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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

01/14/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Opinion

I attended the official New York City Jewish community memorial service, Sunday evening, for the 17 murdered victims of the attacks in Paris last week. Perhaps 500 people crammed the sanctuary of Lincoln Square Synagogue, with some overflow reported on the outside. Dignitaries in attendance included the French consul-general, the French ambassador to the United Nations, the Israeli consul-general, Senator Charles Schumer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the local member of the House of Representatives Jerrold Nadler, the City Public Advocate Letitia James and the City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

01/14/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

On the third night of this past Chanukah, attorney Kevin Mulhearn sent a draft of a complaint against Yeshiva University High School for Boys to a group of plaintiffs who say they had been sexually abused as students.(I am not one of the plaintiffs, although I left the school after one year due to what I perceived as physical abuse.)

01/14/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

On June 16, 1963, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel sent a telegram to President John F. Kennedy accepting an invitation to attend a meeting of religious leaders to discuss the growing racial tensions in the country. It read in part:

01/13/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last Saturday night, a day after the terror attacks in Paris, my father called to say that my uncle, Philippe Braham, was killed as he was checking out at the Hyper Cache kosher supermarket, just before Shabbos. He was murdered in a neighborhood I know well, Porte de Vincennes, a few minutes away from my high school, and a mere 10-minute ride from my childhood home. He was one of mine, a relative, but together with all the other victims of the horrific crimes last week, he was also one of ours.

Philippe, who was 45 when he was killed last Friday, was anyone who has ever run into a grocery store with plans to run back out in a few minutes, just as the cartoonists killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack were anyone who has ever exercised their right to speak their mind. We fought for these rights in Europe and in the United States, first for some, then for all, regardless of opinion, religion, race or gender.

History books say that we won the battle. Yet, while the Jewish community in France was shocked and shaken by the events on Friday, we were also aware of a lengthy history of targeted violence.

I remember when everyday life in France began to change.

01/12/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Opinion

For now at least, the Fatah party leadership of the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas has given up on direct bilateral negotiations with Israel, and is seeking other means to advance the Palestinian national cause. Apparently this involves joining the International Criminal Court and charging Israel with war crimes or other violations of international law. (The United Nations has just approved the Palestinian application for ICC membership to begin April 1.)

01/08/2015 | | Opinion

When you think of celebrating Jewish culture, one of the first things that come to mind is the food we eat. However, these meals are hardly comfort food for those of us with severe allergies or medical conditions that require dietary restrictions. While holiday meals and simchas can be exciting events for any Jewish person, being restricted by what you can eat means celebrations can become a trial and participating in them often becomes a hassle.