It was supposed to be a final act of compassion for a terminally ill man. Instead it was a terrible mistake, indeed an error of epic proportion that should never again be repeated
Two years ago, on Aug. 20, the Scottish government released Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent and terrorist convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Megrahi had served just eight years of his 27-year prison sentence.
Jewish life on campus is the best of times for some students, but for most it is the worst of times. Consider the University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater, whose Jewish students represent about 25 percent of the student body. There is a vibrant Jewish community centered at Hillel, as well as Chabad and other Jewish organizations, but the majority of Jewish students just aren’t involved in Jewish life on campus.
Just a year after economists say the “Great Recession” ended, instability and market crisis are rearing their ugly heads again. For the Jewish community, the ongoing economic turmoil may again threaten many of our institutions that depend on philanthropic support to sustain us culturally, spiritually, and — often — physically. However, as the Jewish community enters a new period of financial uncertainty, we need to recognize that going into “crisis mode” misses the opportunity to learn important lessons and make real strategic changes.
We had a death in the family last month, and we are all full of sorrow. Strictly speaking, Barry Weinstein was not a member of my family. He was my son-in-law’s father, connected to my husband and me only through our daughter’s marriage. But that “only” speaks volumes. Once a marriage takes place, the couple’s parents share things with each other that they don’t share with anyone else, including their closest friends.
Along with the sweltering summer heat, many of us wish that the “Israel conversation” would simply disappear. But it’s wishful thinking to expect this discussion to take a vacation. And for those of us who love Israel, it’s hardly the right approach.
Several months ago, Chancellor Arnold Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary called for American Jews to do a better job of talking with one another about Israel, “Appreciating, And Learning To Talk About, Israel” (Jewish Week, May 3).
When Anders Behring Breivik targeted a main government building and a youth camp for the country’s Labor Party last week — two outposts of tolerance and multiculturalism — he forced Europeans to confront an unbearable question: Seventy years after the Holocaust, why do racial and religious extremists continue to haunt Europe? For the most part the problem is not anti-Semitism — although that exists, too, most markedly in France and pockets of Eastern Europe, and it is often tied to anti-Zionism.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of essays on Zionist thinkers and doers, in Israel and outside, who are pioneering new understandings of what Jewish nationalism can mean in the 21st century. The first essay profiled Professor Ruth Gavison.
On Monday, June 27, Zionist activists gathered in Jerusalem to launch Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch’s new book, “For the Sake of Zion, Reform Zionism: A Personal Mission.”
The destruction that took place on the 9th of Av happened 2,000 years ago.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Special To The Jewish Week
Memorable events happen to everyone – and not just to individuals, but to groups, families, tribes. In most cases, the memory diminishes with time. When one is very close to an event, every detail is engraved on the mind, and of course, memories trigger an accompanying emotional response. But with time, the impact of such memories becomes less. We tend to forget almost everything; the sharpness and the colors of things past become tarnished. And even when they are written down or memorialized another way, events become smaller with time.
There is a narrative that Yeshiva University has shifted to the right, religiously-speaking. I attended the recent leadership retreat sponsored by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), an annual get-together in Orlando, FL at the ChampionsGate resort, where I encountered a whole other face of the Yeshiva and University that demonstrates how that perception is incorrect.
Within the past year, the Claims Conference has obtained approximately $700 million in pledged funding from the German government for homecare for Holocaust victims through 2014, the result of intensive and prolonged negotiations with one focus: to provide the help that Nazi victims need in order to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible. Having been abandoned by the world in their youth, the Claims Conference has been determined that they shall not also be abandoned in their final years.