Opinion

When Jewish Foundations Ignore Core Needs

01/17/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Gary Rosenblatt’s column on foundations’ priorities in “Why Funders Need to Embrace Failure” (Jan. 6) will hopefully set off a discussion about basic community needs and how we can do better in the future. Most of the large Jewish foundations are caught up in funding “cutting-edge” or “funky” Jewish trends and social networking projects. While some are successful in building new models that have real impact, many duplicate existing efforts or, worse yet, miss the boat entirely.   

William Rapfogel

Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics

01/17/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were “outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right — more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).

David Sable

Their Feet Were Praying

Remembering the inspiration Heschel and King drew from each other.

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the most remarkable friendships in Jewish history was between my father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. When they met in 1963, they felt an instant bond, despite the enormous differences in their backgrounds: Dr. King was a Baptist minister from the segregated South, trained in Protestant theology at Boston University. My father was a Jewish theologian, trained as a scholar in Germany, raised in an intensely pious, chasidic milieu in Warsaw; indeed, he was supposed to become a chasidic rebbe in Poland.

Prophetic voices: Martin Luther King Jr., left, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, right, during Selma march in 1965. Susannah Heschel

Ultra-Orthodox Judaism Need Not Be Close-Minded

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

The spectacle of haredi, that is, ultra-Orthodox, thugs spitting on Naama Margolis, an 8-year old schoolgirl in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, has exacerbated the already frayed relations between the fundamentalist religious sector of the Jewish community, in Israel and elsewhere — and the rest of us, that is, Conservative, Reform, Modern Orthodox, and secular Jews.

Menachem Z. Rosensaft

Synagogues Should Be More Welcoming

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

One New Year evokes another. We Jews like to pride ourselves on the differences between the secular New Year celebrations that have just ended and our religious New Year in the fall. The meaningless blare of tinseled horns versus the shofar blasts calling us to prayer; the excessive drinking versus the sanctification of holiday wine; the crowds in Times Square versus the crowds on their way to the synagogue. 

Francine Klagsbrun

Let's Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics

01/10/2012

 

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were "outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right – more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).

Let's Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics

01/10/2012

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were "outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right – more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).

David Sable

Forgotten Voices

On ultra-Orthodox Israelis wearing yellow stars in protesting alleged bias.

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square is a Mecca for tourists. Predictably it also attracts entrepreneurs interested in revenue sharing. You can hear every San Francisco song in creation performed on every conceivable instrument; you can have your portrait done for $15, your caricature for $10, or your silhouette cut for $5.

One aged hustler, in particular, caught my attention, in part, because he could not attract anyone else's. He was lying in a recliner. When open, his eyes were glazed, but most of the time that I observed, they were closed.

Hamas Concedes That Gaza Is Not Occupied, So Where Is The UN?

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

In a stunning about-face, and after decades of violence justified by excuses of being under occupation, this week Hamas has admitted that Gaza is not occupied by Israel. And yet, the United Nations, which has long been reluctant to acknowledge Gaza's change in status, is still silent on the issue.

Beit Shemesh: Dialogue Is The Only Solution

01/04/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

 

Beit Shemesh, Israel -- For more than 10 years I have been a board member and supporter – and am currently chair -- of Gesher, an Israeli organization that seeks to build bridges between communities and create dialogue around common Jewish identity. But I would never have believed that my family would find itself in the eye of the storm with physical violence and intimidation on our very doorstep.

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