Street Torah

Yeridat haDorot, The Descent of Man: Is Progress Possible in our Time?

06/10/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Will we ever end poverty, hunger and genocide? Is there hope that tomorrow will look brighter than today? The social justice movement is guided by a messianic vision that a world that is more just and free is possible. Can we, as Jews, embrace this promise of progress?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Solitary Confinement: When Solitude is no Longer a Virtue

05/05/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week there was a major Congressional briefing on the effects of long-term solitary confinement. Experts demonstrated that prolonged, isolated confinement causes serious psychological damage. Yet most courts and legislatures have been unwilling to declare this harsh practice unconstitutional or to change this nation's current unethical practice. Can anyone hear the cries from the "hole?"

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Pregnant Inmates Chained During Labor: On the Dignity of Childbirth

04/14/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Childbirth is one of the most sacred events of the human experience. All women deserve the dignity to give birth free of danger, restraint, or oppression. Unfortunately, this is not the case in America for inmates who are forced to go through labor in shackles - not metaphorical shackles; real ones.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Alternatives to Incarceration: A Jewish Approach

04/07/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

 Many  prisoners keep knives in body cavities, an ex-convict explained to me last week, to ensure they can protect themselves from brutal prison violence and rape. This horrific description haunts me.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Jewish Hotel Ethics

03/31/2011
Special to the Jewish week

Hotel workers are among some of the most poor and abused laborers in America today. Over 90 percent of hotel housekeepers have reported suffered work-related pain due to the demands of the job. How can the Jewish tradition inform an authentic Jewish ethic for hotel guests?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Another Kosher Scandal: What's at Stake

03/24/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Yes, once again kosher is not yosher (just)!

Pickles used to be my favorite snack, but now I can't help but think of the workers in a pickle at Flaum Appetizing before taking a bite.

Just a few years ago, Flaum, which also produces Sonny & Joe's and distributes Tnuva and Bodek products, fired seventeen Latino workers who stood up against over a decade of abusive treatment and unlawfully-withheld benefits and overtime pay.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Report from Davos: Where Are the Women?

02/03/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

It has been hard not to notice that speaker after speaker here in Davos are men. Where are the women in these conversations?

This year, for the first time, the World Economic Forum introduced a gender quota that one in five delegates sent by strategic partners must be female. Women have never made up more than 17 percent of total attendees at the Forum. This is not surprising given that women hold less than 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

A Life Without Limbs, a Life Without Limits

Special Report from the World Economic Forum

01/24/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

In this exciting gathering in the snowy Alps, where does a humble man with no arms or legs fit into conversations about speed, power, innovation, wealth, and the global future?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Invisible People: We Have The Power to Make Them Visible

12/31/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Having moved between countries and cities throughout my childhood, I recall often standing alone at recess feeling as if I was invisible. In a very small way, I feel like I can relate to the hundreds of people feeling the powerlessness of invisibility in a society that does not see them.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Casino Jack: Are We Trapped in Money Worship?

12/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Watching “Casino Jack” on its opening weekend was the very first time I ever felt embarrassment for wearing a kippa in a movie theatre. When Jack Abramoff, played by Kevin Spacey, sponsored kosher restaurants and a yeshiva with dirty money, the woman sitting next to me let out a disgusted “My G-d!” I shrunk in my seat.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
Syndicate content