Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

04/10/2014 | | Opinion

Our friend Justin Spiro has hit upon the challenge in his piece, "LGBTQ Youth Have No Derech To Stray From." We cannot complain that young people are leaving a community if it leaves them first. 

04/09/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The Talmud teaches that: “The world endures only for the sake of the breath of school children.” It is in that spirit that the Jewish people have valued education so highly for thousands of years. That statement also reflects a profound truth: Education is the key to a healthy, productive society, and to individual physical, emotional and spiritual flourishing. Unfortunately, that precious breath is being cut short for thousands of schoolchildren in Rockland County.

04/09/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to represent JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) at the Keshet and Hazon Shabbaton for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) teenagers. JQY is a non-profit organization supporting LGBTQ youth and their families in the Orthodox community.  

The participants at the Shabbaton represented a wide variety of religious, gender, and sexual identities. What struck me most was the life-saving role Judaism played in the lives of these teens. Many found refuge in religion when homophobic friends, family, and society rejected them. They spoke about Reform and Conservative congregations and youth groups embracing them and mitigating the harsh reality of life beyond the synagogue walls.

04/08/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The American Jewish community overwhelmingly supports Israel and strongly opposes efforts to demonize and delegitimize the nation-state of the Jewish people by singling it out for boycotts, divestment or sanctions (BDS). Although there are divisions within the Jewish community about Israeli policies — particularly with regard to the peace process and settlements — once a year we try to put aside these differences by marching together in the Celebrate Israel parade, marking its 50th anniversary this June and expected to attract over 40,000 marchers, representing over 200 schools, synagogues and organizations.

04/08/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Every year when my family gets to the part of the Passover seder describing The Four Sons, we discuss the righteous child, the wicked child, the simple child, and the child that doesn’t even know enough to ask. Every year my father shares the same sentiment: “Who is missing?” As if on cue, he then answers his own question, and says, “The fifth son is missing; he is the one that doesn’t even come to the table.” 

04/08/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

My family and I always laugh at that part in the Passover Haggadah where people sing about tyrants rising up in every generation to destroy us,” my Israeli friend — a historian — said when I called to wish him a happy Pesach.