In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
WASHINGTON – Even before the debt deal was signed Tuesday in Washington, U.S. Jewish groups and recipients of government largesse were asking the same question: Who’s going to get cut?
It’s still too early to say. But the new “super committee” created to hash out the details of $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by the end of the year, and the arguments that surely will arise from the committee’s work, will provide the clearest sign yet of which government grants or programs are on the chopping block.
In the Jewish community, the areas of concern range from funding for elderly care to environmental issues to democracy promotion overseas. Federal funding makes up a significant chunk of the budgets of many of the groups that operate in those fields.
Joyce Garver Keller, the executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, which lobbies state lawmakers for Ohio’s Jewish federations, said Ohio Jewish service providers already are reeling from cuts mandated last month in the state budget. That included up to 14 percent in cuts for nursing homes and 3 percent cuts for home- and community-based providers.
The largest Jewish facility for the elderly in the state, in the Cleveland area, already is dealing with $2 million in cuts on the state level even without any cuts at the federal level.
Keller said the homes for the elderly were examining solutions including freezing salaries and retirement benefits for staff, and cutting back on utilities such as electricity. Others are considering opening up in-house medical practices to outsiders to create revenue.
The National Council for Jewish Women expressed concern particularly about cuts that could affect women and children.
“The deal does require deep cuts in government spending, cuts that will likely affect Head Start, K-12 education, Title X family planning, job training, domestic violence prevention, meals on wheels and other services for vulnerable people,” NCJW said in a statement.
Mark Olshan, the associate executive vice president for B’nai B’rith International, which runs 38 homes for the elderly across the country, said federal cuts would burden a system coping with a growing number of retirement-age baby boomers.
“The reality is we’re probably not going to be building a lot more buildings, but there will be more people who need these kinds of programs,” he said.
Jewish groups are also closely watching cuts in areas where they do not receive direct assistance. Jason Isaacson, the director of governmental and international affairs for the American Jewish Committee, anticipated cuts in programs promoting energy alternatives and democracy overseas.
Isaacson said cuts in democracy promotion would be especially unfortunate just as reform was sweeping the Arab world, noting the upcoming elections in Tunisia in October as an example.
“We need to lower the deficit, but we have big opportunities and responsibilities around the world,” Isaacson said.
The key to preserving funding is to intensify lobbying between now and when the new super committee votes in November on proposed cuts, said William Daroff, the Washington director of the Jewish Federations for North America.
“We will be lobbying heavily to ensure that the $550 billion in immediate discretionary domestic cuts do not come from the programs that fund key Jewish federation services to the vulnerable,” Daroff said. “No decisions have been made yet on the Hill as to where those cuts will come from.”
Under the deal struck over the weekend and passed by both houses of Congress – in the House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate the next day – about half the cuts are to come from the defense sector and the other half from domestic programs, with some cuts designated for foreign assistance.
Funding for Israel is one of the few exemptions; it remains at $3 billion a year.
If the committee cannot reach an agreement – or if Congress rejects its recommendations – it will trigger automatic across-the-board cuts of at least $1.2 trillion.
Nervousness persists over whether major entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – which respectively cover medical assistance for the elderly and poor – will be on the chopping block.
They are mostly spared for now and, according to the agreement, will be spared again, paradoxically, if the committee defaults on its mission and fails to reach an agreement. The programs could face cuts, however, should the committee recommend them.
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Two men convicted of spying for foreign intelligence agencies were hanged Sunday morning in Iran, IRNA reported. According to Tehran Magistrate Office, one of the culprits was convicted to death for accumulating and selling classified information to agents of the Zionist regime’s Mossad and receiving money in return during repeated meetings with them outside the [...]
Israeli and Arab firefighters worked together to extinguish an arson fire in Beit El.
The Syrian military has been pounding the rebel-held central town of Qusayr, killing 13, preparing for a ground assault, AFP reported. “After two days of calm, planes bombed the town of Qusayr in the early hours of the morning,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdul Rahman said. “The bombing and air raids killed [...]
The media accentuate the negative and violent acts of a very small minority, over the mature and calm behavior of the vast majority of Haredim.
The women in the picture above are Israeli leftists, protesting a whole bunch of stuff, including the fact that Jews are living in areas outside the 1949 armistice “green line,” and the fact that the mostly Arab Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah is considered part of Israel, rather than part of a Palestinian state that [...]
The rules of engagement remain as crazy as before, but now with less effective weapons.
Left-wing politicians in the autonomous region of Galicia in Spain recently called on their local government to cancel an upcoming concert by Israeli singer Achinoam Nini and to boycott Israel., Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center reports. The Galician Left Alternative, an umbrella organization that represents the region’s third largest political bloc, went on to [...]
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Israel and the Palestinian territories next week in his bid to revive the peace process. “These meetings are to follow-up on ongoing discussions as we continue to assess how best we can support the parties in getting back to the table and in having dialogue leading [...]
The Syrian president said he was like the skipper of a ship in a stormy sea.
The first anti-aircraft missiles may be delivered to Syria within 2 months.
American Friends of Soroka Medical Center are giving an award at their gala to Mandy Patinkin, an American Jewish celebrity who supports economic warfare against Jews living and working in Judea and Samaria.
In the All Star Israel Softball League, Ziontours takes the number one spot.
The committee did not invite even one, single Haredi woman to testify.
Major General Gilad says that the Syrian president controls his country’s weapons systems.
You must read the IDF Spokesperson’s response, it is a doozy!
The U.S. State Department in its latest human rights report elevated its criticism of Israel’s treatment of African refugees. The report for 2012, issued April 19, said “the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers, and irregular migrants” was a “most significant” human rights problem. That was added to the three areas singled out by the department [...]
WASHINGTON – History will remember former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for relentlessly facing down communism and helping to turn back more than three decades of socialist advance in her country.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — History will remember former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for relentlessly facing down communism and helping to turn back more than three decades of socialist advance in her country. But it was Thatcher’s embrace of British Jews and insistent promotion of Jews in her Conservative Party that inspired an outpouring of tributes [...]
WASHINGTON – Next week’s annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington may be as notable for what – and who – is missing as what’s planned.
WASHINGTON – How essential is a house of worship to a neighborhood?
That’s the crux of a question now exercising Congress as a bill advances that would provide direct relief to synagogues and churches damaged by Superstorm Sandy last October.
Koch never met a solicitation for an opinion that he didn’t like.
Gina Campbell, the cathedral’s director of worship, “encouraged all the religious leaders to be faithful to their own traditions.”
WASHINGTON – Two major U.S. Jewish groups are at odds over the prospect of penalties for the Palestinians in the wake of their enhanced UN status.
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