Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

11/22/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Before 2005, I knew little about child sexual abuse. That year, I was approached by a friend, now 44, who was molested as a teenager by two prominent figures in the Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox Jewish community: a teacher in a respected yeshiva, and a renowned chasidic therapist.

When my friend reported the teacher’s abuse to the school’s dean, my friend and his family were intimidated into inaction. A communal taboo against reporting a Jew to the secular authorities meant calling the police was not an option.

11/22/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

When 18-year-old Margot Haas visited Rwanda’s Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village on a summer service and learning trip, she was described by her mom as “ambiently Jewish.” The term itself reflects the gap between what so many “next generation” Jews think of themselves and how they are thought of by their parents and teachers. 

11/15/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The economic downturn of 2008 revealed the existence of many cracks in our local and national systems. In the Jewish community, one of the most prominent conversations to emerge out of the seismic shifts in the markets was the affordability of Jewish life in general and of day school education in particular.

11/15/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Over the past few weeks, I have watched the unfolding drama facing Tzohar, the group of Modern Orthodox rabbis in Israel, and its campaign to reinstate their rabbis as officiants for weddings in Israel. (See “Fighting Back Against The Chief Rabbinate,” Editorial, Nov.11) I believe the issue warrants greater understanding of what truly underlies it.

11/08/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

For the past eight summers, I have been privileged to teach at Brandeis University’s Summer Institute for Israel Studies, working with college faculty members planning to introduce courses on Modern Israel at their respective campuses. Invariably, at my session on Israel’s relationship to world Jewry, the question arises why American Jewish organizational leadership appears to march in lockstep with Israeli governmental policy.

11/08/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last summer I journeyed far from the daily craziness of rabbinic life, to the wilds of Africa, and it was out there that I rediscovered why I do what I do back here.

Job states, “God teaches us from the animals of the land,” and on safari I found myself immersed in a vast, orderly ecosystem, where, Anatevka-like, all creatures know who they are and what God expects them to do. It took my breath away.