Opinion

Hopes For 2013, As Time Goes By

01/08/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I once edited a book of stories by William Saroyan called “I Used to Believe I Had Forever, Now I’m Not So Sure.” The title came to mind recently as I prepared my desk calendar for 2013, 

Francine Klagsbrun

Anatomy Of A Debate: Jewish Values And The Boycott Israel Movement

01/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

New York Medical College (NYMC), founded in 1860, is a health sciences university which recently joined the Touro College and University system – the largest university in the United States under Jewish auspices. I was appointed Chancellor of NYMC in 2012. 

Lessons from Tragedy: Moving Forward After The Sandy Hook Shooting

01/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Many years ago I dated a woman who was the child of Holocaust survivors. My potential future in-laws were elderly and were closer in age to my grandparents than my parents. I went to ask a great rabbi if this was cause for concern.  He responded, “Who really knows who is old and who is young?”  We have all learned with recent events that being just 6 years old can in fact be “very old.”

Getting A Communal Conversation Started

01/02/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Remember the old jokes that began, “A rabbi and a priest walk into a bar…?”

That pairing is still more likely than bringing a chasid from Williamsburg, a Modern Orthodox accountant from Riverdale, a Russian programmer from Staten Island, a Jewish Buddhist artist from Park Slope and an intermarried realtor from Suffolk County to sit down and discuss Jewish identity.

Jewish Religious Pluralism Is A Destructive Idea

01/02/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The slogan of “religious pluralism” has become a banner around which the American Jewish community has gathered and found common purpose. Pluralism — being accepting of and equating all ideologies and religious expressions — seems to be a wonderfully progressive idea in which all but the most “bigoted” or “narrow-minded” Jewish  religious fanatics (read hareidi, Orthodox) can find common cause.

Partnering From ‘Failure’ To Innovation In Engaging Young Jews

01/02/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The Jewish community continually searches for pathways to achieve effective young adult engagement. The vast success of Birthright Israel — and the astounding number of young adults who have experienced those 10 days — has created a good problem: How do we, as a collective, effectively foster the Jewish living and learning journeys of hundreds of thousands of newly inspired young Jewish adults at this critical life stage?

Morlie Levin and Charles “Chip” Edelsberg

Data Will Be Needed To Attract The Next Generation

01/02/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the most striking societal changes in the past decade has been the emergence of data as a major force in shaping the way we think about the world.

Gideon Taylor

Newtown Rabbi: Gun Control, Anti-Bullying Policies Are Vital

12/27/2012

Hours after Adam Lanza executed 20 first graders and 6 adults in Sandy Hook elementary school, five minutes from my synagogue, Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown, I spoke with my good friend and colleague, Monsignor Robert Weiss, about the “culture of violence” in the United States.

Rabbi Shaul Praver

After Newtown, A Community Of Comforters

12/26/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

“There is no revenge for the blood of a little child — such a revenge has yet to be devised by Satan,” wrote Hayyim Nahman Bialik about a very different massacre over a century ago. In lieu of vengeance, Bialik calls for a cosmic response: “Let the blood pierce through the abyss!”

As the children and teachers of Newtown are taken to their final rest this week, one can feel the blood piercing through that abyss — the abyss of human cruelty, the abyss of our inability to fully protect our children, the abyss of society’s obligation to its weakest links.

Rabbi Mishael Zion

No Guns In Utopia, But What About Here And Now?

12/26/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

As America continues to mourn the victims of the horrific slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the issue of gun control has predictably and rightfully been placed back at the center of public discourse. Within the Jewish community, the debate has centered on two distinct but related issues. The first concerns the State of Israel, namely, whether its relatively low rate of firearm deaths, despite the ubiquity of guns and the military in Israeli society, results from better gun laws or from a healthier cultural attitude toward weapons.

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