Gilad Shalit will be getting a visitor next Monday night — Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah). In the comfort of our own homes, the rest of us can and should remember this Fifth Son — wise and able to ask but unable to be heard. At the seder on this night of memory, with its promises of Redemption, it would be appropriate to remember Shalit, a slave awaiting a miracle all his own.
Richard Goldstone’s narrow, qualified mea culpa on the infamous report he issued as chair of a fact-finding mission appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, on what happened during the 2008-2009 Gaza war, raises more questions than it answers.
With President Barack Obama announcing — to nobody’s surprise — his intention to seek a second term, and Republicans fighting for the chance to oppose him, this might be a good time to lay out our early views on the 2012 election.
No, we’re not making endorsements. Consider this, instead, a plea for a sober and respectful debate on the candidates and their positions on a wide range of issues, starting with the always explosive issue of U.S. Middle East policy.
Last week’s census data on the explosive growth of the Latino community and a poll released this week by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding points to a significant challenge for Jewish community relations officials in the years to come.
Now 16 percent of the overall population and growing rapidly, the Latino community is coming into its own culturally and politically — and by rights should be a critical ally of a much smaller Jewish community.
Despite reports this week that Hamas and Fatah are renewing talks about possible reconciliation, there are still huge obstacles to the creation of a unity government that will bring Gaza and the West Bank back under a single Palestinian Authority. But as long as that is a possibility, the Obama administration needs well-thought-out contingency plans for a development that would pose major international and domestic political challenges.
Reform Judaism is the largest of the religious streams, with some 900 synagogues in North America, but it is far from immune from the challenges facing Jewish life in the diaspora.
A position paper drafted last month by the rabbis of the 18 largest congregations and circulating now among their colleagues offers a sober assessment of the social changes in the national Jewish landscape, and a tough critique of the movement’s key organizations.