Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

03/04/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Thankfully, the recent controversy at Yeshiva University over a rabbinical student who had held a private “partnership minyan” in his home has been resolved satisfactorily, and hopefully without harm either to the student or to the critically important institution that he attends. Cooler heads, fortunately, have prevailed. Yet the fact of the controversy itself raises broader questions concerning the future directions of Modern Orthodoxy and its role within the American Jewish community.

03/04/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

We can complain about the shrinking of the Conservative movement. And we can take pride in Conservative successes of the past. But if what we have been doing until now is not sufficient for the future, what can we change?

03/04/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

When news broke last month that Yair Netanyahu, the oldest son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was dating a young woman from Norway, many in the Jewish state declared the affair a “shanda,”or a shame. The young man’s uncle even went as far as addressing his nephew publicly and urged him to end the relationship and find himself a Jewish spouse.

02/25/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

If we can identify the factors that lead to success, then we can model educational systems to produce highly successful students.  Or can we?

02/25/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The findings of the recent study of American Jews by the Pew Research Center have generated a lot of ink, not the least in responses from Jewish religious movements. We have heard the Orthodox expressions of the Church Triumphant. We have witnessed the scurrying for cover on the part of some other groups. In the Conservative world, a number of the movement’s leaders have offered either aggressive programming to counter the movement’s decline, or vigorous cheerleading.

02/20/2014 | | Special to The Jewish Week | Opinion

A few years ago, I moderated a series of focus group conversations about Israel. The participants were mostly middle-aged Jews affiliated with Reform and Conservative congregations. As discussion touched on Israel’s policies on settlements, peace negotiations and civil rights, participants argued back and forth, with many expressing tempered criticism of Israeli positions. But when the conversation turned to the Chief Rabbinate’s authority over matters of personal status, including marriage, divorce and burial, debate gave way to expressions of bewilderment and outrage.