People like to say that living in New York transforms us into creatures who are cut from the toughest cloth, but I have Israel to thank for my most fortifying experiences. I’ve lived and worked there during a time of war, have felt and seen rockets explode overhead, have hiked through miles of hidden villages and have gotten thoroughly lost in the crevices of her old cities. The most transformative night I’ve had in the country, however, happened not at the Kotel or Masada, but on a still December evening in an unassuming village near Dimona.
In recent years, the Jewish community has become increasingly concerned with how Israel is perceived on American college campuses. I am asked frequently, mostly by anxious members of the community, about possible solutions to the problem. Throughout my career of more than 20 years, I have taken the situation on campus very seriously, as have many of my colleagues. I’ve had the privilege of visiting and lecturing at numbers of universities and colleges throughout North America. In my visits, I regularly meet not only top administrators and faculty but also campus activists and students. Here’s what I’ve learned:
When Jon Stewart announced that he would be retiring from "The Daily Show" during Tuesday's live taping, audience members and later on the millions of viewers watching could only hope it was just another joke. However, those waiting for a punch line should get comfortable.
“We will offer every child, from every borough of this city, truly universal, full-day Pre-K.”
That was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to the children of New York City one year ago in his inaugural State of the City address. The Mayor's pledge of a free pre-K program available to every four-year-old in New York City — regardless of background, religion, or socio-economic status — signaled an exciting and visionary approach to early childhood education for all New York preschoolers.
The director of an alternative Hebrew School asks how much programming is too much, for kids.
Rabbi Lori Forman-Jacobi
Special To The Jewish Week
Our children are exhausted and confused. How can they know what is truly important when they spend six mandated hours in school studying up to seven subjects followed by play rehearsal on Monday, soccer on Tuesday, OT sessions on Wednesday, Hebrew school on Thursday, piano on Friday, and soccer practice on both Saturday and Sunday mornings followed by a Sunday afternoon game? It tires me just to list this packed schedule, one that dictates the lives of many 8- to 13-year-olds.
Over the past century, American Jews have been deeply involved in the fate of Jewish communities overseas, raising billions of dollars for their aid and helping them survive two World Wars, recover and rebuild after the tragedy of the Holocaust and communist oppression, and build Israel.
‘Picture the sudden change it was for him, without knowing how to read or write or even speak the language,” my father wrote in a memoir about his father’s coming to America from Russia in 1910. “They were the brave, the daring, the pioneers … our parents.”