Opinion

Conference Of Presidents Out Of Touch

05/06/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Six years ago, J Street was founded on the premise that a large component of the American Jewish community had a voice that wasn't being represented in our own traditional establishment organizations. Five years ago, I joined J Street's lay leadership in New York because I'd felt that sentiment personally. And as J Street went through the process of applying for membership to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, I was asked several times: Why even bother? You guys are the outsider voice by nature, so why try to get “in?"

Talia Benamy

A Grandson’s Bar Mitzvah, And The Ties That Bind

05/06/2014
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It was not at my grandson Benji’s bar mitzvah ceremony two weeks ago that I first dissolved into tears (although then, too). It was on the Thursday before, when he read part of his Torah portion at the morning service. He lay tefillin for the first time in the synagogue, and that’s when I felt the lump in my throat and the tears welling. It was, of course, a “Sunrise, Sunset” moment. The little boy I once carried looked so grown up; wasn’t it yesterday that we celebrated his brit? (I’m grateful that he still wears braces on his teeth; at least some vestiges of childhood remain.)

Francine Klagsbrun

Marking Mother’s Day After Mother Is Gone

05/06/2014
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82 Ways to Tell Mom You Love Her.” “Don’t Forget about Mom!” “Tell Your Mother You Love Her.” “Make Sure Mom Gets the Message.”

Esther D. Kustanowitz
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A Rabbi’s View From The Canonization In Rome

05/06/2014
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Making my way to Rome for the Canonization of a Pope, let alone two, was never on my to-do list as a rabbi.  Yet, on April 27, I found myself as the sole representative of the American rabbinate in St. Peter’s Square, doing just that.  It was an honor to share that moment in history with my esteemed colleagues, Rabbi David Rosen, international director for religious affairs of the American Jewish Committee, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, and Rabbi Abraham Sorka, advisor to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate from Buenos Aires, who co-authored a book with Pope Francis.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut: A Time For Celebration And Response

05/06/2014
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At its most fundamental level, Yom Ha’atzmaut commemorates the moment in 1948 when David Ben-Gurion stood before the world and declared Israel’s independence.

Hey, Jewish Orgs: #ResistFads

The Jewish community needs to consider the possibility that social media is a bad investment.

05/06/2014
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Last week, in the run-up to Yom HaShoah the Israel Defense Forces' Interactive Media Branch called on their followers to "contribute to Holocaust remembrance" by posting "a photo of yourself together with a Holocaust survivor on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #WeAreHere."

Russel Neiss

Twelve Topics: Start An Orthodox Conversation About LGBT Jews

05/05/2014
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We are a group of many dozens of observant, Orthodox families from across the United States, including Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

A Student Says Enough Of Talking About How We Talk About Israel

05/01/2014
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What do Oded Na’aman of Breaking the Silence and Hen Mazzig of Stand With Us have in common? They are both former IDF soldiers who tour the United States to speak about their experiences serving Israel.

Morriah Kaplan
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A Response To Rabbi Avi Shafran

More than funding formula changes are needed to fix a school board plagued by acrimony and dysfunction.

05/01/2014
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Rabbi Avi Shafran recently offered a passionate defense of the actions of the Charedi dominated East Ramapo Public School Board. I trust that that Rabbi Shafran’s intentions are honorable – to strengthen the Jewish people and create a fairer education system, and I welcome the debate. For too long this issue has been whispered about or ignored in our community.

Rabbi Ari Hart
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Liminal Moments: Our Unity Is Threatened

04/30/2014
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On Sunday, as we marked Yom HaShoah, we entered upon a stretch of days in their own right as defining for Jews as those that separate Rosh HaShanah from Yom Kippur. On May 6, we celebrate the 66th anniversary of Israel’s independence. Every year, I am struck by how the observance of Yom HaShoah enhances the significance of Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Each is made more meaningful (if one can say such a thing) by the other. This year, the hate-inspired pre-Passover murders of three innocents outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan., and the fear for Jews in eastern Ukraine, lend Holocaust Remembrance Day an unusual pertinence and gravity. And our observance of Israeli Independence Day — the joy or the concerns we bring to it — will no doubt be shaped by the dim prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
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