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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

09/26/2016 - 17:23 | | Opinion

Whether we like it or not, the days are upon us when the sky begins to show more moon than sun. The shorter days mean the predictability of the Hagim, the High Holidays. And while Judaism does not have us worship either the sun or the moon, Judaism has had a long-standing relationship with the moon. It started centuries ago, with Rosh Hashana.  The predictability of the holiday commencing the Jewish New Year was not always a given for Jews in the past. During the rabbinic period- specifically the Mishna- the Jewish New Year was determined by the central rabbinic court in Jerusalem. 

09/26/2016 - 17:21 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

“The relationship between Israel and American Jewry is nearing a dead end.” This ominous prognosis was penned not by a millennial blogger writing from Brooklyn or San Francisco in recent months, but by Israeli Member of Knesset Eliezer Livneh. He was writing in 1965.

Livneh had undertaken a tour of Jewish American communities, and set out his troubled observations in a booklet entitled “American Jewry – an Israeli Challenge”.

09/21/2016 - 11:41 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Ninety percent of American Jews are not Orthodox. More than half of those Jews will find their way into a synagogue at some point during the High Holidays and hear rabbis speak on a host of contemporary Jewish issues. How about the central question of God? Does God really care if you are in shul on the Hi Ho’s? During the other 362 days of year, does God care if you eat veal parmesan?

09/15/2016 - 16:14 | | Opinion

This year, as every year, the prayers and melodies of the High Holy Days bring me back to my childhood synagogue. I grew up in Buenos Aires amidst a community of Syrian Jews. My grandparents had left Aleppo decades earlier, but Aleppo never left them. Our lives were infused with Aleppo’s sumptuous tastes and smells, with its music, its language, its social norms, and the memory of its streets and glorious synagogues. Aleppo was to us simultaneously remote and intimately close, exotic and familiar.

09/13/2016 - 23:06 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Over the last eight years I have made more than 120 campuse visits around the country, from large state universities to small colleges, talking about Israel, the Palestinians and the Mideast conflict.

09/13/2016 - 11:49 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The start of school — and the Jewish New Year — offers parents a renewed opportunity to engage in a reflective goal-setting process around our children’s Jewish education. What skills do we want our children to have in order to be able to live Jewish lives and participate in Jewish rituals and communal activities? What stories, texts, characters, historical figures, events, prayers, laws and customs do we want our children to know about? What attitudes, values and feelings do we want them to have toward Judaism? What do we think it means to be Jewishly educated?