Opinion

Thanksgiving And Chanukah: Two Distinct Holidays

11/19/2013

As someone who loves to eat and is proud to be an American, I would never be the Grinch who stole Thanksgiving. But I confess. I have not been swept up in the whirlwind excitement over Thanksgivukkah. The last time Chanukah occurred around this season was 1861, but President Lincoln only declared Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1863.

Jump-starting A Synagogue Stimulus Plan

11/19/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

At the recent national convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Rabbi Ed Feinstein was reported to have said, “The house is on fire,” as a way to signal to Conservative congregations that the hour is too late for synagogues to think about modest changes in the way they do their business. Since the 2000 publication of my book, “Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews can Transform the American Synagogue,” I have worked with many congregations and rabbis across the denominational spectrum about strategies to move their institutions from the current paradigm — the synagogue-center — to a new paradigm, the synagogue-community, which is far better suited to address the changing reality of American life and the next generation of American Jews.

Rabbi Sid Schwarz

Calendar Mash-up Is Spur To Gratitude

11/19/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

What do you get when you cross Chanukah with Thanksgiving?  Sounds like the beginning of a Borscht Belt joke, I know, but it’s not only happening this year, the convergence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving is actually a once-in-a-lifetime event, which, if celebrated well, is also an event that can change your life forever. 

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Negotiation With Iran Leads To Threat of War

Bibi: 'If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.'

11/15/2013

Recent reports of the status of negotiations with Iran to resolve the risk of Iran's threat to become a nuclear power have alarming implications.  The U.S. is apparently supporting a deal where existing sanctions on Iran will be relaxed against an Iranian pledge to freeze its progress towards achieving nuclear weapon capability.

"I Am Not Orthodox"

Our definitions should be based on the highest common denominator: the Jewish soul.

11/14/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I am not Orthodox.

There. I said it.

Rabbi Mendel Teldon

Working Together to Expand Support for Israel on Campus

11/13/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

 

The Jewish community is rightly concerned with a campus environment that is too often hostile to Israel. Public demonstrations, inflammatory language and personal attacks by anti-Israel organizations seek to exploit the spirit of open debate and public action central to American academic life.

Pew Has The Score: Red Sox Pitcher Is No Koufax

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I am anything but objective when it comes to Red Sox baseball. A long-suffering fan since the days of Ted Williams, I rejoiced in the 2004 miracle comeback, the 2007 Series sweep, and, now, the thrilling 2013 turnaround.

Steven Bayme

Needed: Conversations On Choosing Life

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Truly caring for a person at the end of life requires conversations — about love and legacy, about bestowing and receiving blessings, about choosing life versus fighting death.

Rabbi Irwin Kula

YCT And The Cherem Game

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I wasn't raised in an observant home, I never attended a Jewish day school and no one else in my family has ever been observant. Despite that, I found myself drawn, starting at age ten, to Orthodox Judaism. Over the course of my journey, I have experienced the many gifts of the diverse faces of the Jewish People, all of which have impacted significantly upon me, from Chabad to Renewal, from Reform to Yeshivish, from Modern Orthodox to Post-denominational.

A Milestone: Women Advisors In Jewish Law

11/07/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

American Jewry recently experienced a historic moment, as on October 27, the first five U.S.-educated Yoatzot Halacha (Women Advisors in Jewish Law) celebrated their graduation and certification. This brings to 85 the number of Yoatzot Halacha, experts in the laws of marital intimacy and related issues of women's health, that Nishmat has graduated since my husband, Rabbi Yehuda Henkin, and I established the program in Israel in 1997. Nishmat remains the only source for Yoatzot Halacha, worldwide.

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