The BP Oil Spill, Personal Responsibility and Jewish Law

06/17/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

This April, an explosion on a BP drilling rig caused the largest oil spill to have ever hit the Gulf of Mexico, which has led to mass public damage and estimates of around 60,000 barrels continuing to flow out each day. There are ongoing debates over who is to blame for this massive spill and who is accountable for the cleanup: The US government? BP? Halliburton? Transocean? Many fingers have been pointed and responsibility needs to be taken, but amid the cacophony of corporate vs. government clashes, we can also learn personal lessons from this fiasco.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

An Orthodox Rabbi Turns Humanist

 My monthly (well, sometimes a little less) "In the Mix" column, which runs on our Web site and in the Opinion section of the printed paper, is out. Check it out!

Or save yourself the trouble of bouncing around our Web site, and just read it here:

Google the words interfaith, wedding and rabbi together and you get a whopping 1.1 million hits.

A Decade Later, More Willingness To Confront Rabbinic Abuse

‘Watershed’ Lanner expose has led to communal efforts to deal with improper sexual behavior.
06/15/2010 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

The tenth anniversary of the public exposure in these pages of the “Lanner scandal” provides an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, how much has changed for the better in the last decade in responding to rabbinic sexual abuse. 

With it all, though, communal vigilance is still vital because the problem remains, as do the impulses to overlook or cover up allegations of wrongdoing in high places. And there are voices in the community calling for putting ethical standards in place in synagogues, schools and camps.

Gary Rosenblatt

An Obligation To The Dead

06/15/2010 - 20:00

 The oldest Jewish cemetery in the United States would probably be an official historical landmark site today, but no one knows where it’s located.

Shortly after the original group of 23 Jews from Brazil arrived in then-New Amsterdam in 1654, they founded Congregation Shearith Israel then successfully petitioned city authorities to establish a Jewish burial ground on “a little hook of land,” most likely on the sparsely developed island of Manhattan.

Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Michael Datikash

New Schechter Location

06/14/2010 - 20:00

The Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan will move this fall to new, larger facilities at 100th Street and Columbus Avenue. The 15,000-square-foot campus will bring the entire K-8 school under one roof in a location as first-rate as Schechter’s education has been all along. The new space will cater to the growing population of Jewish families on the Upper West Side (“On Upper  West Side, A Jewish Youth Boom,” June 11).

Hoary Bugaboo

06/14/2010 - 20:00

 Re: “Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” (Editor’s column, June 4), it is dismaying to see that, yet again, Israel’s rapidly growing unpopularity in the world being attributed to that hoary bugaboo, “bad hasbara” (i.e.,  public relations), rather than to its actual causation – Israel’s disastrously wrong-headed and self-destructive occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza.  

Mitzi Steiner, 20

A beit midrash that bridges gaps on college campus
Editorial Intern
06/14/2010 - 20:00

After finding a long-neglected clause in their constitution, Mitzi Steiner reinstated the practice of beginning each meeting of the Hillel student board at Columbia University with a dvar Torah.

Mitzi Steiner

Vivian Lehrer, 29 and Yoni Stadlin, 31

Making camp eco-friendly
Associate Editor
06/14/2010 - 20:00

A day after Vivian Lehrer and Yoni Stadlin got married, they received the best wedding gift of all: a $1.1 million grant to pursue their fantasy project, a Jewish sleep-away camp focused on environmental sustainability.

Charlie Schwartz, 28

Jewish education technology innovator
Associate Editor
06/14/2010 - 20:00

The many identities of Charlie Schwartz rarely come together in one person: Oberlin College alum, Israel Defense Forces veteran, rabbinical student, independent minyan leader and co-founder of a YouTube-like website. Last month he added another role to the list: father.

Charlie Schwartz

Nati Passow, 31

Environmental educator
Editorial Intern
06/14/2010 - 20:00

Nati Passow is just trying to live like his ancestors. “At our foundation, Judaism is an agrarian religion,” he said. “We were all farmers back in the day.”

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