Silencing Women's Voices: Time To Speak Up

02/14/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I was riveted by the recent story of an Orthodox Israeli young woman, Ophir Ben-Shetreet, who sang beautifully on the Israeli talent-search program, “The Voice,” and as a result was suspended from her Orthodox school for two weeks because of the prohibition against women singing in public if men are present.  Ophir’s performance and evident charm inspired people around the country.  The judges praised her as “modest” and “pure,” and she could serve as a role model for young Orthodox women who feel the desire to express themselves and develop their talents.  Instead, she was condemned.

'The Heritage Of All Israel'

Founder of Tel Aviv's secular yeshiva, also a Knesset member, leads Israel's parliament in study and prayer.
02/13/2013 - 19:00

Editor’s Note: Ruth Calderon, founder of a secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv, spent several years living in New York recently, teaching at the JCC in Manhattan and other venues. This was her inaugural speech in the Knesset this week as a member of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

Ruth Calderone

Borowitz And Heschel: Divergent Paths Taken

02/10/2016 - 16:54
Special To The Jewish Week

Some religious migrations are fulfilled. Others are truncated before they start. I refer to the remarkable contrast in the spiritual itineraries of the influential theologian, Rabbi Eugene Borowitz, who died last month at 91, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who died in 1972, as they pertained to the Hebrew Union College (Reform) and Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative).

Rabbi Gerald Zelizer

U.S. Jewish Leadership Understands Mideast Reality

02/10/2016 - 09:12
Special To The Jewish Week

In responding to Gary Rosenblatt’s column (“Frustration with Israel is Growing Here at Home,” Jan. 8), Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor accuses American Jews and our leaders (“Why Israel Is Frustrated With American Jewish Leaders,” Jan. 29) of “only listening to marginal voices in Israel” and “missing the big picture.” Steinberg is wrong on both counts.

Martin Raffel

Kotel Deal Cuts Both Ways

02/09/2016 - 15:50
Special To The Jewish Week

I have mixed feelings about the “historic” compromise reached about a week ago in Israel creating a new, egalitarian prayer space south of the Western Wall plaza. Worked out with the Israeli government by representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements, Women of the Wall and others, the compromise will create a large area for the liberal denominations and for the Women of the Wall to hold prayer services. The government and the Jewish Agency will fund the section, a precedent, perhaps, for official recognition of the non-Orthodox denominations in Israel.

Francine Klagsbrun

President Obama: Religious Freedom Keeps Us Strong

In an exclusive op-ed for RNS, Obama calls for religious freedom for all faiths, "We are one American family."

02/08/2016 - 17:02

Ed. Note: The President's visit last week to the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque, his first to a mosque in the U.S. as president, was hailed as a welcome celebration of religious diversity by many. In the Jewish community the visit was met with a mixed response with some quarters of the Jewish community praising it as a stand for religious diversity, and others voicing strong criticism for the choice of mosque. In the wake of his visit, the president wrote this exclusive op-ed for RNS, republished here for our readers.

President Barack Obama greets attendees after speaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Feb. 3, 2016. Getty Images

For Progressives, A False Dichotomy On Israel

02/02/2016 - 15:32
Special To The Jewish Week

Conflicted young Jews who feel caught between the progressive values we hold in our DNA and an increasingly radical “left” agenda that demonizes all things Israel may have come to another fork in the road. The silencing of activists from Jerusalem Open House at the Creating Change conference last week sent a signal to those of us at the intersection of an American Jewish community struggling with its relationship to Israel, and an LGBTQ movement trying to deepen its solidarity with other liberation movements around the world.

David Shmidt Chapman

Future Technology Can Open Windows To Our Past

02/02/2016 - 13:02
Special To The Jewish Week

A century from now, a child will be able to ask Pinchas Gutter, a Holocaust survivor, about his experiences and hear him tell his story. Or at least a 3-D hologram, created after hours of recordings, will be able to respond to questions posed to him by a generation that will have grown up after the last survivor has passed away.

Gideon Taylor

`Mishpatim’ – Judaism Abhors Child Abuse

02/01/2016 - 17:12

Just after the giving of the Law at Sinai, the Torah presents us with an assortment of laws, some criminal, some civil and some purely religious.

Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

Why Israel Is Frustrated With American Jewish Leaders

Fringe Israeli voices that polarize and demonize our society are given legitimacy and resources in America.

01/27/2016 - 09:14
Special To The Jewish Week

In Jerusalem, I read Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Frustration With Israel Is Growing Here At Home” (Jan. 8), with my own sense of frustration regarding American Jews and Israel. I have regular conversations with North American Jewish leaders. Many of them take too many cues from the loud but marginal voices in Israel, getting a very distorted view of reality and missing the big picture. 

Gerald M. Steinberg
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