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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

01/13/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last Saturday night, a day after the terror attacks in Paris, my father called to say that my uncle, Philippe Braham, was killed as he was checking out at the Hyper Cache kosher supermarket, just before Shabbos. He was murdered in a neighborhood I know well, Porte de Vincennes, a few minutes away from my high school, and a mere 10-minute ride from my childhood home. He was one of mine, a relative, but together with all the other victims of the horrific crimes last week, he was also one of ours.

Philippe, who was 45 when he was killed last Friday, was anyone who has ever run into a grocery store with plans to run back out in a few minutes, just as the cartoonists killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack were anyone who has ever exercised their right to speak their mind. We fought for these rights in Europe and in the United States, first for some, then for all, regardless of opinion, religion, race or gender.

History books say that we won the battle. Yet, while the Jewish community in France was shocked and shaken by the events on Friday, we were also aware of a lengthy history of targeted violence.

I remember when everyday life in France began to change.

01/12/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Opinion

For now at least, the Fatah party leadership of the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas has given up on direct bilateral negotiations with Israel, and is seeking other means to advance the Palestinian national cause. Apparently this involves joining the International Criminal Court and charging Israel with war crimes or other violations of international law. (The United Nations has just approved the Palestinian application for ICC membership to begin April 1.)

01/08/2015 | | Opinion

When you think of celebrating Jewish culture, one of the first things that come to mind is the food we eat. However, these meals are hardly comfort food for those of us with severe allergies or medical conditions that require dietary restrictions. While holiday meals and simchas can be exciting events for any Jewish person, being restricted by what you can eat means celebrations can become a trial and participating in them often becomes a hassle.

01/06/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The recent collapse of Israel’s government may seem like one more reason to despair of our tortured politics and divided polity, but it presents the best chance in years to secure peace and preserve our democracy. The government that was disbanded was not a government of peace, in any possible way.

01/06/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

In late November, three members of a Jewish group in Israel called Lehava (meaning “flame”) set fire to a mixed Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem, burning out its first-grade classroom and forcing it to close, at least temporarily. The group’s stated aim is to end Jewish assimilation and intermarriage in Israel.

12/30/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The American Jewish community and other institutions have done a commendable job of capturing the Holocaust story as seen through the eyes of survivors, liberators and others for the benefit of future generations. But I am concerned that as a community we have done a less effective job of conveying the experiences of courageous American war veterans, including hundreds of thousands of Jews, who put their lives on the line and were pivotal in bringing an end to the Nazi horrors in Europe.