Editorial

See You At The Parade

05/27/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Much has been made of the controversy in recent weeks over which groups should and should not be participating in the 50th annual Celebrate Israel parade. It is set for Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, up Fifth Avenue, from 57th Street to 74th Street.

The Low-Key Festival

05/27/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Shavuot, the most subtle of holidays, comes in on cat’s paws, often eluding the Jewish and general consciousness. (This year it is celebrated from Tuesday evening to Thursday night, June 3-5.) Jack Frost, Thanksgiving and department stores herald the coming of Chanukah. Passover’s multiple preparations begin with Purim, and model seders with our American neighbors. Sukkot, with its highly visible accouterments, rides the coat tails of the High Holy Days. Shavuot — meaning simply “Weeks” — is prefaced with the seven weeks of the Omer’s nightly blessing, a sign that, starting with Passover, we eagerly anticipate the holiday on which the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. But only the Lou Gehrigs and Cal Ripkens among us haven’t missed an evening’s count along the way.

Days To Remember

05/20/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Memorial Day, observed this Monday, was created to honor the memory of American soldiers who gave their lives for their country. Too often it is marked more by barbecues and consumer sales than with the somber dignity it deserves, a time to consider and give thanks for the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Services here and around the world to protect the homeland.

Pope Francis Comes To Israel

05/20/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The most encouraging aspect of the visit to Israel this weekend of Pope Francis is that such a papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land has become expected, if not routine, in recent years. Francis is the third consecutive pope to make the trip — the first foreign journey of his reign — following John Paul II in 2000 and Benedict XVI in 2009.

Confronting Anti-Semitism, Again

05/13/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Show a Jew a silver lining, the old saying goes, and he looks for the cloud.

But one does not have to look far for clouds in a week when Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in jail for bribery, a new low point in political corruption in the Jewish State; former 92nd Street Y executive director Sol Adler apparently took his life after being dismissed last year for his involvement in a corruption scandal, a personal and communal tragedy; and the Anti-Defamation League, in its most comprehensive survey on anti-Semitic attitudes around the globe, found that 26 percent of the more than 50,000 people polled “are deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes,” which translates to an estimated 1 billion people in all.

Israel At 66, Blessed And Threatened

05/06/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

This week the Jewish state underwent a unique annual ritual, blending its most solemn and joyous national holidays. Throughout the country Israelis mourned the loss of more than 25,000 soldiers, on Yom HaZikaron this past Monday — and then celebrated the 66th anniversary of statehood on Yom Ha’Atzmaut the very next day. That rhythm represents a striking reminder of the Jewish tradition of balancing opposite emotions and, sometimes, realities — seemingly a requirement in a society that has achieved remarkable social and economic stability while facing existential threats from its enemies.

Israeli-Palestinian Talks: End Of The Road?

04/29/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Taking stock as the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations deadline passes this week, one can ask whether the two sides are any closer to peace than they were when Secretary of State Kerry launched the energetic initiative last summer. The good news is that despite the endless recriminations and implied threats — like Mahmoud Abbas saying he may dissolve the Palestinian Authority and Benjamin Netanyahu talking of withholding funds for the PA — the Israeli homeland has remained secure, with few acts of terror.

Appreciating YU’s Value

04/23/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The recent Chag HaSemicha (holiday of ordination) in Washington Heights, with 230 rabbinic graduates of Yeshiva University (classes 2011-14) taking center stage, was a much-needed shot in the arm for an embattled institution, and a reminder of its vitality and importance in the American Jewish community.

Kerry’s ‘Poof’ Moment

04/16/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The fact that the current Mideast peace talks are over — but for the bickering over who is to blame — is a shame, if not a tragedy. But it is certainly not a surprise. For all of Secretary of State Kerry’s energetic efforts since last summer in trying to revive a comatose situation, the fact remains that while Israel was, and is, prepared to make major compromises for peace, the Palestinian leadership is not.

Making Mischief Of The Parade

04/08/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The annual Celebrate Israel parade, the largest of its kind anywhere, is intended to unify our community under the umbrella of pride in the Jewish state and send that message to Israel and the world. But life is not simple, certainly not Jewish life, and the fissures that create tensions within our community over Israel have come to the surface once again in the weeks leading up to parade, which this year will mark its 50th anniversary and be held in midtown on Sunday, June 1. (See story on page 16.)

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