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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

01/26/2014 - 19:00 | | Opinion

Dear Rabbi Weiss,

While I was relieved to learn that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has revoked its claims against you, I have been deeply saddened by the entire episode. But I have not been surprised. In their book, “Leadership on the Line,” Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky define leadership as an act that involves “disappointing your own people at a rate they can absorb.” In order to make progress around issues that touch on people’s beliefs and values, it is often necessary to touch on very sensitive issues, challenging people’s understanding of what is true and right.

01/26/2014 - 19:00 | | Opinion

Editor’s Note: Jan. 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

My father, Josef Rosensaft, decidedly did not want to be in Auschwitz. True, no one did, but my father actually did something about it. 

Repeatedly. 

01/20/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel recently made headlines for the wrong reasons once again. Until a recent agreement was reached, it had refused to accept letters from Rabbi Avi Weiss and other American Orthodox rabbis attesting to the Jewishness of congregants seeking to wed in Israel. As a result, numerous organizations and prominent individuals, in Israel and the U.S., each with its own plan to reform, weaken, improve, or dismantle the Rabbanut [Chief Rabbinate], stood up for Rabbi Weiss and called on the Rabbanut to accept him. Ultimately, the Rabbanut agreed to accept Rabbi Weiss’s testimony and also to accept automatically any letter of testimony that has been approved by the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest association of Orthodox rabbis in the world.

01/20/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Liberal religion is having a hard time these days. Mainstream Protestant Christianity is a graying movement with significant numbers of its churches closing. Pope Francis expressed his fears that in emphasizing issues of social justice the Catholic Church not suffer the same fate as these Protestant churches have. The daughters of Muslim women who gloried in uncovering their hair are succeeded by their daughters who insist on headdresses. In all three, the “fundamentalist” wings of these churches seem to be robust and, at least among Protestants and Muslims, ascendant. It should not surprise us that the Pew Research Center study has now shown that these trends are similarly true for Jews. 

01/20/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

In recent months, several incidents, seemingly centered on Israel, sparked reactions nationwide, from both academic institutions and Hillels. I would argue, though, that these incidents have much less to do with Israel than we might think.

01/15/2014 - 19:00 | | Opinion

I never met Ariel Sharon personally, but I feel like I have lost a close
friend.

In August 2004, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon had stated his intention to
evacuate the Gaza Strip. The decision elicited strong reactions from across
the Israeli and American Jewish political spectrums.