Opinion

How 'Write On For Israel' Breaks Stereotypes

05/28/2015

One of the goals of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel program for high school juniors and seniors is to break some of the stereotypes they’ve heard or read about regarding Israel and the Mideast conflict. It’s important for students to have an accurate picture of Israel before they head off to college, where they are likely to be challenged about Israel and its policies.

A Conservative Rabbi Caught In Middle On Israel

05/26/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

In what is just the latest in a sad string of similar stories about the struggle for religious pluralism in Israel, the ultra-Orthodox mayor of Rehovot, Rahamim Malul, forced the postponement of a long-anticipated bar/bat mitzvah ceremony for children with special needs — in this case, severe autism. This program, sponsored for the last 25 years by the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, was to have taken place in Adat Shalom-Emanuel, the Masorti congregation in Rehovot. But the mayor decided that it would be offensive to Orthodox sensitivities to hold it there, leaving the children and their families understandably distressed.

Gerald C. Skolnik

Needed: A Performance-Driven Jewish Culture

05/26/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

‘How am I doing?”

We ask ourselves this question periodically — in fact, between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we have a 10-day period to do so.

Jacob B. Ukeles

Piercing The Heavens

05/26/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

We learn in Pirke Avot, “There is no person who does not have his hour.” On a Shabbat morning in early June, a remarkable young man will ascend to the Torah to become bar mitzvah in my synagogue, on the very same pulpit where his bris took place 13 years ago. His name is Jewels Harrison. 

Joshua Hammerman

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
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