What Being A Jew in Egypt Taught Me About Being Tolerant In America

10/11/2016 - 11:55

I was reminded the other day about my personal journey in Cairo and the relevance it carries to how Americans relate to one another (or not) in our current political climate. Indeed, my experience showed me a lot about learning to live with and understand people that you not only fundamentally disagree with on important issues, but who hold beliefs that are bigoted and even hate filled.

What Effective Leaders Have In Common

10/11/2016 - 10:35
Special To The Jewish Week

I interviewed Shimon Peres a few years ago in connection with my new biography of Golda Meir (to be published next September). At his insistence I first read a eulogy he had delivered about Golda, filled with praise. I knew from my research that their relationship had not been all that smooth, and when I wondered out loud at our meeting whether there had been difficulties between them, the floodgates burst open.

Francine Klagsbrun

As The Election Nears, No Prophetic Voice For The Poor

10/06/2016 - 12:21
Special To The Jewish Week

We are now into the fall election season with two unpopular presidential candidates widely perceived as seriously flawed. But dissatisfaction is not an excuse to stand on the sidelines. Choices must be made and there is no shortage of experts, commentators, and pundits vying to convince us that one candidate is far superior to the other. Among them are religious leaders of all faiths and denominations, including rabbis and other leaders of the Jewish community.

Marc Gary

Four Reasons To Re-engage In The Civil Rights Movement

10/06/2016 - 12:17
Special To The Jewish Week

The Movement for Black Lives platform calling Israel an apartheid state guilty of “genocide” sent shock waves through the Jewish community. It should not have come as a surprise.

David Bernstein

Saying Kaddish For My Grandfather’s Faith

09/30/2016 - 10:17

“You know, of course, that your grandfather had once been a very pious, religious man?”

I am having dinner with my aunt – my late mother’s last surviving sister. We are discussing her father/my grandfather, a man who died 40 years ago and has always been a mystery to me.

Jeffrey K. Salkin

Returning To The Pulpit, With Gratitude

09/28/2016 - 14:22
Special To The Jewish Week

Last Rosh HaShanah, I heard the shofar blasts in my kitchen, when my rabbi (who is also my mentor and friend) came over in the afternoon of the first day of the holiday, shofar in hand.

Rabbi Ilana Garber

Turning God’s Prayer Into Our Lived Lives

09/28/2016 - 12:21
Special To The Jewish Week

How many times have you said or heard the phrase, Shanah Tovah? Even if you limit your response to this holiday season alone, I bet it’s dozens, if not hundreds, of times, and if you think about a lifetime of use, we are probably getting into the thousands. That’s a lot of good wishes — both received and offered. But what are we really wishing each other with those two little words? 

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Why We Created A Manifesto For Menschlech Philanthropy

09/28/2016 - 11:28
Special To The Jewish Week

You’re the executive director of a JCC, and your phone rings. It’s your biggest donor, someone whose annual giving is what makes it possible for you to offer scholarships to low-income Jewish children to attend camp, among many other things. From his first “Hello” you can hear in his voice that he’s furious, and your stomach sinks. “It’s that event you just announced,” he sputters. “That event glorifying the anti-Israel playwright.”

Andrés Spokoiny and Kathy E. Manning

Rosh Hashanah Resolution: Save The Jewish American-Israeli Bond

09/27/2016 - 17:52

The Unetanneh Tokef prayer we recite on Rosh Hashanah is the most moving part of the High Holiday liturgy. It includes the following sentence that describes a vision of divine judgment to take place on the first day of the Jewish New Year: “All humankind will pass before you like a flock of sheep.” In other words, God’s judgment on Rosh Hashanah extends not only to Jews and the Jewish people, but to the entire world. The day has universal significance. The upcoming High Holidays are an opportunity to expand our perception beyond our selves and communities.

Dr. Shuki Friedman

Rosh Hashanah, And The Shared Power Of Heaven And Humans

09/26/2016 - 17:23

Whether we like it or not, the days are upon us when the sky begins to show more moon than sun. The shorter days mean the predictability of the Hagim, the High Holidays. And while Judaism does not have us worship either the sun or the moon, Judaism has had a long-standing relationship with the moon. It started centuries ago, with Rosh Hashana.  The predictability of the holiday commencing the Jewish New Year was not always a given for Jews in the past. During the rabbinic period- specifically the Mishna- the Jewish New Year was determined by the central rabbinic court in Jerusalem. 

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