The Jewish Week App -- Now Available!
view counter

Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

12/23/2015 - 19:14 | | Opinion

Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Guided by our history and values, Jewish organizations from across the political and religious spectrum are rallying in support of refugees, regardless of religion, race, or nationality. On behalf of HIAS, the global Jewish non-profit organization that was established here in New York City in 1881 to protect refugees, we want you to know that we share your commitment to welcoming refugees as part of the core values of both the United States and New York City. The U.S. has offered protection to the world’s most vulnerable people and time and time again, this included protecting Jews. Today, this is more important than ever with unprecedented numbers of refugees unable to go home, in need of protection, and hoping to be resettled.

12/22/2015 - 16:04 | | Opinion

The experience of an intellectually serious student in the 21st century is a lonely one. On college campuses, the greatest passions soar not in response to encountering Plato or Hayek for the first time, but in response to calls for censorship, “safe” spaces, and the stifling of debate. In the name of human rights, justice, and liberty, the majority of students on campus today believe themselves to be the teachers: they are sure that history up until just recently was entirely orientalist and racist and cruel, and they know — boy, do they know — which causes are right and which are wrong. In this environment the traditional goal of education: knowledge, has been replaced with a new goal: solidarity. The desire to know has been tucked under the desire to reform, to defy, to break. 

12/22/2015 - 15:13 | | Opinion

I credit much of who I am today to the communities of the Ramaz school and Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. Under the guidance of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, these two communities have taught me the importance of living a life devoted to learning, Israel and Judaism, and menschlichkeit. In addition to growing up in a community that has shaped my values, I have been fortunate to have been a participant in many Jewish programs that have furthered my passions and interests. One program that has significantly influenced who I am and the causes to which I devote myself in college is The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel, an intensive two-year high school Israel advocacy program.

12/22/2015 - 12:38 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of opinion pieces advocating for candidates in the 2016 presidential race.

American exceptionalism, the doctrine that the United States, as a people and a nation imbued with democratic values, has the unique ability and responsibility to promote these values on the world stage, needs to be a major component of how our leadership views the challenges facing our country.

12/22/2015 - 12:18 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

I gave a sermon on intermarriage to my congregation in 1994. I did not do so again until this year. No rabbi is in favor of intermarriage, but there are few congregants in Conservative and Reform synagogues (and in many Modern and centrist Orthodox ones) that do not have someone in their family married to a non-Jew. Anything that might be said on this sensitive subject will inevitably touch a nerve and cause hurt, however unintentionally.

12/17/2015 (All day) | | Jewish Week Online Columnists | Opinion

I am leaving this coming week for a brief trip to Israel, and will be returning to Forest Hills right after the New Year. Inasmuch as this is rare time away from office and home, I shall be utilizing this opportunity to take a two-week hiatus from my weekly articles in this space (barring unforeseen circumstances), and look forward to coming back to the weekly challenge with batteries recharged and perspectives similarly revitalized. Thank you to all of my faithful readers!