Time To Call Out Trump As A Demagogue

01/05/2016 - 13:14
Special To The Jewish Week

Most everybody I know was happy to see 2015 go, with its shootings here, stabbings in Israel, terrorism in Europe, and chaos in the Middle East. We cannot predict what 2016 will bring, but one thing we know. By this time next year, we will have chosen a new president. Although it’s still early in the presidential race, we need to think about what we have seen and heard so far.

Francine Klagsbrun

Working With Fieldston On Holocaust Awareness

01/05/2016 - 13:12
Special To The Jewish Week

In the wake of the recent troubles at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in Riverdale (“Swastika Incident Reverberating At Fieldston,” Dec. 18), I recently helped facilitate an assembly program for middle school students there. Ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor Hanna Slome spoke, and the students hung onto every word.

Michael D. Cohen

Op-Ed: NGO Law Protects Israel From Existential Threats

01/04/2016 - 13:30

Jerusalem — In 1914, Robert Frost published his poem “Mending Wall,” where he coined the maxim, "Good fences make good neighbors.” Those were the days of World War I, and it was perceived at that time that the best way to safeguard international relations and world peace was to clearly demarcate the physical borders between countries.

Ayelet Shaked

Mordechai Gafni Is Back, In Utah, And Going On Offense

07/17/2008 - 14:58
Editor and Publisher

The last time Mordechai Gafni was in the news was two years ago, when the charismatic and controversial rabbi accused of sexual misconduct here and in Israel was dismissed as the rebbe of Bayit Chadash, a spiritual renewal community in Tel Aviv.

Marc Gafni. Via youtube.com

Marc Gafni, Again: Faces Complaints From 'Spiritual Wisdom' Community

09/14/2011 - 14:52
Editor and Publisher

The news this week that Marc Gafni faces new allegations of sexual misconduct from those in the “spiritual wisdom” community with which he has been associated the last five years was sad, even tragic, but not surprising. And it brought back a flood of memories.

Marc Gafni. Via youtube.com

We Need To Thwart Iran On Two Fronts

12/29/2015 - 15:10
Special To The Jewish Week

On July 14, the United States signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. I decided to support the agreement because I believe that approval of the JCPOA, for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, which would pose a genocidal threat to Israel and the rest of the world. As I wrote in my statement at the time, “Although we know that Iran will remain a major menace to the region and the world, even without nuclear weapons, a nuclear armed Iran would represent an unacceptable threat to the United States, to Israel, and to global security.” 

Jerrold Nadler

Countering BDS On Campus: A Success Story

The case for Israel is strongest when it's based on authenticity, inclusion and engagement.

12/29/2015 - 13:01
Special To The Jewish Week

When he arrived in Boston, the new Israeli consul general told me that among his primary assignments was to curtail the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) that had become prominent on so many campuses. His mission was as important as it was urgent. Colleges and universities train future leaders and opinion makers.

Frederick M. Lawrence

An Open Letter To Mayor Bill de Blasio On Syrian Refugees

12/23/2015 - 19:14

Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Guided by our history and values, Jewish organizations from across the political and religious spectrum are rallying in support of refugees, regardless of religion, race, or nationality. On behalf of HIAS, the global Jewish non-profit organization that was established here in New York City in 1881 to protect refugees, we want you to know that we share your commitment to welcoming refugees as part of the core values of both the United States and New York City. The U.S. has offered protection to the world’s most vulnerable people and time and time again, this included protecting Jews. Today, this is more important than ever with unprecedented numbers of refugees unable to go home, in need of protection, and hoping to be resettled.

Mark Hetfield (left), Dale Schwartz

On Activism, Jewish Values And Honest Voices

12/22/2015 - 16:04

The experience of an intellectually serious student in the 21st century is a lonely one. On college campuses, the greatest passions soar not in response to encountering Plato or Hayek for the first time, but in response to calls for censorship, “safe” spaces, and the stifling of debate. In the name of human rights, justice, and liberty, the majority of students on campus today believe themselves to be the teachers: they are sure that history up until just recently was entirely orientalist and racist and cruel, and they know — boy, do they know — which causes are right and which are wrong. In this environment the traditional goal of education: knowledge, has been replaced with a new goal: solidarity. The desire to know has been tucked under the desire to reform, to defy, to break. 

Joshua R. Fattal

The Communities That Shaped Me

12/22/2015 - 15:13

I credit much of who I am today to the communities of the Ramaz school and Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. Under the guidance of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, these two communities have taught me the importance of living a life devoted to learning, Israel and Judaism, and menschlichkeit. In addition to growing up in a community that has shaped my values, I have been fortunate to have been a participant in many Jewish programs that have furthered my passions and interests. One program that has significantly influenced who I am and the causes to which I devote myself in college is The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel, an intensive two-year high school Israel advocacy program.

Rachel Huebner
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