My 84-year-old father, Robert Kash, received a phone call from a woman who introduced herself as a cousin, with the same great grandfather. She said she was working on a Family Tree from a website called www.Jewishgen.org. About seven weeks ago she emailed me the Family Tree and shared the newfound cousins she contacted, including one from Israel.
While the Obama administration is trying to ward off the Palestinians’ ill-conceived bid for unilateral recognition as an Arab state at the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is proving to be as obstructionist and hypocritical as his late predecessor, Yasir Arafat. “Don’t order us to recognize a Jewish state,” Abbas declared last week. “We won’t accept it.”
Women got the vote 91 years ago this week, but too many of us are still not exercising this most precious right. Single women, in particular, don’t vote in the same numbers as their married sisters, yet are in greater need of government policies and programs that will ensure them a brighter future. Indeed, in 2010, the “marriage gap” -- the difference in voter participation and voter behavior between married women and unmarried women -- was 30 points.
In August 1991, race riots erupted in Crown Heights and an innocent Jewish student was murdered in response to the accidental killing of an African-American child. After the murder, the Rev. Al Sharpton came to the neighborhood and further whipped up an already incensed crowd, leaving some in the Jewish community to demand, 20 years later, that we forever shun Rev. Sharpton. My friend Rabbi Marc Schneier generated criticism for inviting him to the Hampton Synagogue to participate in a panel discussion.
It was supposed to be a final act of compassion for a terminally ill man. Instead it was a terrible mistake, indeed an error of epic proportion that should never again be repeated
Two years ago, on Aug. 20, the Scottish government released Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent and terrorist convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Megrahi had served just eight years of his 27-year prison sentence.
Jewish life on campus is the best of times for some students, but for most it is the worst of times. Consider the University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater, whose Jewish students represent about 25 percent of the student body. There is a vibrant Jewish community centered at Hillel, as well as Chabad and other Jewish organizations, but the majority of Jewish students just aren’t involved in Jewish life on campus.
Just a year after economists say the “Great Recession” ended, instability and market crisis are rearing their ugly heads again. For the Jewish community, the ongoing economic turmoil may again threaten many of our institutions that depend on philanthropic support to sustain us culturally, spiritually, and — often — physically. However, as the Jewish community enters a new period of financial uncertainty, we need to recognize that going into “crisis mode” misses the opportunity to learn important lessons and make real strategic changes.
We had a death in the family last month, and we are all full of sorrow. Strictly speaking, Barry Weinstein was not a member of my family. He was my son-in-law’s father, connected to my husband and me only through our daughter’s marriage. But that “only” speaks volumes. Once a marriage takes place, the couple’s parents share things with each other that they don’t share with anyone else, including their closest friends.
Along with the sweltering summer heat, many of us wish that the “Israel conversation” would simply disappear. But it’s wishful thinking to expect this discussion to take a vacation. And for those of us who love Israel, it’s hardly the right approach.
Several months ago, Chancellor Arnold Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary called for American Jews to do a better job of talking with one another about Israel, “Appreciating, And Learning To Talk About, Israel” (Jewish Week, May 3).
When Anders Behring Breivik targeted a main government building and a youth camp for the country’s Labor Party last week — two outposts of tolerance and multiculturalism — he forced Europeans to confront an unbearable question: Seventy years after the Holocaust, why do racial and religious extremists continue to haunt Europe? For the most part the problem is not anti-Semitism — although that exists, too, most markedly in France and pockets of Eastern Europe, and it is often tied to anti-Zionism.