The United States has tortured political detainees. This question is no longer in dispute, thanks to a much-publicized 500-page report released last month by the high-level, bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment (http://detaineetaskforce.org/report), convened by The Constitution Project. The report painfully recounts the use of interrogation techniques that the U.S. had previously condemned as illegal, including some cases in which torture even led to death.
Can Jewish religious life be full and fulfilling with no connection to Israel? Must a connection to a concrete Israel live separate from synagogue worship? Should our religious rituals ignore Israel in any way other than the metaphorical, or should it accept that the establishment of the State of Israel affected not just Jews but also Judaism itself?
Israel has been much in the news lately, and a good portion of the coverage over the past months has been good. That in itself is news.
A recent Bloomberg survey showed that the Israeli shekel is currently among the strongest of 31 major currencies, a result of the booming economy. Also in May, after decades of Israel importing every drop of fuel, natural gas began to flow from the Mediterranean.
Maharot will perform virtually all the same pastoral and spiritual functions as male rabbis, plus some.
Zelda R. Stern and Elana Maryles Sztokman
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video:
Orthodox women are making history in front of our eyes. On June 16, three women will be ordained to serve, in effect, as Orthodox rabbis, given the title of Maharat (an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning leader in legal, spiritual and Torah matters).
Each time I hear “There’s a place for us” – the stirring plea for tolerance and acceptance sung by the ethnically mismatched lovers of “West Side Story” — I am reminded that it pinpoints a Jewish sensibility that influenced the show’s composer and lyricist. Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s musical about prejudice transformed Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into an American classic.
Love of country, love of Jewish community and love of Israel. Those have been driving forces for Frank Lautenberg, who is nearing the end of his career in the United States Senate, and they are the qualities that make an upcoming tribute by the Jewish community something I am proud to commemorate.
In the nearly two years that I have worked in the field of Jewish day school finance, no topic has generated more emotion or been the subject of more debate than the issue of Jewish day school affordability.
Our Jewish story is one of migration. Our Jewish American story is one of receiving safe refuge on this nation’s shores. From our seminal Exodus saga to our waves of aliyah, we are a people who know the feeling of being expelled and freed, welcomed and rejected. Today in America, we Jews experience the freedom and prosperity most of our ancestors never knew. Our current fortune confronts us with a question: what are we going to do with the freedom we have been given? How will we to channel the prosperity we enjoy?