and said Jews were “obligated to safeguard” the environment.
“The Trump administration is doing exactly the opposite of what the earth, the environment and people worldwide need at this time, and we stand proudly as Jews to object in the strongest terms to these shortsighted and damaging policies,” Bank said in a Thursday statement.
Forward columnist Bethany Mandel gave birth to her third child on the side of the road in New Jersey on Friday morning.
Mandel and her husband Seth were in transit when labor ensued. The child, a boy, was delivered by Seth in a parking lot of an auto body shop in Sand Hills, N.J.
Thank you to my best midwife yet - Seth - for delivering our 9lb son in his car earlier this morning off of Route 1 in a gravel parking lot outside an auto body shop. Thank you to the South Brunswick PD and EMTs for getting us to the hospital after he was born. Thanks to God we are happy and healthy, and just a tiny bit shell shocked by a 45 minute birth.
On behalf of the Forward, we wish mazel tov to Bethany and the entire Mandel family.
The number of Jewish descendants of Holocaust survivors who have applied for German citizenship has nearly quadrupled this year in the part of the United States served by Germany’s Boston consulate, radio station WBUR reported Thursday.
Consul general Ralf Horlemann told the station that 49 people had received dual citizenship in the first quarter of 2017 through a law that supplies those rights to descendants of people whose citizenships were revoked under Nazi rule. Only 13 received such status in the same period last year.
Larry Klein of Newton, Mass. told WBUR that the advantages of such a move go beyond receiving a European Union passport, which would make traveling on the continent much easier.
“The tone of this country at this point in time is disturbing,” he said. “A country like Germany which, you know, has this history that obviously my family’s well aware of, espouses the beliefs and philosophy that actually is the way I’d like a country to behave. So, things come around in very interesting ways.”
Demand for German citizenship has grown so great that Horlemann has created formal naturalization ceremonies, rather than just having recipients pick up their papers at the consulate office.
Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour should be allowed to speak at an upcoming commencement ceremony for the City University of New York’s School of Public Health, the New York Daily News editorial board argued Thursday.
“Purging a speaker based on a narrow ideological test leads down a dangerous road,” the editorial reads. “Free speech, especially at a public institution of higher learning, is a far higher value.”
Sarsour is a prominent immigrant rights activist with well-known pro-Palestinian sympathies. Her June address at the School of Public Health has drawn protest from Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the right-wing Democrat who represents Boro Park.
The editorial argued that those who oppose efforts to block campus speakers like right-wing commentator Ann Coulter but defend a ban on Sarsour are being hypocritical.
“Sarsour would not have been our choice for this high honor, but her right to deliver the address ought not be in question,” the board wrote.
“I applaud freedom of speech,” Hikind replied to the Daily News the following day. “But giving this type of platform — the honor of a commencement address, which every graduating student must attend — to someone who’s an apologist for terrorism is a far cry from freedom of speech. It’s incitement.”
Al Franken is known in Washington for his ability to forge friendships with his fellow senators. The Minnesota senator hosts annual Secret Santas and is often seen laughing with other politicians while riding the congressional subway underneath the Capitol.
But he outdid himself on Thursday, corralling his Democratic Senate colleagues into holding a surprise birthday party on Thursday for Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who turned 48.
So glad my staff got this on video. A HUGE thanks to @senfranken for putting forth the HUGE effort to surprise me on my birthday. pic.twitter.com/kzlkOHHzqb— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) April 27, 2017
Franken jumped from under a table to surprise Booker, who was greeted by his staffers and many fellow senators. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York served cake, and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey sang “Happy Birthday” to Booker in Spanish.
Despite not being Jewish himself, Booker is one of the most Jewishly-literate politicians in Washington. He served as the co-president of a Jewish club while studying at Oxford University, and, as Jewish Insider noted on Thursday, he is “perhaps the only Senator who regularly and publicly recites verses from the Torah in Hebrew.”
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