Too often we take our Jewish communal successes for granted and focus on our problems. One of the ongoing success stories is the work and reach of UJA-Federation of New York, the world’s largest local philanthropy, with its more than 100 constituent agencies providing social services for Jews and others in need here in New York as well as in Israel, the Former Soviet Union and communities around the world.
It’s become almost a cliché: every year progressive Jewish groups use the festival of Tu b’Shvat, which falls on Saturdy, to make the point that Jewish law and tradition demand concern about our endangered planet. And then it’s business as usual until next year, when the festival prompts another outpouring of concern.
A democratic society not only tolerates but encourages debate and dissent. But when attacks turn ugly, demonizing and personal, they demean society and undercut the argument of those making the accusations.
In this week’s paper, we report on two such unfortunate episodes, one here and one in Israel — two open societies where left-right political anger is spilling over into hate.
It is an immutable law of politics that politicians hate budget deficits, but even more than that they hate cutting pet programs and those that benefit their own constituents. In unveiling his $3.8 trillion budget, which includes both new spending to spur job growth and cuts aimed at deficit reduction, President Barack Obama faces a particularly unenviable task.
I read your article “Home Is Where The Hebrew School Is” (Dec. 18) with great interest. I agree with the idea that children with special needs require individual and more personal attention while engaged in studies leading up to their bar/bat mitzvah.