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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

10/10/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

I’ve had many experiences in Jewish pluralistic settings, including social and prayer programs and camps, so I thought I was prepared to lead a pluralistic service trip for American Jewish teens this past summer. But I was in for an unpleasant surprise, one that has shaken my beliefs about religious tolerance among our own people.

10/03/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

In the upcoming election, the nation faces a choice of two candidates who present contrasting positions on virtually every meaningful issue. They see America differently and would lead the country along different paths. It is hard to recall another time when the differences were so divergent or important.

10/03/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

When I read or hear comments expressing suspicion of President Obama’s motives regarding the security of Israel, sometimes by people I respect and admire, I’m incredulous. The phrase “brainwashed” comes to mind. An individual who is brainwashed clings to his/her beliefs irrespective of any contrary evidence. It’s a “my country, my leader, my people, right or wrong” view of the world. Blindly embracing these beliefs is usually perceived as loyalty.

09/27/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Two findings on intermarriage highlight the “New York Jewish Community Study of 2011.” First, there is a huge amount of intermarriage, and it is continuing; between 2006 and 2011, half of the non-Orthodox couples formed were intermarried couples. Second, measured by the study’s index of Jewish engagement, the intermarried score low, but those that do engage act comparably to the in-married. The critical question is, what attracts interfaith families to engage Jewishly?

09/25/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein (1866-1934) was widely considered to be one of the more impressive Talmud scholars of his generation. In his “Levush Mordechai” (Ch. 30) he writes, “If anyone were to suggest doing metzitzah with the mouth, we would say the worst things about him because there is nothing more disgusting [than] placing a wounded [bleeding] organ into the mouth. Especially that organ.” His conclusion, however, is that “since it is a mitzvah, there is justification.”

09/21/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

 There’s a lot of talk about Wall Street these days. Once upon a time I worked on Wall Street. Actually I worked in private equity, which means that I invested (other people’s money) in businesses hoping to grow them.  Together with my partners, I did really some good things back in those days: I invested in businesses that grew and added to the GNP. I invested in businesses that grew and provided more jobs for people. I invested in businesses that made money for pension fund investors so that they could pay pensions to their participants.