Opinion

Needed: Helicopter Dads

06/09/2015
Special to The Jewish Week

Let’s talk about fathers. 

Did you know that Father’s Day is a much more recent holiday on the calendar than Mother’s Day? Back in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as the official observance of Mother’s Day.

Francine Klagsbrun

Charges Of Anti-Semitism Mask Irresponsible Development In Bloomingburg

06/08/2015

Stewart Ain’s front-page article, “Bloomingburg Tensions Now Affecting Government” (May 22), about the conflict raging in the village of Bloomingburg, in Mamakating Township, Sullivan County, New York, provided some, but not all of the scandalous story roiling this unassuming rural community. For nearly a decade, corruption and cronyism have pervaded both the village and town governments, facilitating inappropriate and irresponsible development that threatens to ruin our rural character and harm our natural resources.  

When Israeli Traits Make Us Uncomfortable

06/05/2015

A couple of months ago, Israeli social media was buzzing with expressions of shock and horror: a group of Israeli tourists on an Israir flight to Bulgaria were caught on tape behaving badly. Following an earlier incident, a steward on the flight refused to sell duty-free chocolate to a passenger who aggressively lashed out in response. Soon her sister joined in the verbal abuse, then the brother in-law, all in turn emphasizing their discontent with that Israeli gesture that must have already earned an entry in the dictionary of contemporary Hebrew: arm thrust forwards, palm turned upwards, hand wiggling from side to side. “You will sell me chocolate, you piece of garbage!” The injured party yelled. “You will sell her chocolate!” Her sister screamed in turn, “What do you think, she’s an Arab?”

Supporting Public Education Is A Jewish Value

06/05/2015

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer. Union leader Sandy Feldman. Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker. What do they all have in common? Besides being Jewish and making an indelible impact on our world, they all graduated from the same public school, Brooklyn’s James Madison High School.

The College Road Trip: #GetMeOutaHere

Handbook of embarrassing questions? Check. New iPhone Mom can’t turn off? Check. Let the tours begin.

06/03/2015

Editor's Note: This essay was originally published on The Jewish Week's Fresh Ink For Teens, an online magazine.

Parents of high school students do weird stuff. I think of mine as bears in hibernation. Freshman year, sophomore year, they just sort of read the paper, eat some porridge and ask how school was, but come junior year, and specifically spring of junior year, they awake, rise up and with a loud roar, scream: “ROAD TRIP!”

Wake me when it's over: Doria Leibowitz sleeping in the car after a grueling round of college tours.

Rabbis Can Watch Out For Trouble By Looking Inward

06/02/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Recently, prominent Washington, D.C. Rabbi Barry Freundel received a 6 1/2-year prison sentence for spying on women immersing in the mikveh, the ritual bath. And just last week, The New York Times published an expose on Riverdale Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt’s longstanding habit of bringing teenage boys and young men whom he was mentoring to sit with him naked in a sauna.

Laura Gold

Is ‘The Holy Land’ Necessarily Holy Land?

06/02/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Many people take it for granted that the physical land of Israel is innately holy. Since traditional sources constantly refer to the land as such, it is not much of a stretch that people make the assumption that every facet of the land is imbued with some sort of beatified, transcendental significance. To our detriment, we have witnessed fundamentalism and fanaticism emerge from this doctrine, calling our core national ethos into question.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

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
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