The New York Times

When Religion Is Used as a Cudgel

02/25/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

The one-two punch of Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s front-page article in The Jewish Week (RCA Seen Caving on Conversions, February 29) and Gershom Gorenberg’s piece in the Sunday Magazine of The New York Times (Proving You’re a Jew, March 2) serves as a painful reminder of one of Israel’s most vexing problems.

Sharing a Painful Message: Needed - Sane Voices for Israel

09/24/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

In lieu of a regular posting this week, I am sharing with you the message that I delivered in my own congregation in Forest Hills on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

I do so because it speaks to a subject that I think needs to be on our communal agenda, and about which I feel passionately: how and about what we in the Jewish community disagree, and its implications for our relationship with the world as a whole, and particularly with Israel.

I wish you all a g’mar hatimah tovah…

Still Redundant After All These Years?

National organizations press their cases for relevancy anew.

01/06/2010
Editor and Publisher

A report has been commissioned by the national policy-making body on Jewish community relations to study the relationship between and among the top national defense agencies — including the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress and Anti-Defamation League — specifically dealing with longstanding complaints about their “duplication, excessive competition, lack of coordination and actual conflict.”

But before you breathe a sigh of relief and think to yourself, “it’s about time,” let me point out that the report in question was commissioned in January 1950, exactly 60 years ago this week.

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Night At The Museum: 6,000,001

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 The minute that news of the shooting got out, the first thing that many were getting ready to say is that we shouldn’t blame all Islamic supremicists Moslems.  

Blessing of the Sun - 1953

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 Almost no one remembers anything about how the Blessing of the Sun was observed in 1953 or earlier. Reb Zalman Schachter, ordained by Chabad, told me he had no particular awareness of earlier blessings: “You got up in the morning, davened, and made a bracha.”   The Jewish Week & American Examiner, ancestor of the The Jewish Week, did not cover the 1981 ceremonies, but it did run one advance item – albeit buried on the bottom of page 42 – further illuminating how Brooklyn reacted in 1953.  

Blessing of the Sun - 1897

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 Did I say, just the other day, that I couldn’t discover any reporting on the Blessing of the Sun prior to 1953, or in The New York Times prior to 1981? I was wrong.  

In The Name Of The Father

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 One of the silliest tendencies in Jewish journalism — and I’d bet this has been going on since  American Jewish papers were first published in the 1800s — has been to write about any celebrity with some Jewish blood as a Jewish celebrity, even if that celebrity is not Jewish according to Jewish law or practice, and knows almost nothing Judaism (nor should that celebrity be expected to).  
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