Prayers for the Living
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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

01/31/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Overcoming attitudes and stereotypes that pervade the Jewish community can be an uphill battle. Just ask Jay Ruderman and others who attended the recent Jewish Special Needs Funding Conference that he helped sponsor. All of them want to get past the community-created obstacles to their vision of inclusion for Jewish individuals with special needs.

Unfortunately, the philosophy of separate but equal, similar to the platform of many pre-civil rights segregationists, is stubbornly in place throughout Jewish communal life.

01/24/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The ferocious battle that has been waged in the press and blogosphere over my new book, “Kosher Jesus” (Gefen Publishing House), in the weeks leading up to its publication next week, has obscured both its message and the reason for its publication.

01/24/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

When I invite guests for dinner, I clean up my apartment, and put the dirty laundry in the closet. But it’s usually in full sight when I’m home with family.

Jews have traditionally acted similarly regarding Israel. In public discourse, support for Israel is forceful on issues related to war and peace. Within the family, though, there often is lively discussion of fears and hopes, with recognition that choices are very difficult and outcomes uncertain.

01/18/2012 | | Mitch Morrison is a journalist who has been active in the Jewish community for more than 20 years. | Opinion

In a Pennsylvania town where I lived for more than eight years, a small, struggling Orthodox community fights to remain viable.

Market conditions and lack of certain amenities such as a kosher restaurant and eruv [ritual enclosure to allow carrying on Shabbat] cut into the fiber of this once tight knit stitch.

Yet, there is something else fraying at the seam.

01/17/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Gary Rosenblatt’s column on foundations’ priorities in “Why Funders Need to Embrace Failure” (Jan. 6) will hopefully set off a discussion about basic community needs and how we can do better in the future. Most of the large Jewish foundations are caught up in funding “cutting-edge” or “funky” Jewish trends and social networking projects. While some are successful in building new models that have real impact, many duplicate existing efforts or, worse yet, miss the boat entirely.   

01/17/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were “outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right — more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).