By: Fern Sidman

Contemporary American Jewry experienced one of it’s signature moments on Sunday afternoon, November 14th, as over 1,000 people from all over the world gathered to attend the spectacular dedication and grand opening of a “first of its kind” museum on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Originally founded in 1976, The National Museum of American Jewish History has shared a building with the historic Congregation Mikveh Israel, but now is being housed in a $150 million, 5-story state of the art building, designed by famed architect James Stewart Polshek.

The 1,00,000-square-foot museum, located near Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center and directly across from the Liberty Bell, will be exclusively dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting the vibrant legacy of American Jews, spanning more than 350 years, from the arrival of the first Jewish community in 1654 to the present. Across three-and-a-half floors, the museum’s core exhibition explores the religious, cultural, political and economic stories of American Jews as well as examining themes of democracy, religious innovation versus continuity, immigration and integration and the various lifestyles and aspirations of this immigrant community. The main exhibit features historical artifacts, interactive media and narrative storytelling, while illuminating the history of American Jewish life with evocative objects, thirty original films and cutting-edge technology.

Mr. Polshek said that the exterior envelope of the museum is comprised of two interwoven and interdependent building volumes. The first volume, the diaphanous glass prism that faces Independence Mall, expresses the accessibility of the museum’s mission. Its luminosity beckons onlookers to enter; a reminder of the open door that greeted their forebears finding sanctuary in America. The glass also announces the fragility of the democracy that is the guarantor of the freedoms that have made this country so desirable a destination.

The curator of the core exhibition is Josh Perelman, Ph.D, the museum’s deputy director of exhibitions, programs and collections, and chief curator, who worked with a team of leading historians of American Jewish history from across the country.

The many fascinating artifacts that are on display are drawn from the museum’s collection, other prominent museums including the Smithsonian Institution; of which the museum is an affiliate and private lenders. Among the treasures to be viewed are an 1862 Confederate $2 bill with a portrait of Judah P. Benjamin, the Confederacy’s Secretary of State, a handwritten copy of “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus and the nameplate from the chair of Supreme Court Justice, Louis D. Brandeis.

The exhibition also includes a Contemporary Issues Forum and the “It’s Your Story” video storytelling booths which will allow visitors and their families to record stories about their families’ histories and have them archived in the museum. They will also be sent a link so that their stories can be emailed to others or posted on social media sites.

“American Jews are experiencing perhaps the greatest freedoms we’ve enjoyed in Judaism’s long, multi-thousand year history. These freedoms come directly from our nation’s foundational documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which were forged on the sacred ground of Independence Mall. It is, therefore, compellingly appropriate that the National Museum of American Jewish History is located on the Mall, the very birthplace of American liberty,” declared Michael Rosenzweig, the president and CEO of the NMAJH.

Andrea Mitchell, the NBC news chief foreign affairs correspondent served as master of ceremonies for the historic event and enthusiastically greeted the overflowing audience. The Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia told the audience, “It is a tremendous honor and privilege for me to be here on this most historic day in US history. Today we pay tribute to the multifarious contributions and accomplishments of Jews from around the globe who played such a major role in the history of the United States. It is no irony that this most special and unique museum is located on the most historic mall in America, where liberty and justice were originally proclaimed.”

“Even though I never had the opportunity to obtain a Jewish education or even have a Bar Mitzvah, my parents made it their business that I would never forget and would continue to support my Jewish heritage,” said Edward G. Rendell, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He added that, “This outstanding museum will facilitate in promulgating the exceptional narrative of Jewish life in the United States to all people, irrespective of religion or nationality.”

The keynote address was delivered by Vice President Joseph Biden who said, “The National Museum of American Jewish History stands as a permanent and invaluable tool in helping to preserve the uniqueness of the American Jewish experience and heritage and also celebrates the freedoms that we all enjoy in the United States.” Vice President Biden relayed a story about a rabbi in Lithuania, who in the early 1800’s heard of a liberty bell in the United States that proclaimed the words of the Bible, “To declare liberty throughout the land,” and asked one of his students if this was true. The student answered in the affirmative, but told the rabbi that the liberty bell had a crack in it. The rabbi responded that it is the obligation of the Jews to mend that crack through means of their philanthropic endeavors including the building of schools and hospitals. VP Biden added that, “The Jewish people took this directive very seriously and became leaders in the arts, in politics, sports, law and the economy and truly vitalized and enhanced the building of our great country.”

The National Museum of American Jewish History will be open to the general public on Friday, November 26th. The hours or operation are Tuesday-Friday from 10 am to 5 pm and weekends from 10 am through 5:30 pm. The museum in closed on Mondays and all federal holidays that fall on Monday. The admission rates for adults is $12.00 and $11.00 for seniors, active military personnel and youth ages 13-21. For more information, please visit the NMAJH web site at: www.nmajh.org.


The Socialist Movement…Is Now Coming Back

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

The ultra-left Party for Socialism and Liberation held its national conference in Los Angeles over last weekend.

P.S.L. member Travis Wilkerson, an assistant professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, put together an “inspirational” video for the event.

According to Travis:

“The socialist movement which suffered a major catastrophic setback with the collapse of the socialist governments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is now coming back.”

Unfortunately Travis is correct. We can’t afford to ignore that fact.


Communist: “Progressive Caucus… Will Now Have a More Prominent Role Within… Democratic Caucus”

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

A few extracts from a report on the 2010 Election Results: Time to Organize! by Communist Party USA Political Action Commission chair Joelle Fishman.

Emphasis added:

The struggle for the direction of our country and for jobs and relief in this economic crisis, for equality, democracy and peace, is dramatically escalated by the 2010 election results.

This was a hard fought campaign within the long-term struggle to defeat the right wing. While there were some significant victories, overall it is a big setback.

Lenin observed that no strike is lost, because workers learn from the experience and become stronger.

Similar could be said about this year’s election…

The Progressive Caucus, which lost only three members out of 80, will now have a more prominent role within the smaller minority Democratic caucus. Co-chair Raul Grijalva of Arizona, who was among those targeted by the right-wing because of his stands for immigration reform, defeated his tea party opponent with an outpouring of support from labor, peace and immigrant rights groups…

Of the 25 Congressional candidates endorsed by the Peace Action PAC, 16 won election, strengthening the possibilities to challenge the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bloated military spending…

On January 3, 2011 the 112th Congress will be sworn in. The new political landscape will demand a lot of street heat and unity and tactics to enlarge the coalition and keep the Republicans in check…

Our long-term strategy for a broad all peoples front, and within that to build the independent strength of labor and allies, remains an essential concept in the face of tea party Republican extreme reactionary policies…

Our Party was in the thick of the battle of 2010. We contributed and we learned a lot. We have found an openness to our ideas and our participation. We have deepened our relationships with other organizations and activists.

The communists are down, but far from out. They will work with their allies in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to fight the Republicans in Congress and with their friends in the labor movement and the “people’s movement” to battle their opponents with “street heat” – intimidation and possibly violence.

It could be a turbulent two years in Congress and on the streets of America.


Far Left Progressive Caucus Represents “the Heart and Soul of the Democratic Party”

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

The far left Congressional Progressive Caucus is an ally of Democratic Socialists of America, Communist Party USA and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Created in 1991 by then openly socialist Congressman Bernie Sanders, D.S.A. and I.P.S., the Progressive Caucus now has more than 80 members and is now the dominant force in the Democratic Party.

With the more moderate Blue Dog Caucus decimated in the mid-term elections, the Progressives have no significant opposition in the Democratic Party and are hell bent on pushing their far left agenda.

They are in no mood to compromise with the Republicans. Far from being chastened by the recent election results, they are emboldened. It is full steam port side as far as the Progressives are concerned.

In an exclusive interview, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, recently spoke with New American Media Political Analyst and Huffington Post Contributor Earl Ofari Hutchinson, about the group’s strategy in the new, Republican-controlled House.

The interview was published at America Rising (formerly known as Progressives for Obama):

(Emphasis added.)

EOH: Many are not familiar with the Progressive House Caucus. How big is it?

LW: We had 83 members before the election. It is bicameral, with House and Senate members. It’s by far the largest caucus in Congress. We lost four members this election. But we also gained a couple of new members. We will not have less than 80 members in the next Congress. The Blue Dog Democrats lost almost two-thirds of their members.

EOH: What are the major issues that the Caucus will press Congress and the Obama Administration on?

LW: It is clear that we represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. So, the first item is jobs. We have to have a robust jobs bill. One that we should have had when President Obama first took office and his popularity was at its height. He had a big majority in the House and Senate. We would have doubled the amount of money allocated for the jobs bill that came out of the House, which the Senate cut to shreds. The other priority is combating the notion that the timetable for ending the Afghanistan War is 2014. The war is killing our budget, killing our people, and killing our relations with our allies.

EOH: What does it take to make that happen?

LW: None of this is going to happen until we get money out of politics, get a bigger control of the media, and that means diversifying ownership beyond the three corporations.

EOH: The headline article in the Washington Post, Nov. 11, was “Liberals plan to push Obama not to compromise with GOP.” Will the Progressive Caucus take the lead in pushing the president not to “compromise” with the GOP?

LW: We were the most productive House in recent legislative history in getting key pieces of legislation passed. Unfortunately, it was not enough. We were in such a deep economic hemorrhaging. We stopped that. But to do more we have to be even bolder in our actions. We’re going to push the White House to come forth with bold steps. It’s not too late now. But it will be in two years. So we’re hoping that he recognizes that.

EOH: White House advisor David Axelrod was quoted to the effect that Obama would compromise on the “big issues.” Did that set off alarm bells with you and the Caucus members?

LW: I and Caucus co-chair Raul M. Grijalva sent the President a letter Friday, Nov. 12, that we totally support rolling back the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy. And no cuts in other programs such as food stamps that benefit the poor and needy.

EOH: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberals and progressives as the “professional Left” for continuing to criticize the president despite what he’s tried to accomplish.

LW: I totally disagreed with him. I’ve won office with 70 percent of the vote, and there is a large base of voters that are progressive. This is America, and they do have the right to express themselves. And criticism or not of us, we’re not going to stop our criticism on policy issues we disagree with. In fact, in line with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the House Pacific Asian Caucus, we will represent a good majority of the Democrats who remain in the House.

EOH: So no compromise on the core issues?

LW: Any idea that we’re going to reach across the aisle and surrender our Democratic ideals on jobs, health care, education, and fighting for working people and not the wealthy is not going to happen. We’re not going to compromise our votes to support programs just to appear that we’re compromising. We’re not going to start from the right of center and go further to the right. That’s not what the nation needs.

EOH: There were reports that during the health care debate the White House shunned the Progressive Caucus. How accurate is that?

LW: No we were not shunned. I still hear the president saying, “Lynn what’s our agenda on health care and what’s to be done to secure passage.” We took groups of representatives to the White House more than once for meetings. We always had an open-door relationship to work with the president and the House leadership. We intend to continue to work with the president. He will have a hard time getting anything done if he doesn’t have us with him. And he knows that.

But we’re not going to compromise with the right on some lukewarm programs that should have been much bolder. The public option in the health care fight was a good example of that. We still feel it was given away before the health care debate really began. So we’re not going to roll over. Most of our members won reelection, and in some ways we’ll have an even bigger voice in the next Congress.

EOH: Nancy Pelosi wants to stay in the House Leadership. Do you support her?

LW: I’m 100 percent behind her. None of the accomplishments in this past Congress would have happened without her leadership. They label her as some wild-eyed liberal, but that’s just name calling. She’s an effective leader. And the administration knows that. I’m confident that she will be our Minority House leader.


Rep. Woolsey has helpfully laid out the Progressive/Obama agenda for the next two years. Watch out for a massive public jobs bill, moves to wind down the war in Afghanistan (sold as a way to increase domestic public spending), “media reform” (fairness doctrine, attacks on Fox News, conservative talk back, internet regulation etc.), higher taxes and public spending and more of Nancy Pelosi.

President Obama and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have common origins, allies and agendas. While the President may make some conciliatory remarks to appease the Republicans and put the public at ease, his true agenda will be even more extreme.

President Obama and the Progressive Caucus are going to go for broke.


Socialist Job Creation Plan – “Sit Home and Eat Bonbons and Watch TV”

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

A clip from a 1997 conference of Democratic Socialists of America front organization, the National Jobs For All Coalition.

This video demonstrates just how out of touch with reality “progressives” can be.

Check out Heidi Hartmann’s call for “universal access to health care and child care for all Americans” and her brilliant idea for a jobs creation program – “sit home and eat bonbons and watch TV”….

Wouldn’t that solve all of America’s problems?


Communists Exploit Unemployed for Socialist Agenda

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

The newly formed Chicago Unemployed Workers Council mentioned in the last post, is a tool of the Communist Party USA.

The Party plans to set up similar organizations all over the U.S. in order to create its own army of unemployed militants.

Susan Hurley is effectively the leader of the U.W.C. She is also Executive Director/Lead Organizer of Chicago Jobs with Justice which has long been dominated by the communists and their Marxist allies from Democratic Socialists of America. Hurley is a veteran of SEIU, George Soros’ now defunct America Coming Together and more recently, MoveOn.org.

On December 5 this year, Susan Hurley will be the keynote speaker at the Chicago Communist Party’s 23rd Annual People’s World / Mundo Popular banquet at Lee Wing Wah restaurant in Chinatown Square.

Here’s a promotional video for the U.W.C. featuring Hurley, a cameo of Communist Party labor secretary Scott Marshall at 27 seconds and a speech from 91 year old Communist Party veteran Beatrice Lumpkin at 3:34.

Bea Lumpkin (the mother of Google Health Advisory Council member Dr. John R. Lumpkin) recalls how the communists used the unemployed to pressure Roosevelt to set up a huge public jobs schemes in the 1930’s, the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps – which were then promptly taken over by the communists.

The modern communist scam is “Green Jobs” – so the Marxists can work for the revolution on your taxes.

Communist Party “friend” Barack Obama creates unemployment with socialist economic policies.

The communists then organize those unemployed to pressure the Administration for “Green Jobs” and huge public works programs.

The communists then colonize those organizations and programs and use them to pressure Obama for still more socialism.

Meanwhile, you and your family pay, in gold and grief, the entire cost of your “liberation.”

Clever, eh?


System Difficulties…

Sorry for the slow post today folks… We had computer difficulties today – all day – and we are just now back online.


Communists Organize Unemployed to Bring “Added Militancy to Street Heat” and “Allow the Obama Coalition to Regain the Initiative”

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

It’s the 1930’s all over again.

America’s communists want to organize a growing army of unemployed workers into a militant force to pressure the Obama Administration into delivering a new “New Deal.”

The Communist Party USA plans to recreate the communist controlled Unemployed Workers Councils of the Depression era as part of a “pressure from above, pressure from below strategy” to squeeze the American middle class into accepting more socialist controls.

Communist Party Northern California chairman Juan Lopez lays out the plan in the latest People’s World:

At few times in our nation’s history has the cry for jobs – and the need to organize those doing the crying – been more apparent and more possible…

I believe the moment calls for the unemployed to become an organized political force unto themselves – not apart from but fighting alongside as an integral component of the organized labor movement.

No individual or movement can advocate with as much moral authority for desperately needed jobs as the jobless themselves.

By taking a direct hand in helping the unemployed organize themselves, and bringing them into the House of Labor, a much expanded organized labor movement can leverage its new-found power on the legislative, electoral, union organizing and collective bargaining fronts.

As the organized labor movement takes the legislative battles into the street, the newly organized unemployed, with little to lose and much to gain, will bring added militancy to street heat.

Lopez gives the example of a new Communist Party initiative in Chicago and calls for its replication all over the US.

Pioneering grassroots initiatives on the left like the Unemployed Workers Council recently launched by Chicago Jobs with Justice, and the Unemployed Action Center in Chicago need to be encouraged all over the country.

Then according to Lopez, the organized unemployed need to link up with labor and other forces such as the NAACP and La Raza to work for a new “New Deal.”

In the 1930’s, the unemployed didn’t have enough allies in labor and the social movements. The communists don’t plan to repeat that mistake:

Local unions, community service groups and social justice organizations are gradually being drawn into the projects, giving these formations breadth and resources with which to carry out their activities.

Such local grassroots initiatives, multiplying across the land, could help labor, community service and social justice organizations come together more fully at the regional and national levels.

While drawing lessons from the rich experience of the Unemployed Councils of the 1930’s Great Depression, that gave impetus to President Roosevelt’s New Deal, present formations are emerging and being shaped by today’s conditions. Then, the Communist and left-inspired jobless movement had to go it alone, with little cooperation from a trade union movement whose leading trends tended to be insular and narrow-minded.

Today’s organized labor movement is emerging as defender of all workers, unionized or not, and of the people generally – forcefully taking on racism, anti-immigrant hysteria, gender and other forms of discrimination so destructive of unity and social progress.

The AFL-CIO, its affiliates, related organizations, and unions in the process of rejoining it, have already shown the will and capacity to conduct coordinated campaigns reaching out to union members as well as non-union workers and their families.

Nor does the labor movement have to do this on its own.

Others in the “One Nation” coalition, like the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza, can play a role.

The goal: use the unemployed and their allies to intimidate, attack and sideline the Tea Party movement. This will clear the way for more “economic stimulus” a “green economy” and “in a much-changed political environment – a new “New Deal.”

In other words, Obama’s re -election in 2012, massive public works programs controlled and milked by communists and a major expansion of government power – socialism.

Working together with today’s labor movement, the newly organized jobless can turn their wrath on the Republican and tea party arsenal of lies, including the boogey-man of big government and deficit spending, rather than striking out with behavior such as racism and anti-immigrant hysteria that’s destructive of others, and self-destructive in the end.

Thus, they can become a potent force fighting for jobs with a new stimulus package, public works, transportation and production infrastructure, conversion to a green economy and – in a much-changed political environment – a new New Deal.

The unemployed can potentially play a pivotal role in the crucial 2012 elections and allow the Obama coalition to regain the initiative.

Instead of fighting with one hand tied behind its back, the labor movement will be able to punch back with both.

Contributing with ideas as well as financial and staffing resources, the union movement’s direct engagement will make a world of difference to the desperately needed jobless movement and to labor’s overall fighting capacity.

What’s more – today’s jobless workers, when organized, will be tomorrow’s union organizers in the workplace.

It happened in the 1930’s and there is no reason it can’t happen again as jobs open up.

From dispirited victims, jobless workers can transform themselves into spirited molders of their own and the nation’s destiny.

The Communist Party understands better than anyone – never let a crisis go to waste.

Will unemployed American workers become tools of the Communist Party and its “friend” Barack Obama who destroyed their jobs in the first place?