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

Offer A Sympathetic Ear

The isolation some Israelis are feeling is a kind of grief -- an intimate and personal pain.

08/19/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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‘You must be so relieved that everyone is safe,” greeted a colleague as I returned to JFK with 26 American students after their summer fellowship in Israel. As co-director of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, a Jewish leadership program for young Israelis and Americans, this summer has been anything but a relief for me. I spent the first three weeks of the conflict in my home in New York, my stomach in knots about every aspect of our group’s itinerary, reassuring parents of our efforts to keep their American children safe. And then I arrived in Israel where I encountered the emotional disruption of this war as experienced by young Israelis. Spending time in Israel brought into focus the vast difference between how Israeli and American Jews are dealing with this conflict.

Becky Voorwinde

A New Paradigm For Muslim-Jewish Dialogue

08/19/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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At least we are finally beginning to understand what we are up against.

As the war in Gaza has taken its toll and the U.S. conducts a sustained bombing campaign against ISIS in northern Iraq to save the Kurds, the battle lines in the Middle East are clearly drawn. On one side are Islamist fundamentalist, jihadist and terrorist organizations including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and al Qaeda; and, on the other, a de-facto alliance of “moderate” Middle East nations, including Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Rabbi Marc Schneier

A 'Hesped' (Eulogy) For Robin Williams, Mensch

08/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Though Robin Williams and I were friendly for nearly three decades, we were never really friends. (Nor did we ever have a professional relationship.) Though he recognized me whenever we met, and we invariably kibitzed as if we had never parted, I doubt if he remembered my name, though he always pretended that he did.

A Return To Camp Ramah

08/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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The campers and staff of Camp Ramah in Nyack danced with the crazed enthusiasm of people who had just won a $100 million jackpot. It was just past 9 a.m., the last Friday of camp in Rockland County, New York, and the Hebrew song playing was fittingly called "Lo Normali." I could not help but think that this amount of energy was freakish.

The author and a camp friend show just how seriously they take their summer fun. Courtesy of Alan Zeitlin

Don't Forget The Non-Profits

08/15/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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With election season just around the corner we are likely to hear the same debate that usually intensifies during this part of the year, between those that promote the role of business (usually Republicans) and those that champion the functions of government (usually Democrats.) Most of us are already familiar with the argument and points of view from each political camp. The pro-business side will tell us, as they usually do, that only business’s are able to create value, wealth, and serve society in the most efficient manner. The pro-government side will dispense their own vision of the world in which it is government agencies that provide necessary services to those in need and the role of government (and taxes) needs to be increased so that everyone is cared for. What many people overlook in the business versus government debate is the role that not-for-profits play in our life.

Gennady Favel

Just How Big Is Intermarriage? You Don't Really Know.

08/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Even if you’re a very casual observer of the U.S. Jewish community and a friend who knows nothing about it asks you, “How big a phenomenon is Jewish intermarriage?” you’d probably be able to answer, “It’s pretty big.”

Intermarriage
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Media Analysis: Flooding The Gaza Zone

While the Israel-Hamas conflict gets over-covered, the Yazidis say, 'What about us?’

08/12/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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The American media’s laser-focus on Gaza was finally broken last week by two factors: the end of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge and the beginning of a new military campaign, this one by the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Ari L. Goldman

Has Israel Lost Its Moral Balance?

08/12/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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The debate, already ongoing as the Palestinian civilian death count rose in Gaza, was amped up by Leon Wieseltier — to many, the Jewish community’s “public intellectual” — in his Aug. 6 New Republic article, “Israel and Gaza: A Just and Unjust War.” Wieseltier, in his declaration of surprise “by the magnitude of the indifference in the Jewish world to the human costs of Israel’s defense against the missiles and the tunnels,” raised questions among some analysts about “armchair moralism.” How, for instance, does Wieseltier measure “magnitude?”

Jerome A. Chanes
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