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My Milk is More Jewish Than Paul Ryan — and Other Newsbits

MY MILK IS MORE JEWISH than Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress.

Heck, perhaps 8% of Portugal is, too.

Yes, maybe you heard the news that Paul Ryan was recording an episode for the new season of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.,” a TV series in which Harvard Professor Gates explores the ancestors of celebrities and other guests. During the episode, Ryan learns that he is 3% Jewish, or that he has – perhaps – a Jewish ancestor on his maternal side, from the 15th Century German States area.

If he was worried about votes from some lovers of Donald Trump, this news can amplify his worry.

Does this mean he can be called to the bimah at the bnai mitzvot of Donald Trump’s grandchildren? No. But it is just a nice to know.

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other universities are reconsidering the use of a a fitness book that – at UNC – is required reading prior to graduation. 21st Century Wellness co-authored by Ron Hager, an Associate Professor of Exercising at Brigham Young University, claims that cancer and diabetes are illnesses “of choice” … and the the victims of the Nazi Holocaust could have sruvived had the tapped into their inner strength. Actually it says reads that those killed in the Holocaust “did not tap into the strength that comes from their intrinsic worth succumbed to the brutality to which they were subjected.”

Hey Ron.. was your thesis about dumbbells and head injuries?

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Most Jewish cemeteries have to deal with landscaping and cutting the grass. In Seattle, a historic Jewish cemetery had to spend $50,000 to add lighting and reduce trees to cut down on people having sexual intercourse on the flat tombstones and plots, and deal, weekly, with trash and illegal drug paraphenalia from homeless people. Seattle police – or perhaps a Golem – will hopefully increase their patrols of the area.

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Jerry Silverman, the most prominent leader of the Jewish Federations of North America, blasted the Nation-State Nationality Law of Israel and urged for it to be changed. The JFNA which represents the Jewish Federations and many central Jewish fundraising campaigns in most American cities will hold its annual General Assembly convention in Tel Aviv this October, and will address the plight of minorities in Israel and America. Silverman wrote, “As strong supporters of Israel, we were disappointed that the government passed legislation which was effectively a step back for all minorities.” Silverman also wrote of his solidarity with the Druze community.

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The AJC – American Jewish Committee had meetings with leaders of the Chilean Jewish community in Santiago as well as senior Chilean government officials and even the Ambassador of Israel to Chile to discuss issues of concern to the AJC and members of Jewish communities. They even have a petition calling on President Piñera with over 6,000 signature to take action against those who make Jews who express support for Israel to feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately the petition is in English. They should probably write it in Spanish for greater impact.

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The Jewish Museum in New York City scored $10 million and a set of seventy art works from The Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation. In response to the generous gift, the museum has renamed the position of the associate curator in the contemporary art department to the “Barnett and Annalee Newman Curator of Contemporary Art” or the BANCCA, I deduce. . Lynda Benglis, Mark Bradford, Joan Jonas, Jasper Johns, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Camille Pissarro, Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, and Sarah Sze are among the artists whose works will be added to the museum’s collection. Watch for some of them in 2019.

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As reported in The New York Times, the Pozner family has had to move seven times in the five years since their six year old son was murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, primarily because the radio talkshow host Alex Jones and his followers have harassed them. Lawyers for Noah Pozner’s parents will seek to convince a judge in AUstin, Texas that they have a valid claim of defamation against Mr. Jones, whose show is based in Texas. He regularly spreads false claims that the murders of their child and the other schoolchildren were an hoax.

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Is New York State Senator Simcha Felder running scared?

The Brooklyn Democrat has generated ire among many in New York City for voting and caucusing with the State Republicans and providing them a majority in the State legislature (even though he runs on the Democratic ticket). It gives Felder and some of his constituents a lot of power. Recently, Felder is credited with using his power to stop the State of New York from having oversight of Orthodox Jewish yeshivas and thereby requireing them to teach rudimentary English and Math skills. Felder is also credited with stopping the state from renewing “speed cameras” that would ticket those who drove over the speed limit near schools — thus saving many of his constituents from costly tickets but putting the lives of schoolchildren in danger, according to his critics.

This week, Felder tried to stop his primary opponent – Blake Morris – from appearing on the ballot. According to Felder, Blake Morris should be removed from the ballot since his birthname is “L. Blake Morris.” Morris has used the name Blake for his adult life and is known as Blake,.. his bills and credit cards appear under the name of Blake. Not good enough for.. Simcha.

A judge will rule on the case next week.

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