Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

11/08/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

For the past eight summers, I have been privileged to teach at Brandeis University’s Summer Institute for Israel Studies, working with college faculty members planning to introduce courses on Modern Israel at their respective campuses. Invariably, at my session on Israel’s relationship to world Jewry, the question arises why American Jewish organizational leadership appears to march in lockstep with Israeli governmental policy.

11/08/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last summer I journeyed far from the daily craziness of rabbinic life, to the wilds of Africa, and it was out there that I rediscovered why I do what I do back here.

Job states, “God teaches us from the animals of the land,” and on safari I found myself immersed in a vast, orderly ecosystem, where, Anatevka-like, all creatures know who they are and what God expects them to do. It took my breath away.

11/08/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

An Opinion piece, “Religious Courts Are Treating Agunot Unfairly” (Oct. 28), raised a number of disturbing allegations, but failed to mention a notable exception to the practices attributed in the article to some batei din in the United States. 

11/08/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

‘Everybody is right,” my Israeli friend Herb Aber said when we met for dinner the other night. He was responding to my question about his opinion of the Gilad Shalit saga, and he gave a good answer. Everybody was right: the persistent parents who kept their boy’s imprisonment in the public eye for five years; the prime minister who grabbed a tiny window of opportunity to negotiate a deal for his release; the Israeli people who tearfully welcomed the young soldier home with the intensity of emotion that had made him “everybody’s son.” They were all right.

11/01/2011 | | Opinion

Most American Christian leaders strongly condemned the Kristallnacht pogrom that the Nazis carried out against Germany’s Jews 73 years ago next week, when hundreds of synagogues were torched on the night of Nov. 9-10, the windows of thousands of Jewish businesses were smashed, 100 Jews were murdered and 30,000 more were dragged off to concentration camps.

11/01/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The Oct. 28 Jewish Week column by Gary Rosenblatt on a recent conference of Jewish demographers (“How Many U.S. Jews, And Who Cares?”) sheds some light on one of the greatest challenges that has faced the Jewish people throughout our history — our tendency to fragment rather than coalesce. Given the fact that however one counts, we Jews are a miniscule fraction of the 7 billion human beings on the face of the earth, it is a sad fact that more often than not, we squander the resources we have at our command by bickering, rather than finding better ways to work together.