Think of the American Jewish community as a business — a more than $10 billion annual business.
If our organizations and leaders made programming decisions based on that notion, perhaps they would be building a stronger, larger and more effective Jewish community.
It’s time to recognize that, with the collapse of the economy, the American Jewish day school model is breaking, if not already broken.
We have to deal with a new reality, and that calls for revisiting and reassessing the sacred cows surrounding how we approach the education of our children — from pedagogical, social and financial points of view.
In future columns, I hope to deal with the range of efforts being undertaken in our community to deal with this crisis. For now, let’s focus on a few central facts:
Prague, Czech Republic — On a recent visit here, my wife and I toured several famous synagogues, remarkable for their long history, beautiful architecture and vast size, part of the reason why for tourists, the Jewish sites of this charming city — most notably the centuries-old cemetery in the center of town — are second only in popularity to the ancient royal castle that dominates the skyline.
That’s what the terror group Hamas, in its propaganda, derisively calls the U.S.-led multinational effort to train, finance and bolster the Palestinian Authority’s security forces in the West Bank, headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the 59-year-old, no-nonsense, highly respected officer overseeing the operation, working directly with both the Israelis and Palestinians on a daily basis.
Have we reached the point where we not only take anti-Semitism for granted but don’t even question the illogical attitudes of those who hate us?
I learned with shock, as we all did, of the attempt of four former convicts from New York, Muslim converts, who reportedly out of opposition to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, decided to blow up synagogues, and presumably Jews, in the Bronx. Does that make any sense?
Washington’s views on Jewish settlements have always been a telling barometer of a given administration’s attitudes toward Israel in terms of resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.
When settlements have been a major issue, like during the Carter administration, there was a sense that the onus was on Israel; when the topic is not front and center, like under Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, Jerusalem felt it was being treated with more empathy and understanding.