Four years ago, watching the coverage of Operation Cast Lead from the comfort of my dorm, I was a conflicted college student. As supportive as I was of Israel, I still found it painful any time I heard about civilian casualties in Gaza. What I saw portrayed in the media didn't add up: on the one hand I knew that the IDF was engaged in careful efforts to prevent civilian casualties, despite Hamas's strategy of fighting from amongst its own civilian population. Yet the media made it seem like the IDF was actively targeting civilians.
A collaborative approach for improving the effectiveness of Jewish philanthropy
The other main Capitol Hill sport these days (after obsessive coverage of the Petraeus scandal) is how the government can avoid the impending Fiscal Cliff. A similarly serious financial challenge lurks in the future of the Jewish Community – namely, how how do we better balance our books and continue to fund and maintain an engaging, vibrant and thriving Jewish community worldwide? We may not be running toward a cliff, but a slide to the bottom of the hill leaves you in the same place.
Our grandmother, Regina Littman Sperling, passed away on October 14th at age 88. Because the number of Holocaust survivors is sadly and rapidly dwindling, we wanted to share some memories about what a unique and blessed life she lived and what her loss means to us.
We called her Ginga, because when Jen was a baby I couldn’t say Regina, so I started to call her that, and it has been her name ever since.
Born Rebecca, Rivkah Leah, in 1924 in Bolechov, Poland, she was a teenager when the Holocaust began.
All too often I hear people in the pro-Israel community lump together “liberals” and “leftists,” suggesting that these two distinct worldviews are equally critical of Israel. Such imprecise language does not help us improve Israel’s standing in the U.S. Liberals and leftists see the world in very different ways, and those differences matter in how we advance understanding of Israel in the U.S.
Let’s take a look at two disparate ideological archetypes:
As we are about to mark the 25th anniversary on Dec. 6 of the historic march on Washington by an estimated 250,000 people on behalf of Soviet Jewry, I believe the time has come to establish a day of commemoration to be included on the U.S. Jewish communal agenda, memorializing one of the great redemptions of Jewish history, which we were privileged to witness in our time.
There was a time, not that long age, when Thanksgiving opened the season of giving. Now it opens up the season of buying. Black Friday and Cyber Monday now define this time of the year. It is of course wonderful to give and receive gifts to and from friends and relatives. We should be happy as Americans to see consumerism strong in a time where our economy is so challenged. Nonetheless, something is being lost in the shuffle.
'Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations.'
This one was different.
Yes, the missile and rocket fire into the population centers of southern Israel caused panic, anxiety and quite a bit of understandable distress. As in previous wars, I, along with many other behavioral health clinicians, were called upon to help man special "stress teams" that worked with local officials dealing with the many issues that could develop in a population under constant threat. And yes, people ran, people screamed and people did need to know where to go to for psychological support.
While the devastation in Gaza continues to unfold daily on our television sets, and great attention is paid to the cost of the fighting for Gaza’s civilians, very little is reported by the international media about how the children in southern Israel are handling the stress.
With more than 9,000 rockets launched into southern Israel since 2006, and hundreds more in recent days, many of these children have literally grown up in a state of terror. No place is this more apparent than in the western Negev town of Sderot.