National News


JCCs Are a New Front in the Culture War on Israel

By Nathan Guttman

Jewish Community Centers, known for their fitness facilities and child care services, are increasingly becoming the target of protesters taking issue with the artistic programs they offer. In Washington, a new grassroots organization is calling on the local federation to adopt guidelines that will withhold funding from the JCC if the center’s theater puts on plays that “denigrate Israel and undermine its legitimacy.”Read More


Workers’ Centers: A Clubhouse for Struggle, Support

By Karen Loew

On a recent late-winter afternoon, the workers’ center on the second floor of a nondescript office building in New York City’s Chinatown was full and busy. Everyone had just eaten lunch; warm soup was welcome after picketing in the cold outside an offending restaurant, Saigon Grill on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In the rear of the small office suite, with worn blue industrial carpet underfoot and inspirational posters bearing Mandarin Chinese writing on the walls, a circle of Saigon Grill’s delivery men discussed how to deal with what they called their employer’s latest affronts.Read More


A Call For a Sweatshop-Free Zone on New York’s Upper West Side

By Karen Loew

Along the broad boulevards and dignified streets of the largely liberal, Jewish Upper West Side, sweatshops don’t seem to be sprouting. From Riverside Park to Lincoln Center, from Harry’s Shoes to Zabar’s, the neighborhood appears to be a civilized place where the days of residents, working folk and visitors unspool in familiar, reassuring rhythms.Read More


Sweatshops Didn’t Go Away

By Karen Loew

Garment industry sweatshops are hardly a thing of the past in New York City: They are a feature of commerce today. The New York State Department of Labor has found it necessary to maintain particular vigilance for several decades, founding the Apparel Industry Task Force in 1987 to monitor the city’s largest manufacturing sector. Today, that task force has a staff of 30, including multilingual investigators, who also comprise the Fair Wages Task Force. The chief of both units, Lorelei Salas, director of strategic enforcement, said that their missions overlap because “the same conditions you find in the garment industry, you can find in other low-wage industries.”Read More


The ‘Other Muslim’ in Congress

By Nathan Guttman

From his all-American name to the clean cut of his smart, well-tailored suit, Indiana Democrat Andre Carson defies the stereotypes that many Americans may have of Muslims.Read More


In Madoff’s Shadow, Mets Fans Hang Onto Hope

By Mary Jane Fine

The weather is picture perfect at Digital Domain Park on this spring-training Sunday afternoon, but as every New Yorker knows, the overall picture for the Mets is far, far less than perfect.Read More


In Opposing Federal Budget Cuts, Unity Is Elusive

By Nathan Guttman

Amid a raging national debate over the federal budget, Jewish organizations are rallying to save projects that are dear to the community from the chopping block.Read More


In Madison, Only Some Jewish Voices Are Heard

By Cary Spivak

At Wisconsin’s Capitol building, in Madison, rabbis and other members of the state’s Jewish community have been a visible presence as protests have swelled in support of state and local public worker unions. But the community’s biggest and most politically influential bodies — its two federations and affiliated community relations councils — have been conspicuously silent.Read More


Union That Grew in the Triangle Fire’s Ashes Is Now Nearly Gone

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

By the time the union was done with J.P. Stevens and Co., the boycott of the giant textile manufacturer had so penetrated the culture that the wives of Stevens executives, heading off to cocktail parties, would warn their husbands not to tell anyone where they worked.Read More


Hollywood’s Latest Holocaust Project Splits Survivors’ Heirs

By Gal Beckerman

Think “Erin Brockovich” meets “Schindler’s List.” That’s the pitch for a new film in development by Sony Pictures that may star Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock. As improbable as it sounds, the movie will tell a suspenseful story about insurance companies and the Holocaust, an epic battle that led to one of the largest programs of Holocaust restitution.Read More


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