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November 11, 2011
 

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PAGE 18A Cain From page 1A nent Jewish conservative who backs Mitt Romney, recently fired a broadside against what she described as Cain's equivocating an- swers to questions arising "from sexual harassment settlements at the restaurant association. "The correct question for voters to be asking is whether Cain knows what he is doing in a presidential race," she wrote Nov. 1. 'qt increasingly seems clear he has no clue how to handle the press, the controversy or himself." The latest controversy, however, is just the latest hurdle faced by Cain this campaign--most of which he thus far has managed to surmount. He has made a series of gaffes and admissions of ignorance onvarious topics, yet they have not prevented him from rising to the head of the GOP pack. Cain's May stumble on the Palestinians' right of return came during an interview with Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace about the Palestinians' aspiration of a "rightofreturn'to Israel. Cain at first repeated the phrase twice, as a question. When Wallace explained the Palestinians' position on their right of return, the can- didate from suburban Atlanta responded, "They should have a right to come back, if that is a decision that Israel wants to make." In fact, no Israeli leader would contemplate anything but the symbolic return of a small number of Palesfinians; the prospect of millions of Palestinians "returning" to Israel generally instills Israelis with dread. After the faux pas, Cain candidly admitted that he had not been familiar with the issue and said he was reading a book on Israel. The book turned out to be "Israel at Sixty: An Oral History of a Nation Reborn" written by Gerald and Deborah Strober. The Strobers, who are professional biographers, not long before the Fox interview had approached Cain and offered to help him write that candidate staple, the campaign au- tobiography. The result of their collaboration, "This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House," was released last month. The Strobers say that Gain over the summer also immersed himself in Alan Dershowitz oeuvre of pro-Israel books. The Strobers, who are Jew- ish and live in Manhattan, suggested a trip to Israel, and in August they accompanied Cain on a four-day tour of the country, starting with an appearance at Glenn Beck's Jerusalem rally. Cain metwith Israeli political figures---most of them on the right, includ- ing Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, Deputy Knes- set Speaker Danny Danon and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. "Herman was visibly moved as we viewed thousands of years of Jewish history in the tunnels under the Old City," Danon said in a statement to JTA. "He showed a keen understanding both of Jewish history as well as of the many complex challenges facing the modern State of Israel." Cain also spoke to op- position leader Tzipi Livni and scheduled a meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, which fell through because of scheduling conflicts. Cain made stops at Christian holy sites--Cain is a Baptist--and visited the Western Wall. "He saw this in two lights: HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 11, 2011 as a fact-finding trip and as a spiritual journey," Gerald Strober told JTA. Since the trip, Strober said, "his learn- ing curve is going up." Deborah Strober added, "He's been briefed on the right of return and has an understanding of that." The couple said the emo- tional high point of the journey came at the end, when Cain laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial. Another memorable moment was when he was blessed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall. By the time Cain convened the requisite King David Hotel news conference before leav- ing Israel, he was well versed in pro-Israel rhetoric, often with a decidedly hawkish tint. "This may get me in trouble, but I do not care," he said. "I think the Israeli people is more interested in peace than the Palestinians. Look at his- tory and the fact that you're getting bombed on the south- ern border. It is clear to me that Is'ael is more interested in peace than those seeking to deny the peace process." In an October interview with Israel Hayom, a right- wing Israeli daily, Cain re- sponded to-a question about the Obama administration's Israel policy by repeating three times--with slightvari- ation of phrasing--the accu- sation that President Obama "threw Israel under the bus." He also made reference to the "so-called Palestinian people," echoing right-wing support- ers of Israel who contest the authenticity of Palestinian national identity. His campaign website doesn't offer too many details about Israeli policy beyond emphasizing what the can- didate refers to as his "Cain doctrine": "We must stand by our friends and we must not be fooled by our enemies. We should never be deceived by terrorists. They only have one objective, namely, to kill all of us. We must always re- main vigilant in dealing with adversaries." However, Cain's chief proxy, J.D. Gordon, a former senior spokesman at the Pentagon, outlined broader and more detailed policy positions, par- ticularly on Iran. Gordon told JTA that Cain would "choke" Iran economically by insti- tuting energy measures that would force down the price of a barrel of oil and that he would float ballistic missile- capable ships off Iran's coast as a deterrent, Gordon, who spent time in Haifa during his military ser- vice and has a Jewish father, said he briefs Cain on foreign policy issues of the day, often with one-page briefing papers. "He likes to get the back- ground and discusses it so hes ready for media questions," Gordon said. Cain's backers say their candidate is a fast learner who will pick up foreign policy fast " enough and isasmart enough CEO to know which advisers to pick and heed. "He understands objec- tives, a strong robust national defense, to understand who our allies are and to stand with them regardless of whims of international public opinion, as with Israel," said Josh McKoon, a Georgia state senator who has known Cain for eight years. Another Georgia-based backer, Ron Wallace, a retired UPS executive, said that Cain was an astute listener. "The way he thinks and strategizes, there will be a situation or problem, he'll depend on the people who are knowledgeable and make a decision based on the facts," Wallace said. Federation From page 1A It's something federation officials themselves acknowl- edge, to some degree, "There was recognition that we weren't where we need to be, and we're getting there," said Joe Berkofsky, the Jewish Federations' manag- ing director of communica- tions and media relations. Only two years ago, when Jerry Silverman was brought On as the new CEO and president of the Jewish Fed- erations--then still called the United Jewish Commu- nities-not one of the 20 largest federations was led by a woman. Women were underrepresented at GA programs, and the Jewish Federations allowed new mothers only up t 9 10 weeks of maternitY leave, or 12 for a Caesarean section. The five finalists chosen in last year's Jewish Community Heroes contest by a panel of 11 male judges and six female judges were men. The federation is hardly Archive alone in its record on women's issues. A survey published by thee Forward in 2010 found that 0nly nine of the 75 larg- est Jewish organizations were led by women. In 2009, the number had been 11. "It's no secret that fed- erations specifically and the Jewish nonprofit world gen- erally, reflected the greater culture," Berkofsky said. "There was a gap between women's advances in society and what is happening in the workplace." The federations have made it a priority to close that gap, Berkofsky said. In May, the federation held its first conference for profes- sional federation women, at- tracting 75 female federation executives, fundraisers, vice presidents and marketers to network, and discusses strate- gies and obstacles that might impede their careers. Last December, the Jewish Federations expanded paid maternity leave toup to 12 weeks for three-year employ- ees. The organization took a step toward family friendli- ness by extending paternity leave for fathers and adopted parents to one month from five days. New policies also allowed employees to create more flexible schedules and telecommute more easily.An earlier policy, ended in 2005, had docked 5 percent of daily pay for each day worked from home. "Our position has been that women are affected disproportionally by unfair workplaces," said Shifra Bronznick, the president of Advancing Women Pro- fessionals and the Jewish Community, which pro- motes female leadership in Jewish communal or- ganizations. "They had no good policies." Shortly after Silverman took office, she called him and said, "I have three things to tell you: women, flexibility policies, social justice." A year-and-a-half later, Bronznick says, there have been marked improvements to the federations' culture. The federation made sure that the panel of judges for this year's Jewish Heroes contest was equally split between genders. Aside from the workplace policy changes at the national umbrella organization, a growing number of women have been appointed to lead- ership roles. Seven o7 the 14 senior managers at Jewish Federations now are women, and the chair of the board of trustees, Kathy Manning, is a woman. In the last year, 11 federa- tions across the United States have hired women for their top positions, expanding the number of female federation CEOs to a record 50 out of 157 in North America. "We wanted to make sure that federations are places where Jews, and Jewish wom- en specifically, want to work," Berkofsky said. Jennifer Gorovitz, became the first head of a big-city federation in May 2010, at the Jewish Community Federa- tion of San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma Counties. In August, Deborah Corber was appointed executive of Mon- treal's federation CJA. Putting more women at the top isn't simply a matter of righting historical imbal- ances but of making sure the talent pool is not halved by eliminating women, and finding people with quali- ties federations might lack, say federation officials and activists. "From a volunteer per- spective, when women are in leadership positions they bring people to the table in a different way," said Susan Kramer, who in January was appointed the CEO and presi- dent of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. Federation officials at- tribute the growing number of female leaders to a greater willingness to look outside the federation system for tal- ent, as well as improvements in training and supporting female leaders already in the system. With a significant portion of federation leaders expected to retire within the next few years, this decade will be criti- cal, according to Manning, the chairwoman of the Jewish Federations. "Therewill be big jobs open- ing up across the country," she said. "It is a chance for well-qualified women to step into those positions." Bronznick worries that despite the improvements, parts of the federation world remain resistant to promoting women. "In the federation world they tend to say that women don't want these jobs," she said. "These organizations have to see themselves as talent spotters and cultiva- tors, and setting people up for success. "They need to be change agents," Bronznick added, "and I don't see that hap- pening at the level of inten- sity that current conditions require. I think people are looking towards incremental change, and I think we need fundamental change." From Page 1A "When news of von Rath's death reached here tonight," JTA reported, "official circles refused to comment immedi- ately. There was no attempt, however, to conceal the fact that it will have serious consequences on Jews in the Reich." That same JTA dispatch from Berlin reported ear- ly disturbances, including spontaneous demonstra- tions in Berlin and Dessau, the burning of a synagogue in Hersfeld, and the arrest of a pastor collecting funds for Jewish relief. Closed for Armistice Day, JTA did not publish its first report on Kristallnacht itself until Monday, Nov. 13. The front-page lleadline of The New York Times on Friday, Nov. 11, 1938 told of destruction in Vienna and Berlin: "Nazis Smash, Loot and Burn Jewish Shops And Temp!es Until Goebbels Calls Halt." On Monday, JTA's Jewish Daily Bulletin focused largely on the violence in Berlin: An estimated 25,000 Jews were under arrest today in the wake of the worst outbreak of anti-Jewish violence in mod- ern German history, which left throughout the nation a trail of burned synagogues, smashed homes, wrecked and pillaged shops, and at least four known dead. Police seizures of Jews continued throughout the nighi and this morning. Three thousand were in custody in Berlin alone. Without explicitly refer- encing glass, the destruction by marauders in the German capital was illustratedvividly: In Berlin, throughout the morning and afternoon, bands of Nazis shouldered. their way through gaping holes left in broken shop windows and completed the work of destruction begun by organized bands at four o'clock yesterday morning. They smashed fixtures, hang- ings and furniture, reducing the ihteriors of the shops to piles of refuse. Gaping crowds followed their progress while police, who were much in evidence after the noon hour, loitered in the neighborhood ignoring the proceedings. By mid-afternoon, it seemed that every Jewish shop in Berlin was doomed to com- plete destruction. Scenes of destruction took place in every quarter of Ber- lin. Plundering, smashing of furniture and even wrecking o f Jewish homes occurredin the northeast quarter of the city, where the poorer Jews live. Late yesterday smoke was still pouring from the great Fasanenstrasse Syna- gogue, with firemen stand- ing by to prevent the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings. The [missing] synagogue, which was put to the torch a second time after firemen had extinguished the first blaze, was gutted. Both edifices were valued at several million marks. Damaged to a lesser extent were the Oranienburger synagogue, Berlin's larg- est, and the Lutzowstrasse Synagogue, where raiders confined their attention to holy objects. Throughout the city hardly a single Jewish shop or restaurant window was left intact as bands proceeded systematically from street to street, smashing panes with hammers and stoning these beyond reach. In some sections plundering followed swiftly. More news trickled in over the JTA wire in the days that followed: At Leipzig, rabbis and Jewish leaders were driven to the river's edge and forced to stand there most of the day before being taken to jail. From Vienna, there were unauthenticated re- ports of Jews forced to lie in the streets while S.A. (Nazi storm troopers) men marched over them. At Brandenburg Jews were reli- ably reported forced to run a gauntlet in the streets. In hindsight, Kristallnacht was not merely a horrific event; it was a harbinger of horrors to come. The vio- lence accelerated events that already were familiar to Jews living under the Third Reich. Eleven months later, as de- scribed in JTA reports, the Nazis began the mass depor- tation of 100,000 Jews from Vienna to camps in Poland. The events were enough to spark a protest of thousands of mostly non-Jews in New York city on Nov. 21, 1938, JTA reported. Decades later, modern Ger- many would mark Kristall- nacht as the horrific event that it was. Yet even today anti-Semites use the anni- versary as occasion for more anti-Jewish violence. For decades, there has been debate over the use of the tePm Kristallnacht. Some say the term was coined by the Nazis and that using it grants them a measure of victory. On the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, this debate played out in the letters to the editor in The New York Times. By any name, the sig- nificance of the first great pogrom in Germany is clear. To learn more about JTA's coverage of Kristallnacht, visit the JTA Jewish News Archive at archive.jta.org and sign up for the archive newsletter at http://j.mp/ jtasubscribe.