Opinion

Rabbis Dan Ain, Shai Held Talk God

Join their conversation, part of the ELI On Air web series.

09/04/2014
Web Director

God is the main character in the central Jewish narrative ... but Jews rarely talk about God. Why? What's at stake in losing this conversation, this ability to discuss the divine? And how can we recapture God language across the Jewish spectrum?

Rabbi Dan Ain

Book Review And Interview: 'Marrying Out'

09/02/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

The statistical facts of Jewish intermarriage, those introduced a year ago by the Pew Research Center’s study of American Jews, are now well known. Among all recently married American Jews, a majority (58 percent) marry people of another religious background. Among the more liberal streams of American Judaism (that is, excluding Orthodox Jews) the same statistic is reportedly 72 percent. But what these dry numbers hide are the human stories behind Jewish intermarriage. These stories have been beautifully documented by Keren McGinity of Brandeis University in her recently-published book Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood (Indiana University Press, Sept. 1, 2014).

The cover of Marrying Out. Via iupress.indiana.edu

How To Talk To About Gaza War In Schools

09/02/2014
Special to The Jewish Week

With the new school year upon us, Jewish educational leaders are scrambling to prepare their teachers to discuss this summer’s Gaza War. The most pressing challenge is to design age-appropriate conversations: At which grade level might classroom discussions include potentially frightening topics, such as the wounding of non-combatants, kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets? And how should teachers address the tough issues of civilian casualties in Gaza and the flagrant hostility toward Jews and Israel that has erupted in many parts of the world?

Jack Wertheimer

After The Gaza War: Back To The Two-State Solution

09/02/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

There has been so much analysis written about this summer’s war in Gaza — why it got started, how it was conducted, under which conditions it could and should be brought to a conclusion, and who were the winners and losers. So much complexity, so many moving parts, and what is there left to say?  

Martin Raffel

Liberal Zionism And Its Discontents

08/29/2014

Rumors of the demise of liberal Zionism are rampant, fanned most recently by Antony Lerman in last weekend’s New York Times (“The End of Liberal Zionism”).

Jeremy Ben-Ami

Repairing A Relationship

Rabbis and their allies among Presbyterian clergy are committed to educating the church's leadership.

08/26/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

In late June, when the three innocent Israeli teenagers kidnapped by Hamas had not yet been found murdered and the Jewish world still only feared the worst, the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly voted to “selectively divest” from three companies it claimed “furthered the Israeli occupation in Palestine.” In doing so, the denomination’s governing body cast its lot with the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to delegitimize the State of Israel and blame it for the conflict. The decision, while stunning in its bias, was really not all that surprising.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson

Just How Big Is Intermarriage?

You Really Don’t Know

08/26/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

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.”

Paul Golin

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

‘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

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

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.

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