Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

10/08/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

It was in a windswept Italian seaside resort 25 years ago that I saw close-up the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

10/08/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

My husband tells the story of being taken by his father as a young teenager to the Bobover Rebbe’s “tish,” or Friday-night dinner table. His father came from chasidic ancestry, although the family did not follow that path. During the meal, the rebbe tore at a roasted chicken, and passed pieces to the dozens of surrounding chasidim, who basked in the honor of eating from his hand. When he reached my husband, the young boy, repelled by the greasy chicken in the rebbe’s fingers, turned away, mumbling, “I’m not hungry.” The stunned assembly stared at him in silent disbelief, while his father quickly whisked him out, humiliated that his son had refused the rebbe’s bounty.

10/01/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The season of reckoning is upon us. This is the time of the High Holy Days, when we are called upon to go into introspection mode and identify particular sins of commission or omission. Jewish tradition calls upon us to repent and to make amends.

10/01/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

“I always say I’m sorry when I’ve hurt someone,” a man told me proudly in a recent conversation, a reflection that seemed appropriate in advance of Yom Kippur, which is so focused on repentance. “It’s the most important thing,” he said, looking me squarely in the eye with a mixture of impassioned education and nuanced reprimand. He is right, of course. And this is the season, I suppose, for all that — for remorse, apologies and open hearts. There is something beautiful and tender about all this, as members of the Jewish community engage in genuine and sincere introspection.

09/30/2014 | | Opinion

Editor’s Note: This is the full text of a sermon delivered at Park Avenue Synagogue on Rosh HaShanah, reprinted by permission.

09/24/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Ten years ago, my children, Ellen and Stephen, and their spouses, Andrew Hauptman and Claudine Blondin Bronfman, gave me the most unbelievable gift. They founded and endowed The Charles Bronfman Prize, which annually recognizes a humanitarian under the age of 50 who is changing the world, guided and informed by their Jewish values.