Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

If Solomon Were A Candidate…

02/11/2016 - 09:54

Once upon a time, long before a career in the rabbinate was even a remote thought, I was a political science major in college. Politics and the political process fascinated me as far back as I can remember, and they still do. Although we all now know that the “Camelot” image of the Kennedy years was carefully constructed to hide its very real human flaws, I grew up quite entranced by its magic, believing that a life in politics was a noble calling… at least until Watergate. But the fascination remains…

Donald Trump, Left, Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, center, Bernie Sanders.

Visiting Israel: No Reason Needed

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

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!

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The Supreme Court Was Right On Gay Marriage

07/01/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

My wife and I have been blessed with four beautiful children, but we lost a number of pregnancies along the way. During those difficult times years ago, when we sometimes wondered whether we would ever realize our dream of a large family, or even have children at all, I developed a deep personal antipathy for the cavalier use of abortion as a form of birth control.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Zamir Choral Foundation: Finding Harmony Amidst the Noise

03/25/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

My work in the pulpit rabbinate is, of course, centered on the synagogue that I serve in Forest Hills. It has been my family’s community, and my professional home, since 1981. But it is equally true that my rabbinate extends beyond the parochial walls of my congregation, involving me in many causes and projects that impact not only my community, but also the Jewish world at large.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Remembering Leonard Nimoy, A Serious Jew

03/04/2015 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I can only imagine that, after everything I’ve written the past few weeks about Bibi, Barack, and the “Situation,” and having just come back from the AIPAC Policy Conference, you might expect me to write about all that … And you’d be completely justified in assuming that I would.

Courtesy of Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The London Jewish Community: Just Fine, Thank You!

02/13/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I left London this past Tuesday morning after a long weekend and wonderful Shabbat there, and landed in Madrid this afternoon, preparing to meet up with the Conference of Presidents mission here.  If anyone asks you what London and Madrid have in common besides both being in Europe, the answer is that, right at this moment, they're both cold and wet! 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Reflections at Arlington National Cemetery

01/01/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

With two of our four children home over the December holiday break, my wife and I decided to go “old school” with them and take a road trip.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Watching the Light Bulb Turn On

12/19/2013 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

For most of my thirty-two years as the rabbi of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, I have been teaching a weekly class to our Hebrew High School students who attend public high schools. 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Prayer: A Path To Gratitude In A Time Of Anxiety

12/05/2013 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

With Thanksgiving barely a week behind us and Chanukah just ending, it seems a particularly appropriate moment to reflect on this year’s most unusual juxtaposition of sacred and secular celebrations. Beyond the kitsch of “Thanksgivukah,” as so many referred to it, there is a common thread between the two holidays, and it is a significant one. Both are about gratitude.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Beyond The Benefit Of The Doubt

10/30/2013 - 20:00
Jewish Week Correspondent

My family knows well that the Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin film “The American President” is one of my all-time favorites. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve watched it, and during particularly difficult times in this country, notably after the events of 9/11, it served as a source of comfort. 

As he would later do so magnificently in “The West Wing,” Sorkin painted a picture of politicians and government who were able to transcend the innumerable temptations to compromise principles for expediency, and actually even reach greatness.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, New York.
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