Silencing Women's Voices: Time To Speak Up

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.

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

Who Will Be YU’s Next President?

Special To The Jewish Week

Yom Kippur has always been accompanied by the drama of selections.

The Talmud relates that the High Priest usually would not survive the service in the inner sanctum, so battles of succession would often begin on that date. And the Torah describes the selection of one goat to serve as a sacrifice to God and another to be thrown off a desert cliff as the bearer of all Israel’s sins — the literal scapegoat.

Elli Fischer

And As The Rebbe Apologized …


My email inbox and Facebook news feed were inundated in recent days with a link to an article in Tablet, “The Traveler’s Prayer” by Miriam Mandel Levi, which I strongly recommend. This thoughtful and moving essay by a ba’alat teshuva [returnee to the faith] of 25 years living in the environs of Jerusalem, concerns – spoiler alert from here on in – the author’s recent experience of being stuck in a parking lot for more than 30 minutes because the exit was blocked by two cars whose owners were nowhere to be found. When they finally appeared, one was a Ger chasid and the other the driver of the Ger Rebbe accompanied by the Rebbe himself.

Joseph C. Kaplan

Diverse Group Calls For Action To Counter 'Self-Imposed' Communal 'Helplessness'


The 2013 Pew Study of American Jewry offers powerful evidence of a threat to what may be called the American Jewish Middle — engaged Jews outside of Orthodoxy — due to late marriage, non-marriage, intermarriage and low birthrates. In fact, over 2 million adults with Jewish parents no longer regard themselves as Jewish.

Two First-Steps To Repair The U.S.-Israel Relationship

Bipartisan actions can raise the costs to the Iranians of destabilizing behavior in the region.


The Congressional debate surrounding the Iran nuclear deal proved to be very divisive and ultimately, the White House prevailed. Now it’s time for a bipartisan effort to begin the healing process between Washington and Jerusalem.

David Makovsky

The Paradox Of Communal Prayer

Special To The Week

We are in the season of the High Holy Days, when many Jews will be spending significant time in the synagogue. As an architect, I have had a number of opportunities to design synagogues, forcing me to think about the spatial and phenomenological aspects of communal prayer. [Jewish Week staff writer Steve Lipman addressed some of these issues in a Sept. 11 article, “The Shape Of Worship To Come.”]

Will The Real Hillary Clinton Please Stand Up … For Israel

Special To The Jewish Week

This summer Hillary Clinton denounced the boycott movement against Israel, charming the media mogul Haim Saban and other pro-Israel Democratic donors. But Saban and company should beware, especially considering her recently released email exchanges with the Clinton consigliere Sidney Blumenthal. Secretary of State Clinton’s tolerance for the anti-Israel venom of Blumenthal and his son Max Blumenthal is worrisome. In fact, since the 1990s, three different Hillary Clintons have emerged regarding Israel. We know which one is running — but which one will govern if she wins?

Who Will Be YU’s Next President?

The preliminary candidates include lawyers, lots of rabbis, the Secretary of the Treasury and a highly regarded female educator.


Yom Kippur has always been accompanied by the drama of selections.

Richard Joel

We Are Judged On How We Protect The Vulnerable Among Us


As we leave Rosh Hashanah and head into Yom Kippur, the sound of crying is echoing in my ears. The theme of crying appears throughout the liturgy we recite, it’s mirrored in the sounds of the shofar, and it pours forth from the souls of members of our community.

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