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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

06/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The cost of Jewish day school education is a major topic of conversation within the Jewish community for two obvious reasons: Tuition is expensive — in some cases prohibitive — and there is a strong belief that day school education is a critical component of Jewish communal survival. It has proven effective in producing engaged, knowledgeable, and in-married adult participants in the Jewish community.

06/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, has been all over the media in recent days. The convening of an emergency session of Israel’s Knesset; a gathering of Sheldon Adelson, other mega-donors and dozens of Jewish organizations in Las Vegas; a spate of investigative reports and opinion pieces — all busy trying to assess how serious a phenomenon this is and the most effective ways to respond to it. Some suggest it is an economic and diplomatic “tsunami” poised to overwhelm Israel, an existential threat rivaled only by Iran’s nuclear weapons program; while others accuse both the left and right of completely blowing it out of proportion to serve their parochial political interests. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between. 

06/16/2015 | | Opinion

Somewhere deep in the netherworld, Spanish King Ferdinand and his wife Queen Isabella are most assuredly burning with rage. Over five centuries after the cruel monarchs expelled the country's Jews in 1492, Spain has at last approved a law offering citizenship to their descendants, thereby extending a hand to the millions of people worldwide of Sephardic Jewish ancestry.

06/16/2015 | | Opinion

Predictably, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to grant some relief to parents of nonpublic school children as they struggle to shoulder the costs of tuition has come under attack from public school union leaders, like American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten in this venue recently. (“Supporting Public Education Is A Jewish Value,” online Opinion.)

06/11/2015 | | Opinion

There is a proposed bill in the legislature that, if passed, will remove the authority of the elected Board of Education of the East Ramapo Central School District, and appoint an outside “monitor” to control the District.  Some of the bill’s supporters have said that this extreme, unprecedented measure is justified because the elected Board has denied public school students a sound basic education, has “grossly mismanaged funds,” has unlawfully “diverted” funds from public schools to private schools, and because the District is on the “brink” of fiscal disaster.

06/10/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

I want to share a secret about American Orthodox rabbis: We have no power. We serve at the pleasure of lay leaders who sign our paychecks. We often live in homes we do not own. With relatively few exceptions, we are employed under contracts that must be renewed every few years. If we make a few false moves or anger the wrong laypeople, our contracts can be bought out or it can otherwise be made clear that we are no longer wanted, that our time here is up.