Opinion

Silencing Women's Voices: Time To Speak Up

02/15/2013
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.

02/14/2013

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

Note To Adelson

An occupying regime is neither democratic, nor Jewish, a co-founder of Breaking the Silence writes.

11/26/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

Sheldon Adelson recently implied that Israel does not need to be a democracy, pointing out that there is no mention of the term in the Bible and that “God did not talk about Israel remaining democratic.”

While democracy is not an imperative feature of Israel for Adelson, Judaism is. To understand his vision of the Jewish state’s character, there is no need to activate one’s imagination or search in far away places. It is enough to visit Hebron. The importance of the city in Jewish history is undeniable. It is where, according to belief, the patriarchs are buried; where Abraham settled when he reached the Land of Israel, and where King David was crowned.  For that reason, Hebron is the place where Israel’s character as a Jewish state should be examined, specifically where the meaning of Israel’s Jewish identity manifests daily.

Yehuda Shaul is a co-founder of Breaking the Silence. Quique Kierszenbaum

The Lanner Scandal: A Case Study

What the community, after allegations of voyeurism at the mikvah, can learn from past episodes of abuse.

11/25/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

The revelation that one of the most respected rabbis in our community is alleged to be an abusive peeping tom has come as a shock. Unfortunately, the allegations against Rabbi Barry Freundel in Washington, D.C., are but the latest in a long string of abuse cases that have come to light over the past few decades. The one thing that they all have in common is that they all had warning signs. There were always things that did not seem right or behavior that was bizarre. Many people were holding pieces of the puzzle but there was no one to put them all together. This is the crux of the crisis facing our community. How do we protect our children and institutions from those who seek to abuse others?

Steve Burg

Dealing With Israel’s Arab Minority In Times Of Stress

11/25/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

Tensions between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens have risen dramatically in the wake of the Gaza war last summer and the recent violence in and around Jerusalem, especially the murderous attack on the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood. This is not unexpected. Those who carried out the synagogue attack came not from Gaza or the West Bank, but from Jerusalem.

Martin Raffel

Is Israel Giving Way To Fear, Rage And Xenophobia?

11/25/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

The past few weeks in Jerusalem have witnessed a horrible series of attacks culminating in last Tuesday’s terrorist assault on a synagogue that took five lives. Now, Israelis from the government down must figure out their response.

Alan Elsner

How Our Synagogue Is Attracting Young Adults

People want not only connections but also meaning.

11/20/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

Professors Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer shared their assessment of the “Shrinking Jewish Middle And How To Expand It” (Opinion, Nov. 14), and not surprisingly, they focused on what Conservative and Reform synagogues should do to reverse the trend. Their conclusion was that the effort should be made as well in attracting those in their 20s and 30s. What was new was the emphasis on expanding Jewish social networks that link Jews to one another by offering meaningful Jewish content, and ensuring that peers are at the same stage of life to address common challenges.

Rabbi Rachel Ain

The Akedah Bind

11/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

Jews didn’t need to celebrate Halloween this year to experience the chills of the season. We had more than enough chills reading the Torah portion, Vayeira, two weeks ago, with its terrifying story of the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac. God tells Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac and sacrifice him to the Lord. Abraham’s passivity makes us shudder. The man who argued with God on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah says nothing when commanded to offer up his own child. We have to wonder whether this father bears any resemblance to the dreadfully sick people we sometimes read about who murder their own children after hearing “voices” ordering them to do so.

Francine Klagsbrun

Four Steps To Combat Arab-Jewish Hatred

11/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

In the past few months the already tenuous relationship between Jews and Arabs has been put to the test once again. This is, above all, a human issue — one concerning appropriate relations between people who live side by side. But it also raises an important practical and political issue: At a time when countries across the Middle East are collapsing to their ethnic and tribal foundations, there is no guarantee that the State of Israel will be immune from such a process. It’s one that is dangerous for the Arab minority and the Jewish majority alike.

Yair Sheleg

The Jewish Women's Archive Redefines The 'Sandwich Generation'

11/17/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

In the past few years, it’s begun to creep into my conversations – along with talk of elementary schools and work-life balance and recommendations for excellent eye cream – this term, “sandwich generation.” It’s a useful turn of phrase to refer to those of us who feel squeezed between the simultaneous needs of our aging parents and our growing children. It doesn’t connote a positive squeeze like a hug; it’s really more of a strangle.

Judith Rosenbaum
Syndicate content