Opinion

After The Party, Racial Profiling

On Purim, it happened to me, writes the author. It happens to us.

03/12/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Just like now, it was Purim. 2008. A young Jewish man was coming home from a Purim party in New Jersey. As designated driver, he hadn’t been drinking.

Jared Jackson

The Quiet Rescuer, Saving Family From Hitler

03/11/2014
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I have a memory from childhood of two women who lived close by me, but whom I never got to know. They were sisters who came from Berlin to stay in the home of my best friend, Naomi. Refugees — a word we were just beginning to hear often — from Hitler’s Germany, they had been brought over from Europe to our Borough Park enclave by Naomi’s mother, their second cousin. I don’t remember their names or the year they came, but I remember how they looked: straight-backed, rarely smiling, wearing thick heeled shoes and carrying black pocketbooks that hung rigidly from their hands. But what I remember most is Naomi’s anger that she had to share her bedroom with these two unfamiliar relatives, who seemed to her ungrateful for the help her parents had given them.

Francine Klagsbrun

My Struggle With Bipolar Disorder

A prominent rabbi apologizes and reflects on his diagnosis and arrest by police during a manic episode.

03/11/2014
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Eight months have passed since the beginning of my experience with the criminal justice system. (I was arrested in June and accused of impersonating a police officer and was ultimately charged with non-criminal violations.) My involvement in that system is now well settled and gratefully behind me. These eight months have also given me the respite to reflect deeply on what took place, the challenge of being bipolar, and how to use this difficult and painful experience, and my diagnosis, to derive something positive.

Alfredo Borodowski

Drinking On Purim Is No Laughing Matter

03/11/2014
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This year’s trending Purim parody topic is the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado. President Obama’s recent public admission about getting high will no doubt fan these flames. And when there’s fire, there’s smoke. There will be, no doubt, lots of non-medicinal smoking going on, in and out of Colorado, this Purim.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Students Say It's Dangerous To Ignore The Green Line

03/10/2014
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Students here and across the Jewish world are fighting for an honest conversation about the Green Line, the armistice line that serves as the basis for any talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. If we bury our heads in the sand, we become all the more vulnerable to Israel’s real enemies.

Jacob Plitman

From A Lesbian Mother, A Letter To PJ Library: This Hurts

03/06/2014
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Dear Trustees:

My two daughters have been receiving PJ Library books since they were babies, and I am very grateful to you for the monthly gift, which has helped me teach them about Jewish holidays, traditions and values.

I wanted to share with you my disappointment that you've chosen not to send the book The Purim Superhero to all your members, but only to families who specifically request it. I know you put a lot of thought into this decision, and that's part of the reason I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

The Purim Superhero has two dads. The author is one of two moms. Via keshetonline.org

Rabbi’s Role: Speaking Out Or Maintaining Community?

03/05/2014
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Frequently, I hear congregants complain that their rabbis are not inspiring or that they never take clear stands on issues of importance. That's why the ongoing discussion about rabbinic independence that has erupted again at B'nai Jeshurun, covered very fairly by The Jewish Week (“B’nai Jeshurun Defections Fuel Debate,” Feb. 28), transcends any single congregation and any one subject. It is a contemporary case study about two issues facing the congregational world:

Rabbi Hayim Herring

Modern Orthodoxy At A Crossroads

The movement tries both to preserve rabbinic authority and allow for intellectual freedom and the expression of diverse viewpoints.

03/04/2014
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Thankfully, the recent controversy at Yeshiva University over a rabbinical student who had held a private “partnership minyan” in his home has been resolved satisfactorily, and hopefully without harm either to the student or to the critically important institution that he attends. Cooler heads, fortunately, have prevailed. Yet the fact of the controversy itself raises broader questions concerning the future directions of Modern Orthodoxy and its role within the American Jewish community.

Steven Bayme

Changing Conservative Judaism

A movement looking to the future finds some rabbinical role models in its own synagogues.

03/04/2014
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We can complain about the shrinking of the Conservative movement. And we can take pride in Conservative successes of the past. But if what we have been doing until now is not sufficient for the future, what can we change?

Judith Hauptman

End The Prohibition On Proselytizing To Non-Jews

03/04/2014
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When news broke last month that Yair Netanyahu, the oldest son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was dating a young woman from Norway, many in the Jewish state declared the affair a “shanda,”or a shame. The young man’s uncle even went as far as addressing his nephew publicly and urged him to end the relationship and find himself a Jewish spouse.

Steven M. Cohen and Marco Greenberg
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