Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

01/25/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

On Jan. 15, the people of southern Sudan completed a weeklong vote that will likely break Sudan, Africa’s largest country, in two. Why?

01/18/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Some years ago, I wrote a book about marriage, and the theme I heard again and again from people I interviewed was the importance of communication. “Communication” was the buzz word of the times. In contrast, if there’s anything we have plenty of these days, it is communication. People are on their cell phones and iPads constantly — talking, texting, e-mailing or connecting through social networks.

01/18/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

For reasons as straightforward as job security, journalists covering the Arab-Israeli conflict may have an interest in prolonging the standoff. That was the wry observation of one seasoned Middle East reporter during a recent conference for Israeli, Palestinian and Spanish journalists in Alicante, Spain. I was the only American participant.

Reporters based in the region must decide each day what to cover. Editors, some far away, may give directions on which developments to focus on and even how to shape the coverage. Journalists are not always disinterested bystanders.

01/18/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

As chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, commonly known as the Claims Conference, and in many other positions of lay leadership, Julius Berman has given years of dedicated service to the Jewish community. I worked closely with him for several years in the Manhattan law firm of which he was a senior partner, and thus can speak with some authority about both his commitment to Jewish issues and his fundamental decency.

01/17/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Opinion

I’m always fascinated by what art we take with us when we move. and what art says about personal identity. That’s the clinical psychologist in me speaking. But if I had to analyze myself (which is never a good idea), I’d look at one picture which has traveled with me from office to office and which recently got a new location here in New York City. It’s a copy of a painting that I bought for a hundred rubles in 1993 on the banks of the Neva River. Significantly, I bought it on the first trip I made back to the FSU after I left permanently for the United States.

01/12/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Opinion

I wish Debbie Friedman had been alive to hear what was said about her at her funeral.

A similar thought occurs to me when I attend other people's funerals but never did I feel it so acutely as I did this past Tuesday as I watched the live-streaming of Debbie's memorial service on-line along with seven thousand other people who, like me, were singing and crying at their desks, on their iPhones, in their living rooms, and sending messages to each other simultaneously of sorrow, comfort, and gratitude for her life.