Habemus ambassador! Dan Shapiro is the new U.S ambassador to Israel, after the Senate confirmed him last night. Though it is the National Jewish Democratic Council that is most publicly rejoicing—Shapiro, a former Obama administration national security aide, was endorsed by groups ranging from Americans for Peace Now to the Zionist Organization of America, which is pretty much the full spectrum—another institution has cause to celebrate. That would be Adas Israel, the leading Conservative synagogue in Washington, D.C., which is now, as Tevi Troy reported, the home shul for both the U.S. ambassador to Israel and the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. During the High Holidays, you can spot such luminaries on Porter Street as Justice Elena Kagan, Rep. Henry Waxman, columnist David Brooks, and Tablet Magazine contributing editor Jeff Goldberg. (And me. And Maury Povich, too, but I haven’t seen him in recent years.)
Adas has a history of this sort of thing:
In the 1970s, when Yitzhak Rabin was Israel’s ambassador, he attended Adas for the High Holidays with Nixon speechwriter William Safire. The rabbi gave a blistering Yom Kippur sermon advising his congregation “not to let our country be divided and polarized by those who use the technique of alliteration”—an allusion to the Safire-penned speech for Vice President Spiro Agnew criticizing “the nattering nabobs of negativism.” Safire, who had stopped traveling with Agnew to return to DC for the holiday, squirmed. He wrote later that this wasn’t the sin he had come to atone for.
Jewish Lobby Rejoices as Senate Confirms Shapiro as Top Diplomat to Tel Aviv [All Headline News]
Dan Shapiro and Michael Oren: Mixing Diplomacy With Davening [Washingtonian]