Congress Steps in On JCC Security

In the wake of some sixty bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions, Congress has stepped in – and up – in a big, and bipartisan way.

In a letter coauthored by Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Joe Crowley, signed by over 150 additional Members – including at least half the Ohio delegation – Congress asks the Attorney General, the Homeland Security Secretary, and the FBI Director to pull out the stops.

They also call for more funds to vulnerable nonprofits that are the classic soft target.

The full letter is here.

This is No Mission Statement

Most blogs have a mission statement, but not us.  We’ve got a tagline.

We hope to be “The place for conversation about things Jewish and political in Ohio.”

Offline, we’re already that in many ways as we are the public policy, government affairs, and community relations arm of Ohio’s eight Jewish federations – and their dozens of human services and community agencies – statewide.

Still, if we were to give a go at a longer mission for this new blog, here’s what it might look like:

As we look to be that online communal square or round table, you’ll likely see a lot here.

Sometimes it will be policy, and sometimes political.  At times about advocacy, and others community relations.  We will have opinion, and maybe even make some news.

There’s one thing though you won’t see here.  Partisanship.

Our issues are complex, and unusually nuanced.  There are many ways to get to the goal we likely share with many policymakers.

And we recognize politics for what it is: a very long game.

Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates; Republicans, Democrats, and independents; Jews and non-Jews should be comfortable with what is shared here.  That’s even if, and rather, especially if, they don’t necessarily agree with something.

Almost no elected official is wrong on every issue.  Every one of them can be a friend and ally.

This blog is here to help create the online space for those relationships.

Civil debate is a sadly dying, shrinking art in the 21st Century.

We’re going to do our best here to reinvent it.



Jews have flourished in this country because of the rare bi-partisanship that we still find here in America.

On the international scene, that bi-partisan support is both Israel’s greatest “strategic asset” and was a bulwark against the anti-Semitic actions of the Soviet Union and others.  Today it is still a powerful answer to the virulent, resurgent anti-Semitism across the world.

Domestically, that bi-partisanship helps secure our communities against harm, safeguards our workplace and housing rights as well as our freedom to worship (or not).

It supports an array of critical safety nets for the very young and very old, including Holocaust survivors who have such unique needs even today.  It ensure our agencies and our children get equal access to funds and programs.

But also, practical politics & policies aside, in short, it’s best for us to have some civil conversation with all sides.

The violence and personal attacks we are increasingly witnessing in what passes for political debate never bode well for the Jewish community.

Scapegoating.  Straw men to attack.

These are bad signs.

The arc of Jewish history testifies to that.

So please come & read.  We can’t assure you’ll always agree, but we think you’ll learn something.  Above all, we hope it will model something.