Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flag Day, Washington's Newport letter, and more

I've been backed up on blogging subjects but this thing caught me eye on Flag Day and the history behind the underrated American holiday.

Albert Mohler suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. There, I said it. You happy now?!?

George Washington once wrote a letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island. Where is it and why? Paul Berger of The Forward explains.
During a lecture in England last December, Jonathan Sarna, America’s foremost scholar of American Jewish history, said he did not know the whereabouts of one of American Jewry’s most important documents: George Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation, in Newport, R.I.[...]

“For, happily,” Washington wrote to the Jews of Newport in 1790, “the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

More than a vital piece of American Jewish history, the letter is one of the primary documents guaranteeing religious tolerance in America, its famous words still quoted by community leaders and politicians whenever they want to underline America’s commitment to religious liberty.[...]

After months of searching, the Forward has found the elusive letter in an art storage facility in a squat, nondescript building in an industrial park in Maryland, a stone’s throw from the home of the Washington Redskins, at FedEx Field. The letter is owned by the Morris Morgenstern Foundation and has been on loan to the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum for more than 50 years.

The letter has not always been hidden from sight — it was originally displayed in the exhibition hall of B’nai B’rith International’s headquarters, on Rhode Island Avenue, in Washington. But when B’nai B’rith sold that building and moved to smaller offices in 2002, there was no longer space for the entire collection, and so a significant portion of it was put into storage.

Over the years, the Library of Congress asked for permission to exhibit the letter, as did the new National Museum of American Jewish History. All requests were denied. During the Forward’s investigation, it became clear that many scholars did not even know where it was, who owned it and why it was not on public view.

B’nai B’rith would not give permission to publish a photograph of the original letter in the Forward.
You really should read the entire article.

Samuel Freedman looks back at the life of Sammy Davis, Jr.

Ron Paul won't run for re-election. Now, can we get his son out of DC, too?

Jewtopia is being made into a movie.
Love Hewitt, who starred in the television show "The Ghost Whisperer," and "Crossing Jordan" star Ivan Sergei will head the cast in an adaptation of the hit play and best-selling book, Variety reported.

"Jewtopia" is the longest-running off-Broadway comedy in history, with more than 1,200 performances.

Sergei will play Christian O'Connell, a non-Jewish plumber who wants a Jewish girlfriend to make all his decisions for him. He poses as a Jewish doctor with the help of his Jewish childhood friend Adam.

Love Hewitt will portray Alison Marks, who meets Christian at a singles mixer at a synagogue.
Gwyneth Paltrow, whose father was Jewish, wants to raise her children Jewish.

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