Opinion

Who Speaks For America’s Jews?

02/10/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes about Israel, he tends to irritate loyalists ready to condemn anyone making critical judgments about Israeli policies. In his 1989 book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” he mentioned his wife’s father being stopped by a friend who told him, “Your son-in-law Tom Friedman is the most hated man in New York City today.” His crime? Daring to report that Israeli soldiers behaved less than admirably in the invasion of Lebanon, and also describing Israel’s less than honorable role in the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinians.

Murray Polner

Voices Of Moderation Emerge In Israel’s Religious Wars

02/10/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Don’t look up,” my host cautioned. “The guy to our right is one of the troublemakers. Keep walking ahead.”

He was talking about the thugs attacking individuals, and institutions, which break from conformity in the poor and tight-knit neighborhood we were walking through. We weren’t in Gaza or Afghanistan. I was on the streets of Israel, and this impressive Torah scholar was telling me about the social change he is trying to advance through teaching elite groups of rabbis and community leaders.

Yoni Sherizen

What Conservative Judaism Has To Offer

02/10/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s hard to be in the middle. Politically, the far right has put mainstream Republicans on the defensive, and the left has sent centrist Democrats scurrying to identify with populism. Religiously, fundamentalism on the right has opposed any form of change, and an aggressive atheism on the left has mounted a war against traditional beliefs. Yet, while the extremes may sometimes foment revolutions, the middle keeps society going. And the middle is the hardest place to be.

Francine Klagsbrun

The Facts On In-Marriage Advantages

02/10/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I was disappointed by Paul Golin’s piece dismissing in-marriage advocates, although presumably I should be thanking him for not listing me as one of the superannuated, failed has-beens whom he claims made up the meeting on the Pew survey and its implications for the Jewish community (“In Marriage Advocates Are Living In The Past,” Jan. 31). 

Not A Proud Moment For The RCA In Dealing With The Chief Rabbinate

02/09/2014 - 19:00

The setting was the annual dinner of the SAR Academy, a leading Modern Orthodox day school in Riverdale, enrolling over 1000 students from homes throughout the tri-state area. SAR’s long-standing school president closed the evening by applauding Rabbi Avi Weiss for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the Jewish people in the face of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s efforts to delegitimate him. A standing ovation ensued. For one evening, at least, grass-roots Modern Orthodoxy had spoken out in unequivocal opposition to the senseless and arbitrary actions of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.

Israel's Chief Rabbinate council, 1959. Wikimedia Commons

Intermarriage: Think Global Warming, Not Groundhog Day

02/05/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Paul Golin wrote a punchy essay in these pages attacking an event at which I was a participant (“In-Marriage Advocates Are Living In The Past,” Opinion, Jan. 31). He described the woozy sense of deja-"Jew" he felt while reading that the usual suspects, those old, Brooklyn-born, “long-timers” who had been at it “for decades” were at it again. Golin suggested these out-of-touch communal leaders were standing at the “helm of a ship that they’ve scraped against the iceberg of American society,” while blaming the passengers for getting off.

SNAP: A Bill's Passage Jeopardizes 70 Million Meals For The City's Hungry

02/05/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Food is love, at least according to many observers of Jewish life.  Whether or not food really is synonymous with love, having it or not having it is a very big deal in our tradition. And as the issue of hunger takes a place on our nation’s stage to the tune of billions of dollars, that is something to which we might all pay more than a bit of attention.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld

Limiting Debate On Israel Will Only Hurt Us

02/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish

The current controversy brewing in the Hillel universe is only the latest example of a Jewish community polarized over how we can or can’t talk about Israel. The guidelines, developed by national Hillel in 2010, were designed to provide a basis upon which a local Hillel could prevent overtly anti-Israel groups from speaking under the Hillel banner.

Sid Schwarz

The Last Prisoners Of World War II

02/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

This week, the plundering of Holocaust-era art comes to the big screen with the release of the star-studded Hollywood movie, “The Monuments Men,” the dramatic story of a small section of the Allied armies that was devoted to protecting the culture of Europe during the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of items of art and Judaica were looted by the Nazis in one of the greatest thefts in history. 

Gideon Taylor

Welcome To Stamford, Limmud N.Y

02/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In a few weeks, hundreds of Jewish New Yorkers will gather for the 10th annual Limmud conference, right here in Stamford. 

Joshua Hammerman
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