Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism And The Line Between Them

04/26/2016 - 12:02
Special To The Jewish Week

Events on college campuses in recent weeks raise, once again, the question of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, and where to draw the line between them. Anti-Israel rhetoric and activity, the salience of radical Islam in Western Europe, BDS turmoil on the quad and in church councils: All of it, in contemporary parlance, is referred to as the “New Anti-Semitism.”

Jerome A. Chanes

Yom Hashoah: Confronting The Past Can Transform The Future

04/26/2016 - 10:59

After I began working with Holocaust survivors at a specialized clinic at Mount Sinai in 1993, I wondered if it would be meaningful for our program to formally commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day, May 5 this year). When I brought up this idea, a patient remarked: “If you really want to do something special for us, arrange a day where we could forget about the Holocaust.”   This sparked thought-provoking discussion about the burden of traumatic memory and about the incongruity of wanting to protect loved ones from terrible recollections while at the same time ensuring they are not forgotten.

Rachel Yehuda. Via mountsinai.org

New Israel Fund: From Watchdog To ‘Treachery’

04/20/2016 - 09:02
Special To The Jewish Week

Anyone seeking evidence of the contempt of the American Jewish left for the State of Israel, its society and citizenry, should closely contemplate New Israel Fund’s CEO Daniel Sokatch’s attempt to justify the heinous actions of the NIF’s heavily funded NGO, Breaking the Silence (“The Smear With A Hebrew Accent,” Opinion, April 8).

Douglas Altabef, left, and Jeffrey Wiesenfeld

Why Are We Dumb About BDS?

04/19/2016 - 15:42
Special To The Jewish Week

Any college student who has been to Israel and fell in love with it like I did has been in my shoes.

Tamara Elashvili

What We Lose As The Diaspora Shrinks

04/12/2016 - 19:20
Special To The Jewish Week

Back in my lithe teenage years, I used to Israeli dance with the best of them — that is, whenever I wasn’t nursing a sprained ankle caused by my congenital flat-footedness. OK, I admit it; while I thought I was pretty good, I reminded people less of Rudolph Nureyev than those dancing hippopotami in “Fantasia.” In fact, it was my stirring rendition of a gushing water sprinkler in Hora Mamtera that convinced the Israeli government to go all-in for drip irrigation. But I loved Israeli dance nonetheless.

Joshua Hammerman

Missing Passovers At ‘The Big G’

04/12/2016 - 16:38

This is the time of year when I usually get depressed. No, it’s not because I have a biochemical seasonal diagnosis. I call it Post Traumatic Grossinger’s Disorder. And I know I’m not the only person who suffers from it. Every year before Pesach, I speak to my cousins with whom my parents, sister, and I shared a Passover table at Grossinger’s, the famed Catskills resort. They agree. Passover has never been the same since Grossinger’s passed. And when I speak with Esther, the friend with whom I spent hours upon hours roaming the lobbies of “The Big G,” she is equally melancholy. And it’s not because she’s slaving over a hot stove preparing seders at home. Each year she flies for the holiday to locations far more exotic and luxurious than our digs were in Liberty, NY.

Miriam Arond

The State Of Conservative Judaism

04/07/2016 - 12:16
Special To The Jewish Week

With the drumbeat of the approaching Passover holiday growing ever louder, I am trying to put aside my obsession with the election campaign and turn my attention inward, to the Jewish world. With that in mind I went up to the Jewish Theological Seminary, the center of Conservative Judaism, to chat with its chancellor, Arnold Eisen. That branch of Judaism has been my home for most of my life, and the seminary, where I studied during my college years, the source of much of my Jewish knowledge. In those days the Conservative movement was the largest of the Jewish religious denominations, far surpassing the Orthodox and Reform. That has changed, with the Reform leading in numbers, the Conservative in second place, and the Orthodox growing at the fastest pace. I wanted to know more about that and about the thinking of Conservative’s current leaders. Chancellor Eisen has headed the movement for nine years and is a passionate spokesman for it.

Francine Klagsbrun

Moscow Jews Could Teach Us About Joyful Judaism

04/07/2016 - 10:55

Last week I found myself sitting in a hip, subterranean Jewish bar listening to a dynamic young man who founded a successful, international Jewish arts festival. He apologized that his voice was a little weak—not because of an early-spring cold, but because he had just undergone brit milah.

Moscow. Wikimedia Commons

Clinton Offers Real Solutions to Profound Challenges

04/06/2016 - 11:39
Special To The Jewish Week

In what has been a troubling, even worrying U.S. election season, we have reason for optimism and an excellent choice. Amid all the inflammatory rhetoric that has characterized this election, former Sen. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has consistently offered rational, productive, achievable answers to the serious problems our nation faces. It is time to set out on a path on which we can address difficult challenges rather than vent anger and cast blame.

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld.

The ‘Smear’ With The Hebrew Accent

04/05/2016 - 17:17
Special To The Jewish Week

There is a saying in Israel: “Ein li achot” — “I don’t have a sister.” It’s a Hebrew cousin to Groucho Marx’s question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” Like that classic, it describes the anatomy of a smear. Somebody impugns the virtue of your sister. Soon, word has gotten around about her loose morals, and you and your family are guilty and shamed by association. Problem is, you don’t have a sister. But it’s too late, and the truth doesn’t matter.  The smear has succeeded, the damage to your reputation has been done.

Daniel Sokatch
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