Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

02/24/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

In my judgment, it was unwise for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address a joint session of Congress in early March. It has led to partisanship in Washington and polarization in the Jewish community, and I believe there were more appropriate forums to convey his message. That said, barring any unforeseen circumstances, he is giving the speech. Here is the one I would like to see him deliver:

02/24/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Oscar Wilde once said, “I can resist anything, except temptation.”

Following the series of agency problems that have rocked the New York Jewish community, many find it extremely hard to resist the temptation to pin the responsibility for these situations on UJA-Federation.

02/19/2015 | | Opinion

People like to say that living in New York transforms us into creatures who are cut from the toughest cloth, but I have Israel to thank for my most fortifying experiences. I’ve lived and worked there during a time of war, have felt and seen rockets explode overhead, have hiked through miles of hidden villages and have gotten thoroughly lost in the crevices of her old cities. The most transformative night I’ve had in the country, however, happened not at the Kotel or Masada, but on a still December evening in an unassuming village near Dimona.

02/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

American Modern Orthodoxy is an elitist phenomenon. According to the well-known 2013 Pew study, it represents less than 10 percent of American Jews but is the best-educated and has the largest percentage of high-income earners. No group puts more of a premium on ethical life, intellectual curiosity, Israel, or community. In the aggregate, Modern Orthodox espouses more "essentials" of Jewish identity than any other segment, and by a wide margin. Its adherents are most likely to understand Judaism as both ethnicity and religion (a mature and correct understanding of reality). This is all in addition to the large families and high rate of day-school attendance that characterize Orthodoxy in general. As its name indicates, a multiplicity of emphases and core values is characteristic of Modern Orthodoxy.

02/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

In recent years, the Jewish community has become increasingly concerned with how Israel is perceived on American college campuses. I am asked frequently, mostly by anxious members of the community, about possible solutions to the problem. Throughout my career of more than 20 years, I have taken the situation on campus very seriously, as have many of my colleagues. I’ve had the privilege of visiting and lecturing at numbers of universities and colleges throughout North America. In my visits, I regularly meet not only top administrators and faculty but also campus activists and students. Here’s what I’ve learned:

02/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

We’ve all heard the old Jewish joke about the man alone on the desert island who builds two synagogues — one where he prays and the other where he wouldn’t walk in, even if you paid him.