Opinion

Learning How My Father Escaped Execution At Auschwitz

01/26/2014 - 19:00

Editor’s Note: Jan. 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

My father, Josef Rosensaft, decidedly did not want to be in Auschwitz. True, no one did, but my father actually did something about it. 

Repeatedly. 

Does The U.S. Now Have A Chief Rabbinate?

The RCA, a professional institution, must nurture its relationship with Israel's Rabbinate.

01/20/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel recently made headlines for the wrong reasons once again. Until a recent agreement was reached, it had refused to accept letters from Rabbi Avi Weiss and other American Orthodox rabbis attesting to the Jewishness of congregants seeking to wed in Israel. As a result, numerous organizations and prominent individuals, in Israel and the U.S., each with its own plan to reform, weaken, improve, or dismantle the Rabbanut [Chief Rabbinate], stood up for Rabbi Weiss and called on the Rabbanut to accept him. Ultimately, the Rabbanut agreed to accept Rabbi Weiss’s testimony and also to accept automatically any letter of testimony that has been approved by the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest association of Orthodox rabbis in the world.

Why I’m A Conservative Jew, Hopeful About The Future

01/20/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Liberal religion is having a hard time these days. Mainstream Protestant Christianity is a graying movement with significant numbers of its churches closing. Pope Francis expressed his fears that in emphasizing issues of social justice the Catholic Church not suffer the same fate as these Protestant churches have. The daughters of Muslim women who gloried in uncovering their hair are succeeded by their daughters who insist on headdresses. In all three, the “fundamentalist” wings of these churches seem to be robust and, at least among Protestants and Muslims, ascendant. It should not surprise us that the Pew Research Center study has now shown that these trends are similarly true for Jews. 

Rabbi Edward Feld

Hillel’s Boundaries

01/20/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In recent months, several incidents, seemingly centered on Israel, sparked reactions nationwide, from both academic institutions and Hillels. I would argue, though, that these incidents have much less to do with Israel than we might think.

Tilly R. Shames

Ariel Sharon, A Close Friend I Never Met

01/15/2014 - 19:00

I never met Ariel Sharon personally, but I feel like I have lost a close
friend.

In August 2004, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon had stated his intention to
evacuate the Gaza Strip. The decision elicited strong reactions from across
the Israeli and American Jewish political spectrums.

Ariel Sharon: A Personal Remembrance

01/15/2014 - 19:00

 

Ariel Sharon is now buried in the land he loved, next to his beloved wife Lily, on a hilltop overlooking the verdant fields of Havat Ha-shikmim, the ranch he retreated to as often as possible each week for the peace and quiet that eluded him in public life.  Having served as the American ambassador to Israel during almost all of Sharon’s tenure as prime minister, I had the privilege of being named to the U.S. delegation to his funeral, headed by Vice President Biden.  It was a day for remembrance and, to some degree, closure for the millions of Israelis who mourned Sharon’s passing.

Conservative Movement’s Impact On The Left And Right

01/13/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

First the Pew survey, then the eulogies for Conservative Judaism. Compared with ten years ago, the absolute number of Conservative Jews has declined precipitously. It has the lowest retention rate among the three major denominations. Worst of all, only 11 percent of respondents under the ages of 30 define themselves as Conservative. But hold on. 

The Conservative Movement's flagship institution, The Jewish Theological Seminary. Wikimedia Commons

A Look Inside Hillel’s Boundaries

01/13/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Several incidents, seemingly centered on Israel, sparked nationwide reactions from academic institutions and Hillels in recent days. I would argue, though, that they have much less to do with Israel than we might think.

Tilly R. Shames

To Hope: Hospice Care In Line With Jewish Tradition

01/13/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.”

— Susan Sontag, from “Illness as Metaphor”

Those who enter the kingdom of the sick often feel isolated, uncertain and fearful. Yet help is available to those who ask and who are open to a deep conversation about hope. As a rabbi involved in palliative care and hospice, let me tell you how my end of the conversation goes. 

Rabbi Charles Rudansky

MLK, Mandela And The Jews

01/13/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The upcoming observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 20, juxtaposed against the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, should cause us to reflect with pride on the inspiring role that Jews played in both the civil rights movement in the United States and the struggle for the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa.

Rabbi Marc Schneier
Syndicate content