Our friend and occasional writer for ISRAEL HORIZONS, Doug Chandler, has just published a page one news article in the New York Jewish Week:
In Alaska, Much Warmth, Some Chill: Alaska’s Jews enjoy good ties to Gov. Palin, but suspicions linger.
Larry Tallman, an Alaska businessman who lives only nine miles from Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, recalls the first time he met the governor…. The meeting took place eight years ago at the groundbreaking of a small, now-defunct Conservative synagogue in Wasilla, where Palin was mayor at the time. …
“She thanked us for doing what we were doing,” said Tallman…. She also told the crowd that “it was good for everyone to have a place to worship their God, whichever God that may be,” he said, paraphrasing Palin’s remarks. …
In Anchorage, home to about half of the state’s estimated 6,000 Jews, the city’s two pulpit rabbis are both fond of the governor. Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, founder of the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska, said Palin has attended several Jewish cultural galas he helped to organize. And in the two years since she became governor, Palin has appeared twice at the city’s Reform synagogue, Beth Sholom — once for Rabbi Michael Oblath’s installation last October, and to sign legislation named for two past presidents of the congregation, a married couple killed in a traffic accident in 2002. (The legislation outlaws watching DVDs and text-messaging while driving.)
David Gottstein, the state’s chairman for the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, said Palin has also demonstrated an admiration for Israel and, at one point last spring, was preparing to visit the Jewish state. The visit … had to be cancelled because of a political controversy unrelated to the trip.
Still, there are Jewish residents who, when considering Palin as a possible vice president, are troubled by her lack of experience in foreign affairs. Others object to her strongly conservative views on social issues, such as abortion rights, stem-cell research and the teaching of creationism in public schools. … Click here for the entire article online.