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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

07/16/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Who would want to go to Africa in June? The American Jewish World Service, that’s who, and the 30 people, myself included, who -- despite three connecting flights, the height of the rainy season, and temperatures in the 80s -- signed up for its Liberian study tour.

07/11/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

At a recent seminar for nonprofit leaders, I heard one who oversees some 40 Catholic schools in Australia tell of a boy with Tourette Syndrome who, in the midst of a school assembly, stood up and screamed a string of obscenities. When the child finished, the school’s director rose to address the students. “We have just heard from Johnny,” he said gently, “and he is a valued member of our community.” Not a single child chuckled or made the boy feel anything other than welcomed. Full inclusion.

07/11/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

My friend Raphael Silver recently completed a novel, “Congregation,” that will be published as an e-book later this year. It centers on a strong, charismatic rabbi of a large Reform congregation in Cleveland, who is diagnosed with ALS and must decide when to retire. Various sub-plots intertwine, one of them about the manipulations of the congregation’s president to have the assistant rabbi replace the senior one when he leaves.

07/03/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Jews are more religious, Jews are poorer, Jews are less educated, Jews are less affiliated. 

So tell me something I don’t know.

07/03/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last month the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism drove the penultimate nail into the coffin of Koach, its college-programming branch, by announcing it would end the program unless supporters raised $130,000 by the end of the year. With such a blatant reluctance to internally sustain Koach, and the near impossibility of supporters raising such a sum, the USCJ message is clear: we are no longer able to support our college students.

06/26/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion
It seems that every significant study of the Jewish people is released while we read from the Book of Numbers, the book that derives its English name from the first official census of the Jewish people. It’s as if counting the Jewish people is imbedded in our DNA. That census, conducted 3,000-plus years ago, however, was much more limited in scope: Only men age 20 and older who are able to go to war (Numbers 1:3) were to be counted. From the Torah’s census of 603,550 Israelites of age for war, scholars estimate that the total population was in the 2.5 million range.