Social Issues

Bright Flight

Israel’s brain power is increasingly global and mobile, and the country is moving to keep academics at home.
Special To The Jewish Week
05/11/2010 - 20:00

T el Aviv — Israeli Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz announced recently that the country was unintentionally subsidizing the entire Western world to the tune of some $3 billion with its exported brain power. 

“We have one tremendous resource and that’s our human capital,” Hershkowitz told a recent conference on education, basing his estimate on the amount Israel invests in training its academics, thousands of whom are working abroad. “But we are bearing witness to brain drain abroad.” 


How The Other 20 Percent Lives

Israeli Arabs say the country under-serves their community, and underestimates its value.
Staff WriterIsrael Correspondent
05/11/2010 - 20:00

F lag Season is the time in the spring when Israelis remember victims of the Holocaust and military battles and terror attacks by standing in silence while sirens wail around the country. 

For the vast majority of Israeli Jews, it’s a time of somber remembrance and national pride, flags, and barbecues in the park. A period of reflection cushioned by the reality of having a Jewish homeland. 

For Arab Israelis, flag season conjures mixed emotions. Michele Chabin

‘We Know The Quiet Won’t Last’

The current Israeli-Palestinian situation seems a tolerable — even a desirable — alternative, but perhaps only for now.
Israel Correspondent
05/11/2010 - 20:00


The main shopping mall in Kfar Saba, a suburb of Tel Aviv, was bombed by a terrorist in 2002 during the most recent Palestinian uprising. It’s been more than seven years, but glass barriers still ring the mall’s perimeter, forcing shoppers to pass through a security check — a reminder of the uncertainty that nags Israelis even though the uprising has long since died out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Cracks In The Pro-Israel Wall

The emergence of J Street and what it means.
Assistant Managing Editor
05/11/2010 - 20:00

The  recent exchange of letters between Elie Wiesel, on one hand, gently reproaching the White House over its Jerusalem policy, and dovish Israeli politician Yossi Sarid, on behalf of J Street, on the other, seems to encapsulate the debate American Jews are having these days over what it means to be pro-Israel in 2010.

Eight candidates endorsed by J Street PAC stand in front of the Capitol building. j street

Kagan’s Nomination And What It Means

Religion not seen as key dividing line in country.
05/11/2010 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

 The argument that anti-Semitism still stifles Jewish achievement in modern America will be a little harder to make if President Barack Obama’s second Supreme Court nomination passes muster with the Senate.

If Kagan is confirmed, the Supreme Court will have six Catholics and three Jews. Getty Images

City Seniors ‘Eviscerated’ In Proposed Budget Cuts

Ten Jewish-run centers slated to be closed.
05/11/2010 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

 City and state budget cuts will slash deep into programs run by the Jewish social service network, including 10 senior centers under Jewish auspices that are slated to close at the end of June.

Overall, UJA-Federation agencies are struggling with an estimated $100 million shortfall in projected income due to the recession in what one official called the worst crisis in nearly a quarter century.

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin: “Radical change” looming in how city provides for needy seniors.

Overkill On Rabba Issue

05/10/2010 - 20:00

The story of women’s roles within Orthodoxy has appeared on the front page of The Jewish Week five times in the last eight weeks, including four consecutive weeks (March 5, 12, 19, 26 and again April 23).

The Kagan Nomination

05/10/2010 - 20:00

Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s qualifications for the Supreme Court — she was appointed by President Barack Obama this week to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens — will be judged by the Senate as part of the confirmation process. No doubt Jewish groups with very different positions on church-state questions and issues such as abortion and homosexual rights will weigh in when deliberations begin.

Liberal Slide Away From Israel Will Continue

05/10/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

President Obama’s recent public willingness to apply pressure on Israel is the latest step down a long road of increasing ideological discomfort for America’s Jewish community. Once upon a time, you could be a typical liberal Jew and be a Zionist without much internal conflict. Israel was the socialist underdog. While Jews still overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic ticket — 78 percent of them voted for Obama — Israel has increasingly become anathema in liberal circles.

In The Counting House

05/10/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:47 p.m.
Torah reading: Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftarah: Hosea 2:1-2:22
Sabbath ends: 8:52 p.m.


I know it’s census time when I ride the subway. The ads argue, “If we don’t know how many people we have, how do we know how many trains we need?” Maybe they should just take the morning rush.

Then there’s the Jewish census in the Book of Numbers, where instead of pulling in numbers, Moses goes for the money; a capital campaign without the journal and dinner. He collects from everyone who’s 20 and over a silver half-shekel each, after which the coins are totaled up and only then do we have a head count. But if it’s not so we know how many trains, or hospitals, we need, then what for? To what end?

Shlomo Gewirtz
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