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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

10/16/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

For Jews, politics is not a mere avocation, it is the centerpiece element of their story.

As we approach the November elections, we find the emergence of two distinctive political camps within the American Jewish world.  If Jonathan Woocher’s notions of an “American Jewish civil religion” held measure during the decades of the 1960s to the 1980s, then a new iteration of a defining Jewish political culture has emerged in these initial years of the 21st century.

10/12/2012 | | Opinion

Jewish voters know the scene well. Politicians show up at our synagogues, community events and Jewish homes for the aging—all talking up “Jewish values,” all trying to speak the language of the Jewish community.

This election season, we are seeing more of the same. Yet the trick for our community and congregations is to decipher who really means it. It is to judge our political figures not by how well they can pronounce certain Hebrew terms, but how effectively they act on our shared values.

10/12/2012 | | Opinion

“Americans who support Israel should take the president at his word,” wrote Haim Saban recently in the New York Times, claiming President Barack Obama is fully committed to the Jewish state.

But is that true? Should we take him at his word?

No, not when Israel confronts the threat of nuclear annihilation by Iran.

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

This has been the season of remembrances. Twice in the past few weeks we have recited the Yizkor prayer in the synagogue in memory of relatives and friends no longer with us. And throughout the holy days the liturgy concentrated on our need — and God’s — to remember. We remembered our deeds, prayed for forgiveness and hoped for God’s selective memory to see the good in us and not the bad.

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.