by Debra Nussbaum Cohen |
Yosef Abramowitz had the floor at the closing session of the first national Jewish Youth Philanthropy Conference in Denver last April. Striding around the hotel conference room among about 100 teenagers, microphone in hand like a latter-day Phil Donohue, he exhorted them to see themselves as powerful agents of change, as prophets and leaders. He talked about great visions of a Jewish future, quoting philosophers from Zionist thinker Achad Ha’Am to “Star Wars” wise man Yoda. He held their attention for about 20 minutes.
James D. Besser |
President George W. Bush may get a boost in the polls after a U.S. air strike killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the top al Qaeda leader in Iraq, but a growing number of Jewish voices are speaking out against the war. This week the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued an action alert urging its network of activists to support a bill in the House that would require President Bush to “develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of the United States armed forces from Iraq.”
James Besser |
Jewish groups may be poised for a major burst of activism on the issue of torture and detainee abuse — an issue that until now has produced what one prominent activist called “shameful” silence from the Jewish community.
The shift was apparent in an interfaith ad in The New York Times on Wednesday arguing that “Torture is a Moral Issue” — a letter signed by the leader of the Conservative movement, as well as a Reform leader who has been an outspoken critic of administration policy on the issue. “
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
After the controversy over granting an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner, despite his vocal criticisms of Israel, Brandeis University may well change its policy on the selection process for such awards.
In a damning report, a federal investigation in late 2004 found that employees of one of the nation's major kosher slaughterhouses "had engaged in acts of inhumane slaughter," that federal inspectors did nothing to stop it and instead accepted gifts of meat from plant employees.
Further, the inspectors were found in their offices playing video games, the report said.