Jewish Assembly hears White House call for talks with Palestinians
By Michelle Boorstein
One of the largest Jewish meetings of the year has wrapped up in Washington, with some 3,000 Jewish community activists and leaders hearing in the past few days from the Israeli prime minister and President Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and having dozens of meetings about how to fund social service work in a recession.
Reports from the Jewish media - The Forward and the JTA wire service - quoted Emanuel (who stood in for Obama, who had to cancel a Tuesday speech last-minute to go to Fort Hood) as calling for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians without conditions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lavished praise on the U.S. president (who is extremely popular with American Jews, but not so much with Israelis) but didn't mention the preconditions he supports for talks with the Palestinians.
The "G.A.", which is the annual meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America, is the main gathering event for the people who operate Jewish-American social service and community work. It includes tons of socializing as well as workshops on everything from how to improve fundraising to Jewish identity to Jewish education.
The JTA has great coverage of it, including:
_ the presentation of the first of a half-dozen new, portable Torahs that Jewish military chaplains can take into war zones
_ the presentation of a new big award called "Jewish Community Hero," which was given to a 27-year-old stand-up comedian who runs JCorps, a service that has set up thousands of Jews with community projects around the country
November 11, 2009; 8:05 AM ET
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