Carolyn and Don recently found out that they won a highly competitive lottery. They’re excited, of course, but the news has also precipitated some serious questioning on their part about their religious and educational goals — for themselves and their three young children.
Soon after John Ruskay took over the helm of UJA-Federation of New York in 1999 he gave a major address based on the notion, then prevalent, that Israel had reached a point in its history when peace seemed imminent.
A few months ago Rabbi David Stav, the 53-year-old founder and president of Tzohar, a rabbinic organization that strives to make the face of traditional Judaism more appealing to Israelis, was seen as the Don Quixote candidate in the upcoming national Chief Rabbinate election, held once a decade.
Charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a Solomonic solution to the growing controversy over women’s prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, Natan Sharansky, the chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, is prepared to recommend a bold plan to allow any and all Jews to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
During a recent interview in my office with Mark Borovitz and Harriet Rossetto, the guiding lights of Beit T’Shuvah: The House of Return, a unique community in Los Angeles that combines spiritual and psychotherapeutic approaches to addiction recovery, I became increasingly impressed with their work and their own life stories.