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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 20, 2004 / 8 Teves, 5765

A minyan in the White House

By Rabbi Avi Shafran


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On October 6, 1943, more than 400 American rabbis made an unprecedented appearance at the White House, in the hope that they might help convince President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help rescue Jewish refugees during the final months of what, it had become clear, was the attempted annihilation of European Jews by the Nazis and their friends. Immigration of European Jews was at a trickle, and even permitted quotas were not being filled.


The march was the brainchild of Jewish activist Peter Bergson, the adopted name of Hillel Kook, the nephew of Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine (Bergson died in Israel in 2001). The marchers had been recruited, though, largely through the Va'ad HaHatzalah, an Orthodox group headed by European-born Torah scholars, the sort of people who, in normal circumstances, would never involve themselves in public affairs, and certainly not in any that might seem aggressive. But circumstances were anything but normal, and so the men — who included rabbinic figures like Rabbi Eliezer Silver and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, as well as an array of Hassidic rebbes of the time, followed their religious consciences.


The "Rabbis' March" raised hackles, however, among some American Jewish groups, like the American Jewish Congress; and some legislators, like Representative Sol Bloom of New York, the chairman of the House International Affairs Committee. Early on, he reportedly tried to dissuade the march's organizers by telling them it would be undignified for a group of such un-American-looking people to appear in Washington, a comment that only served to nearly double the number of participants.


Arriving first at the Capitol, the rabbis were met by Vice President Henry Wallace, who, Time magazine reported, "squirmed through a diplomatically minimum answer" to their plea.


From there, the rabbis went to the Lincoln Memorial, where they offered prayers for the welfare of the President, America's soldiers and the Jews of Europe. After singing the national anthem, they proceeded to the White House where they hoped a small delegation from among them would be received by President Roosevelt himself.


They were destined for disappointment. Presidential secretary, Marvin McIntyre informed them that the President was unavailable "because of the pressure of other business."


According to the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, the President's schedule was, in fact, "remarkably open that afternoon." His daily calendar "listed nothing in between a 1:00 lunch with the Secretary of State and a 4:00 departure for a ceremony at an airfield outside Washington." The reason Mr. Roosevelt declined to meet any of the rabbis, the Wyman Institute's research revealed, was because his speechwriter and adviser Samuel Rosenman (a prominent member of the American Jewish Committee) and Dr. Stephen Wise (president of the American Jewish Congress, and the leading Reform rabbi of the time) had urged him to avoid the group. Mr. Rosenman, according to a presidential aide, characterized the marchers as "a group of rabbis who just recently left the darkest period of the medieval world"; Dr. Wise derided the "orthodox rabbinical parade" as offensive to "the dignity of [the Jewish] people." President Roosevelt left the White House through a rear door.


Fast-forward 61 years, to the second day of the Chanukah just past. A small group of rabbis and educators, mostly Orthodox, traveled to the White House to meet with President Bush — at the President's invitation.

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The meeting, according to one of the attendees, Rabbi Reuven Drucker, the rabbi of the Agudath Israel of Highland Park synagogue in New Jersey, had been scheduled for a half-hour. Instead, it extended more than twice that long. The President warmly greeted each visitor, addressed a number of geopolitical and domestic issues of interest and entertained questions from his guests. Rabbi Drucker was particularly impressed with the Mr. Bush's "energy" and "friendliness."


Several organizational representatives from Agudath Israel's national office, Washington office and two regional offices also arrived at the White House later that day, having been invited to that evening's Chanukah celebration, an annual event President Bush instituted during his first term. One of them, meeting Rabbi Drucker at the celebration, asked him how the meeting had gone.


The New Jersey congregational leader spoke of how impressed he had been with Mr. Bush, and provided some details about the interaction between the guests and the President. "When the meeting was over," he said, "we actually had a minyan for Mincha." A quorum, that is, for afternoon prayers. Then he added, "I couldn't help but think about how different things were back in the War years, about how far our country has come."


It was, and remains, a point worth pondering. As is the irony that the President's meeting with the rabbis had originally been scheduled to take place in the Roosevelt Room. Fittingly, though, some last-minute logistical glitch required it, along with Mincha, to be moved to another location.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Avi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America. Comment by clicking here.


© 2004, Am Echad Resources