Yitzchak Shamir was a 1930s refugee, a 1940s revolutionary, a 1950s spy, and later a politician — and prime minister — who made no effort to be loved or to craft an image. Diminutive, barrel-chested, with a face like a clenched fist, he showed just how tough a shtetl Jew could be.
On that tragic morning last March when a teacher and three children were murdered at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, there was no security agent on duty at the school because the community could not afford full-time service, according to Pierre Besnainou, former president of the European Jewish Congress.
“We failed,” he told an audience at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem last week, speaking of the French and world Jewish communities.
Say one thing about Charles Barron — he doesn’t pander.
In his decade in public office he has never sugarcoated his views on the Middle East, making it clear that in every possible scenario his sympathy and loyalty go to the Palestinians. While he often talks of “evenhandedness” in Middle East policy, his mindset often shows anything but, seeing malice in every Israeli and altruism in every Arab.
Communal planners will be mining the rich findings for years of the New York Jewish population study released this week by UJA-Federation of New York. But anyone who cares about sustaining and strengthening Jewish unity in the community will share a sense of urgency about the results, which show that if not for the dramatic growth and religious involvement of the Orthodox community, we would be seeing downward trends in numbers and virtually every index of Jewish engagement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge this week to advance steps to deport asylum seekers from African countries may only add fuel to the fires, literally, of those who are harassing the migrants.
Almost seven decades after he met in the Oval Office with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and told him of his eyewitness accounts of Nazi atrocities against Jews, and a dozen years after his death, Jan Karski, the Polish Catholic who had himself been smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, was honored this week with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a solemn ceremony in Washington.
Each year the New York Jewish community takes pride in hosting the largest gathering of support for Israel in the world. But it would be even better if more of us came out to show our connection to, love for and solidarity with the Jewish state by taking part in the annual celebration.
We are proud to publish our fifth annual “36 Under 36” special section in this issue, highlighting the achievements of a diverse group of young Jews — including artists, educators, social justice activists and philanthropists — making an impact, and a difference, in our community.
The notion of 40,000 haredi and chasidic men coming out on a lovely Sunday evening to Citi Field — a sell-out crowd — not to watch a Mets game but to decry the evils of the Internet makes the attendees of this week’s rally an easy target for ridicule to many people. After all, the Internet is a reality, and prayer and preaching won’t make it go away.