Republican convention keeps the faith too

Like her husband, Sen. Joe Lieberman

(I-Conn.), Hadassah Lieberman is backing John McCain for president.

Hadassah was the featured speaker at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Women’s Committee fundraiser and fashion show Sept. 1, which was pegged to the Republican National Convention.

But she insisted to JTA that all this support for McCain doesn’t mean she has become a Republican.

A global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Hadassah said she went to the RJC event at the Minneapolis Neiman Marcus store because the women’s committee was donating funds to the breast cancer organization.

Hadassah told reporters after the event that she had been a registered independent until she married Joe. She was advised to become a Democrat. When Joe was defeated in the Democratic primary in 2006, and then won as an independent, she returned to political independence — and has no plans to change.

As for the presidential race, she said, “I love John … I hope he wins,” but she said she wasn’t “officially” endorsing anyone. When asked about his opposition to reproductive rights, she acknowledged that there were “differences” between some of her views and McCain’s.

In her speech to the 200-person crowd at the RJC event, Lieberman alluded to the support her husband received from Republican Jews in his 2006 Senate win.

“When [Joe] decided to run as an independent, a lot of you were out there, and we did not forget that,” she said.

Not lost in all of this was that Joe addressed the Republican convention Sept. 2 — eight years after speaking at the Democratic National Convention as the party’s first Jewish vice presidential candidate.

When film director David Zucker was first told years ago that there was a Republican Jewish Coalition, he replied, “That’s like Indians for Custer!”

But eventually it turned out that the RJC was right for Zucker — co-creator of the classic comedy “Airplane!” — and it’s how he met his wife, Myrna Sokoloff, a co-writer for his latest film, “An American Carol.”

Sokoloff and Zucker are so-called “9/11 Republicans.” Larry Greenfield of the RJC’s Los Angeles chapter introduced Zucker to Sokoloff because the filmmaker wanted to write a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, whom he had previously supported, telling her he now supported President Bush.

“We never wrote the letter,” recalled Sokoloff, who had been a campaign operative for Democrats, including Boxer, in the 1980s and 1990s, and has a master’s degree in Jewish education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

But they teamed up to make an anti-John Kerry ad in 2004 and partnered to write “An American Carol,” a spin on the classic “A Christmas Carol,” in which a documentary filmmaker with a remarkable resemblance to Michael Moore is taught to love America. The film opens nationally Oct. 8.

Rabbi Ira Flax quoted the Book of Proverbs, saluted the military and endorsed McCain in his closing benediction Sept. 2 at the Republican convention.

The retired Air Force chaplain, now living in Birmingham, Ala., began by noting that “the song ‘God Bless America’ was introduced to this country 70 years ago, and in those seven decades, Lord, you have indeed blessed us in so many ways.”

He also quoted from Proverbs 29:18 in both Hebrew and English.

“B’eyn chazon yipareh am — where there is no vision, the people perish,” he said. “In every age, God, you have provided people of vision to act decisively in moments of great adversity. Bless this land with prosperity, bless our people with health and our leaders with vision, and God bless John McCain, the next president of the United States.”

These items were adapted from JTA’s politics blog(