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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

07/07/2016 - 18:07 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

In 1958, as a young, recently ordained rabbi, I watched with a combination of astonishment and admiration as my father, Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein, assumed the presidency of a fledgling Bar-Ilan University after the untimely passing of his close friend, Dr. Pinchas Churgin, the university’s founder and first president.  Dr. Churgin had died two-and-a-half years after Bar-Ilan opened its doors. There were 70 students at the time in what was Israel’s first and only university under religious auspices. 

07/06/2016 - 10:16 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

At the J Street U conference in April, student activists insisted that the Jewish establishment publicly denounce the Israeli occupation. While students at J Street U were measured in their demands, not so students from J Street U’s more uncompromising offshoot, If Not Now, which protests Jewish organizations for not publicly opposing the occupation, but refuses to sit down with their leaders to discuss demands. These students insist, like hubristic voices on the extreme right, that others accept their viewpoints, and refuse to engage in dialogue.

07/05/2016 - 16:35 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

With Hillary Clinton aiding him as the self-proclaimed “designated yeller” at Israel’s leaders, President Obama has spent the last seven and a half years placing enormous pressure on Israel to make unilateral concessions to a Palestinian leadership that foments terrorism and glorifies the murder of Jews. This administration coddles America’s adversaries while antagonizing our allies. ISIS is terrorizing the world and establishing bases on Israel’s doorstep, throughout Europe and elsewhere around the world. It is no wonder that pro-Israel Americans — Jews and non-Jews — are yearning for a strong, principled leader. Yet Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt seems perplexed as to why many American supporters of Israel prefer Donald Trump (“Israel-Firsters Seen Edging Toward Trump,” July 1).

07/05/2016 - 13:04 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Summer has barely gotten underway, and its bright sunshine has already been darkened by a series of horrific terror attacks. In early June Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded six others in a shooting at Tel Aviv’s popular Sarona market. Later in the month, a massacre by a single shooter in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. left 49 dead and 53 injured, the worst mass shooting in this nation’s history. And in the last days of June, three suicide bombers infiltrated Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, killing at least 42 and wounding dozens more.

07/05/2016 - 10:28 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Memory was the most vital element of Elie Wiesel’s life.  That’s why such institutions as Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, and Israel’s Yad Vashem were so dear to him. Especially Yad Vashem.

06/30/2016 - 14:57 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

For over 250 years, Shearith Israel, America’s first Jewish congregation, has actively ensured that Newport’s Touro Synagogue — including the precious Myer Myers Torah finials (rimonim) used there — remains vital, vibrant and intact.  Congregation Jeshuat Israel (CJI), the current, temporal caretaker of the legacy of American Jewry in Newport, can’t justify its attempt to sever the sacred rimonim from their historical, ritual context in Touro Synagogue by selling them.