Press Release

APRIL 16, 2008

Jews For ObamaP.O. Box 96503 #89647Washington, D.C. 20090-6503www.JewsforObama.com

CONTACT: Gidon D. Rembachief-editor@jews4barack.com

Jews for Obama Grassroots Coalition Launches National E-Newsletter

Enhancing Outreach to American Jewish Community in Support of Senator Obama

 

Jews for Obama (JFO), an independent grassroots American Jewish initiative, today announced the launch of a new national Jews for Obama (www.JewsforObama.com) weekly e-newsletter. The new online publication will highlight the most compelling text and multimedia commentaries in support of Senator Barack Obama from a Jewish perspective. It will serve as a unified platform for the various burgeoning online grassroots Jews for Obama groups, offering a new way for Jewish Obama supporters to reach out to the broader American Jewish community on the real issues at stake in this presidential contest. Free subscriptions to the weekly newsletter are available by entering one’s email address at the newsletter signup box at www.JewsforObama.com and at several other Jews for Obama group websites and blogs, including Tough Dove Israel (http://tough-dove-israel.blogspot.com/), which have joined together in a coalition to co-sponsor the new communications and outreach platform.

The newsletter, which launches its inaugural issue today under the title “Bush-McCain Surge Endangers Israel,” will be produced by an editorial staff led by Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Gidon D. Remba, a veteran progressive Israel activist and Jewish leader who has written widely in the Jewish and general press on Israel, the Middle East and Jewish issues. Mr. Remba also served from 1977-1978 as Senior Editor and Foreign Press Translator in the Israel Prime Minister’s Office during the Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations.

Yocheved Seidman will serve as the newsletter’s Domestic Affairs Editor. Mrs. Seidman, an Orthodox Jew, is completing a study of Turkish textile workers for her Ph.D. at Cornell University. She served in the Peace Corps in East Africa, and worked as an agricultural economics consultant for the World Bank and USAID. She is also co-founder and co-director of Inside Judaism, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to providing multi-media materials to enable Torah study at home and on the go.

A Jews for Obama Newsletter Editorial Advisory Board is in the process of formation and will include a broad range of prominent American Jews, including rabbis, writers, scholars, journalists, policy experts, former diplomats, and others.

“American Jews throughout the country have joined together in growing numbers in support of Barack Obama for President,” notes Jews for Obama Newsletter Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Gidon D. Remba. “We believe that Senator Obama is the candidate who best represents the highest ideals and moral values of the Jewish tradition, together with the practical wisdom to apply them to our nation and our world. We are convinced that Barack Obama is the candidate who is not only best poised to safeguard America’s national security at home and abroad, but to ensure the flourishing of the State of Israel.”

In the words of the Jewish petition for Barack Obama, we regard Senator Obama as “one of those unusual visionary leaders who comes once in a generation to inspire us to overcome what has, especially for the past seven years, divided and polarized us.” Despite this, the slurs and slanders, smears and attempts to tar Senator Obama through guilt by association continue unabated. The e-newsletter will furnish the Jewish community with more potent and readily available ammunition for combating these scurrilous attacks, while educating the public about Senator Obama’s many virtues from a Jewish standpoint.

“Our roving spotlight will shine in each week’s issue on a host of hot foreign and domestic issues of concern to American Jews,” added Remba. “It will range across the differences between Senators Obama, Clintonand McCain on Israel and the Middle East, including the war in Iraq and the rising power of a nuclearizing Iran. With a special series focusing on social justice issues here at home–from our unequal health insurance system to the mortgage crisis and our ailing economy; from our growing dependence on foreign oil to the mounting threats to our fragile environment; from eroding civil rights to our special interest-dominated government and more–we will bring into bold relief how Senator Obama’s proposals best exemplify the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) in the Jewish tradition.”

Domestic Affairs Editor Yocheved Seidman points out that “Senator Obama is committed to working on kitchen table issues that deeply affect the lives of many Jewish American families: health insurance for the entire family, a critical need for social security at retirement, educational options leading to employment, affordable housing, and tax relief. Obama can be trusted to stand by Israel and the Jewish people abroad. He is the only candidate who can build a bi-partisan coalition to bring about fundamental improvements here at home. In order to shed light on the concerns of Jewish families, I will be presenting articles and web videos on current and proposed domestic policies affecting the American Jewish community.”

The inaugural issue of the newsletter features, among a half dozen contributions:

  • A YouTube web video of Sen. Obama describing his plan to provide medical insurance for all Americans who need it—presented by the JFO Newsletter within the moral context of the Passover Haggadah.
  • A YouTube interview with Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State in the Bush Administration, edited by JFO Newsletter staff, criticizing Sen. John McCain for a lack of realism on his bellicose proposals regarding how the US should deal with the current war in Iraq and a possible military strike on Iran (which the New York Times failed to report in its coverage). Gen. Powell also clearly expresses his confidence in Senator Obama’s ability to succeed as commander in chief.
  • A JTA op-ed, to be published today, by Editor-in-Chief Gidon D. Remba titled “How to Talk to a (Jewish) Hawk” which notes that most Pentagon generals view an assault on Iranian nuclear sites, promised by McCain if Iran does not halt its march towards nuclear weapons, as not only ineffective but likely to entangle us in another protracted Mideast war that we cannot win and may well lose. What’s pro-Israel about that?
  • An excerpt from an essay by Council on Foreign Affairs Mideast Expert Steven Simon which argues that while the Bush-McCain “surge” in Iraq has helped reduce violence, the recent short-term gains have come at the expense of the long-term goal of a stable, unitary Iraq. He concludes that the Bush-McCain strategy in Iraq makes the Middle East, including Israel, less secure over the long term.
  • An op-ed by Orthodox Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld titled “Don’t Judge Obama By His Longtime Pastor,” from the Jewish Week (New York) offering a plea for congregational tolerance for the controversial political opinions of religious leaders.

 

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