The Year in Verse

Who needs Santa when we can opine

On Jews in the news, twenty-o’-nine?

A year when Madoff became a verb,

Larry David brought ‘Seinfeld’ to ‘Curb.’

Who needs reindeer when by the deli

Are Bruno and Bar Refaeli?


The change in Washington gave the nod:

A new job for David Axelrod,

Another for Rahm Emmanuel,

Susan Sher, for First Lady Michelle.

Howard Berman was hot on Iran,

Drawing heat on health: Joe Lieberman.

Al and Barney, that’s Franken and Frank,

Covered the Democrats’ leftward flank.

What to say about Arlen Specter,

Philly’s own GOP defector?

Now Eric Cantor must lead the race

To diversify his party’s face.


Making big waves were Robert Bernstein,

Labor’s Stuart Appelbaum, Amy Dean,

Irving Moskowitz and Jane Ramsey.

Joel Engleman fought pederasty.

Speaking for the poor, the noble Ruth,

A dogged Messinger for the truth

That serving others is not a flaw.

While Marsha Levick, she used the law

To help the children unfairly jailed.

A different legal trouble tailed

Steve Rosen, but his good name was cleared.

Jeremy Ben-Ami: praised and jeered,

But J Street’s presence is now a fact

Even Mort Klein might agree to that!


Sara Hurwitz broke a glass ceiling.

Reb Shmuley left Gadhafi reeling!

Alysa Stanton walked brave new ground.

Sarah Lefton, she used sight and sound

To spread Torah, while Jay Michaelson

Taught ‘Everything’s God’ and God is one.

Steven Wernick was just tapped to lead

Conservative Jews, but will they heed?

Will Reform Jews move to the center,

With Eric Yoffie as their mentor?


Rabbi David Zwiebel, Shawn Landress,

Ada Yonath and Leonard Abess,

Greg Rosenbaum took over Empire

Reinharz from Brandeis said he’ll retire.

Michael Steinhardt and Yonah Bookstein,

Lynn Schusterman and Haskel Lookstein,

Susie Essman and Shifra Bronznick,

Ivanka Trump, Mayim Bialik.

Boxing Jews Foreman and Salita.

Jason Lezak swam Maccabiah!


Lenore, Ayelet made moms over.

Comcast’s Roberts brought a takeover

For the feds’ new man — no, not Big Ben —

Camping exec Jerry Silverman.

The word from Israel’s never borin’.

Thanks, Ambassador Michael Oren!

The Coens were some serious men,

And Steven Spielberg moved us again.

Sway Machinery, Matisyahu,

Think they’ll sing songs for Netanyahu?


Sana Krasikov and Dara Horn,

Adam Kirsch — literary stars born!

Roger Cohen did much more than tweet.

Jonathan Safran Foer skewered meat.

Roths Philip and Ari made us think.

Eli Valley never let us shrink

From taking a hard look at ourselves.

R. Crumb brought Genesis off the shelves.

David Mamet, Natalie Portman,

Maurice Sendak’s wild things and short man!


We’ll miss the scholar of memory,

Our Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi.

And those who left a profound story:

Meyer Kirshenblatt, William Korey.

Gerald Wolpe and Helen Suzman,

Amos Elon, Marek Edelman.

And men whose words took righties higher,

Irving Kristol and William Safire.


Alas, some Jews did not act so good

Solomon Dwek ratted on his ’hood.

Sholom Rubashkin was sent to jail,

And Ezra Merkin — beyond the pale.

But we won’t let them dampen our yen

To send best wishes for twenty-ten.

We hope you can understand this rhyme.

And if not, search the Forward online!

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The Year in Verse

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