Opinion

Withholding A Get: Between Leverage And Extortion

12/25/2013 - 19:00

All too commonly, we read about a man who refuses to grant his wife a Jewish writ of divorce (a “get”). We are told her story, culminating in her demand for a get and a plea to help pressure the recalcitrant husband to grant it. As for the man’s version of events – they do not matter; according to the approach promoted by the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (“agunah” refers to a woman chained to a failed marriage by a husband unable or unwilling to grant her a get) and numerous others, it is never justified for a man to withhold a get as leverage during the divorce settlement.

Why I’m Boycotting The American Studies Association

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The American Studies Association has voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions. As an American historian who worked closely with American studies colleagues in graduate school and then for two years while teaching at Harvard’s History and Literature program, I am not surprised by this “politically correct” assault on academic freedom, basic logic, and democratic decency. Nevertheless, I feel betrayed. I will now boycott the ASA. I will not sit on a panel, review a manuscript or deal professionally with any ASA member — to broadcast my contempt for this decision and demonstrate the deleterious effect of academics boycotting one another: one bad boycott provokes others.

Gil Troy

Bronfman: A Modern Talmudic Jew

12/23/2013 - 19:00

A legend in many realms, Edgar M. Bronfman lived a rich and varied life, embodying many facets in his work and personality.

Yet while Jews the world over marked the loss of a leader to whom they owe much, for our community, the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, it is a personal loss. We “Bronfmanim”—as we call ourselves-- have lost our founder and our inspiration, but truly, we have lost the person who invited us to live Talmudically in the modern world.

Open Hillel: Right Spirit, Wrong Partners

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In 2007, NYU’s Imam Khalid Latif and I co-led a service trip to Louisiana for 30 campus student leaders, 15 Jewish and 15 Muslim. It was one of the first such missions in the U.S. Our theory in bringing people together whose views ranged from pro-Hezbollah to pro-settlement was that the best place to begin building  a relationship is one of shared values, community service and understanding of each other’s religion.

Yehuda Sarna

It’s Time For Us To Say 'Thank You'

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

We are a community that seems to go from crisis to crisis, and a part of our communal psyche seems to almost relish it. Whether it’s the Pew Report, or our fears about Iran, or an anti-Semitic attack, it gets our Jewish juices flowing. Last week, it was the appalling news that the American Studies Association had voted to boycott Israeli universities. We screamed. We wrote impassioned op-ed pieces. Like leftover latkes, we sizzled in the oil of our collective disappointment at the brazen cooperation of a piece of America’s intellectual elite in the willful academic ghettoization of the Jewish state.

Opinion: The Prenup Can Help Everyone

But the document poses a collective action problem: everyone has to sign on.

12/14/2013 - 19:00

My husband and I agreed when we were dating that if we were ever to get married, we would frame our ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, and hang it prominently on the wall, with a plaque affixed to the glass that read “In Case of Emergency Break Glass.”

The halachic prenup aims to pre-empt the problem of "chained" women whose husbands won't grant religious divorces. Fotolia

Jeremy Ben-Ami: Surely We Can Talk

12/17/2013 - 19:00

It’s a sad day when three opinion leaders of the American Jewish community cannot hold a civilized debate on “what it means to be pro-Israel” without one of them storming off the podium. Yet that’s what happened when I sat down with David Harris of the American Jewish Committee and John Podhoretz, who edits Commentary magazine, this week at the 92nd St Y.

Jeremy Ben-Ami

The Swarthmore Hillel Debate: Two Views

12/16/2013 - 19:00

Drawing the line on what constitutes an ‘open tent.’

Yitzhak Santis, Special To The Jewish Week

How open should campus Hillels be? This is not a trivial question, and should be treated seriously now that the Swarthmore Hillel student board, in line with a national group called “Open Hillel,” voted to defy Hillel International’s guidelines by opening their doors to anti-Israel speakers and groups.

Yitzhak Santis and Jacob Plitman

Tackling 21st-Century Challenges Is Good For The Jews

12/16/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When the World Economic Forum announced the top trends in the “Outlook on the Global Agenda” for 2014, based on responses from its network of world leaders, widening income disparities was No. 2. Inaction on climate change was No. 5.

Simon Greer and  Adam Cummings
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