Thomas Friedman's Favorite Charity

Cynthia Cotts runs down the way that the winners of The Week's opinion journalism awards doled out their cash: Paul Krugman's giving his to the Brooklyn Public Library, Joshua Micah Marshall's is going to a prep school he attended in Southern California (because that Princeton sweatshirt in his author photo really isn't pretentious enough), and Charlotte Observer columnist Tommy Tomlinson will give his to, fittingly enough, a public library in Charlotte. But what about Thomas "Never Met a Metaphor I Couldn't Stretch" Friedman? Where's his money going? Said Friedman, "Like all good Jews, I started my own synagogue. With William Safire. So this is going to the library there."

Whaaa? A pundit-only shul in Bethesda?

Who else belongs? Geez, who wouldn't? But something's keeping the whole Iraqi-invasion brain trust from pulling up to the same curb: The rabbi of this congregation has a scandal-plagued history and sticky fingers. The whole thing sounds a little shady. And according to Cotts, they don't even have a real synagogue yet; "the congregation now holds Friday night services in a first-floor office of a luxury apartment tower in Bethesda."

Right. So when Friedman says his money is "going to the library there," what he means is, "Hey everyone, valet parking is on me!"

Religious Conversion [Village Voice]

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