Opinion

My Secret, As The Father Of An LGBTQ Child -- Not What You Think!

10/10/2013 - 20:00

Editor's Note: Eshel, an organization that advocates for an Orthodox community that is inclusive of LGBTQ Jews, offered us this piece in honor of National Coming Out DayEshel is launching an Orthodox Allies Roundtable.  To find out more on how to be an Orthodox ally click here.

I am a Modern Orthodox Jew, the product of a Torah u’Madda (Torah and secular) education. I am not sure what I expected to discover at this first-ever weekend “Shabbaton,” hosted by Eshel, for Orthodox Jewish parents of LGBTQ children last April. 

Support Families, Not Orphanages, For Vulnerable Children

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

My grandma Sadie lived in the town of Droghobych in Ukraine until she was 13. Nearby, there is a dirt road through a forest leading to the mass graves where the town’s last Jewish population lies buried. It is barely marked — if you did not know to look for the large slabs of concrete between the trees, you would have a hard time finding it. As a human rights lawyer who has spent a lifetime documenting atrocities, I was not prepared for the effect of this visit a few months ago. I broke into tears.

Eric Rosenthal is founder and executive director of Disability Rights Inernational.

‘Where Are Your Bloody New York Jews?’

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In October 1975, as the heinous resolution condemning Zionism as racism progressed through the United Nations, American Jews were silent. America’s UN ambassador, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was fighting this libelous legislation, asked Israel’s Ambassador Chaim Herzog: “Where are your bloody Jews?” The UN heard the silence of the world’s largest Jewish community. Even German Ambassador Rudiger von Wechmar told Herzog: “It would be helpful if the Jewish community were to react.”

Gil Troy is professor of history at McGill University and a Shalom Hartman Engaging Israel Research Fellow in Jerusalem.

A Plea For Diversity In Worship

For suburban congregations, friction between passion and inclusivity.
10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Many Westchester readers will recall that a number of synagogues in our county participated some years ago in the Synagogue 2000 program. The program stressed two central goals: (1) making the synagogue a more spiritually fulfilling and uplifting place; and (2) making the synagogue a welcoming, “user-friendly” place, which would draw people in.

Rabbi Gordon Tucker

Biggest Campus Threat Is Jewish Disunity, Not BDS

09/30/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Reports on the status of Israel on campus from two major Jewish Israel advocacy organizations — The David Project and the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise — have documented the relatively marginal influence of anti-Israel groups and their efforts on campuses in the United States. They note that while BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) efforts may continue on some campuses, Israel is not under siege by these efforts on campuses in the United States. Both reports were met with a measure of skepticism, in part because so much communal concern has been invested in combating these marginal groups, and in part because no amount of statistical data can outweigh the impressions made by videos of demonstrations and by singular events that mold North American Jewish public opinion.

Larry Sternberg

New Hope For Gay Orthodox Jews

09/30/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The holidays are over. Through the fasting and food, the succession of pageant, discomfort, reconciliation and exultation, a single moment continues to stands out. Every year for more than 30 years I have found the Yom Kippur afternoon service Torah reading unnerving — and this year I did not.

Rabbi Steven Greenberg

Heckled By An Old Jewish Lady

09/30/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I was 20 minutes into my set. The audience? Rolling — I had them in the palm of my hand. It was a shul fundraiser in Jacksonville, Fla., 300-plus people in the room, and I was, as they say in comedy, “killing.” In a matter of seconds I would launch into my favorite string of jokes, the ones about how, as a kid, I sold Barton’s Candy door-to-door to gentiles to raise money for my Jewish day school …

Joel Chasnoff

Congress Must Affirm A Credible Military Threat Against Iran

09/29/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In the last two weeks we have witnessed potentially historic diplomacy in the Middle East. One hopes that this yields a safer Middle East and lessens the likelihood of the United States or Israel engaging in dangerous military operations. As the President pursues diplomacy with Syria and Iran, the U.S. Congress must reaffirm the tough policy positions that have gotten us to this point.

Rep. Grace Meng

When Judaism Becomes Kmart

09/24/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Here’s my end of Elul routine: I drive out to the cemetery to visit my mother’s grave, and on the way, I drive past the house where I grew up.

Jeffrey K. Salkin

Bringing Israelis Here Into The Community

09/23/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A   place where the guy at the local falafel greets you with a “ma nishma?”(what’s new?); where the neighborhood Aroma Café feels like is like your living room as you browse through the day’s Haaretz or Yedioth; where the streets are filled with music from the local chapter of Tzofim (Israeli scouts); and where the cultural offerings range from an Idan Raichel performance to a community theater production of Moshe Samir’s “He Walked through the Fields” — only in Israel, right?

Eran Shayshon and Daphna Kaufman
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