Opinion

My Chavruta With President Obama

'Is there a requirement or expectation that the adults come here and study as well?' the president asked.

05/22/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

I could have said “Dayeinu," “it would have been enough," if the President of the United States came to visit my synagogue, as he did today, May 22. 

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf

Why Ameinu’s Slate Should Be Barred From World Zionist Congress Elections

05/22/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Ameinu’s inaccurate Opinion piece invokes the “straw man” of non-existent “murder charges” to distract readers from the real issue: namely, that Ameinu’s “Hatikvah” slate should have been removed from the World Zionist Congress (WZC) election because its members promote discriminatory anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts, divestment and/or sanctions (BDS).  

ZOA Has Gone Too Far In Criticizing Progressive Zionists

05/22/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Are progressive Zionists like us “murderers” for opposing settlements and calling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?  In the eyes of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and their allies on the right, we are. And with a spirited demonstration on May 11 at UJA-Federation of New York protesting the Israel philanthropy of the Federation’s president and the annual participation of progressive Jewish groups in the Salute to Israel parade, a “murder” charge against our community’s central organizational body may soon come as well.

Intermarried Connected Jews Look Like The In-Married

05/20/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

For many, the word “intermarriage” connotes all that is wrong with the American Jewish community, but it shouldn’t. A reanalysis of the data collected in 2013 by the Pew Research Center shows that interfaith families — while they remain a minority on the “inside” of the organized Jewish community — can, and increasingly do, find a place inside Jewish institutions.

Zohar Rotem

Mixed Outcomes From Latest Pew Study

05/19/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

The new Pew Research Center study, “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” shows a steep decline in Christian affiliation and a parallel increase among the unaffiliated. Some believe the study’s results suggest that we will have a more difficult time advocating effectively on behalf of Israel, as spelled out in Robert Goldblum’s article, “Less-Christian U.S. Seen Disturbing For Jews On Israel” (May 15). But this judgment is not so clear-cut.

Martin Raffel

Narrowing The Divide Between History And Theology

05/19/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Decades ago, while teaching at Yeshiva University, I was approached by a student who came to my office and bluntly declared: “I no longer believe that the Bible is Divine and therefore cannot live by its commandments.” Taken aback by his certainty, I also was somewhat gratified by his desire to discuss it with me personally. I tried persuading him, probably unsuccessfully, that the Torah comprised the treasured inheritance of the Jewish people, which had preserved us for millennia. Sadly, I never saw him again.

Steven Bayme

Shavuot: A Time For Embracing the Convert

05/19/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

In the seven weeks leading up to the Festival of Shavuot (May 24-25), we count each night in anticipation of the revelation of Torah at Sinai, where we recommit ourselves to Jewish tradition, God, and the Jewish people. It is a time I imagine that local mikvahs (ritual baths) see an increase in visitors as the numbers of conversions are completed during this time.

Rabbi Rachel Ain

The IDF Is Not Living Up To Its Code Of Ethics

05/15/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Editor's Note: Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that publicly discusses their experiences serving in the Occupied Territories, recently released a new report about last summer's Gaza campaign.

Last summer, I watched the confrontation between Israel and Hamas on TV, like someone seeing the same movie twice. The last time, it was 2009 and the operation’s name was "Cast Lead." Then, too, pillars of smoke rose from Gaza as IDF ground forces entered. When that operation ended, testimonies of soldiers who served there were published. They described a new reality within the IDF regarding its operation of weaponry. 

The Editor's Desk: Remember Jerusalem Day

05/15/2015
Editor and Publisher

Forty-eight years ago, on the 28th day of Iyar (May 17 this year), Jerusalem was united under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in many centuries. But the national holiday in Israel to mark the historic event – Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day – has lost appeal both here and in Israel, outside of the religious Zionist community.

Why I Tour The U.S. As An Israeli Soldier

05/15/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Lital and I participated in the 6th "Israeli Soldiers Tour," speaking on campuses, high schools, synagogues and churches throughout the Northeast. This included John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) staged a "die-in" last semester.

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