The Centennial Fire Is Catching On

10/21/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Red Sox were on the precipice of a sweep of the 2004 World Series, and all the TV commentators could focus on during in Game 4 was when their team would blow it. After Boston won that night, fans complained that the media ignored the excitement and action on the field because of their predetermined story frame. What the media also failed to notice was the bigger picture — in that game, the Red Sox established a strong organization that was built to compete for the foreseeable future.

Rabbi Charles Savenor

How Bad Is Anti-Semitism In Hungary?

10/21/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

My mother’s favorite story: Two Jews in post-Anschluss Vienna are walking through an anti-Semitic neighborhood. They see that they are being followed by two Nazi thugs. One of the Jews says to his friend, “We’d better make a run for it; there are two of them, and we are all alone.”

Jerome A. Chanes

Explaining Pew’s Findings On Orthodox Jews

10/20/2013 - 20:00

We would like to thank Rabbi David Eliezrie for describing the new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Jews as “a treasure house of information” on contemporary trends in Jewish life.

Unfortunately, however, Eliezrie’s Opinion column also mischaracterized the survey’s results, including some findings that actually support the points he was trying to make about Orthodox Judaism in America.

Pew Missed the Newest Trend in Jewish Life

Kosher pizza shops don't lie.
10/17/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The most recent Pew Study on American Jewish life reveals a treasure house of information about modern Jewish trends. The rising numbers of intermarriage amongst the non-Orthodox are a foreboding sign for the future vitality of American Jewish life.  It seems that when it comes to measuring the Orthodox Jewish community the study falls short.  Its methodology of denominational self-identification, effective decades ago when Jews fit in to neat categories of Orthodox Conservative and Reform, fails to reveal the real trends in a complex post denominational era. 

Bringing Jewish Texts Back To Secular Israelis

10/14/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Listening to Ruth Calderon speak at my synagogue last week, I felt sad, once again, about something that has been lacking for a long time in the Jewish community in Israel and the United States: an easy familiarity with the texts of our tradition. The good news is that Calderon, a Knesset member, has made it a mission of her life to reacquaint Jews with those texts. Given her charm and erudition, she seems to be well on her way.

Francine Klagsbrun

One Year Later, Taking Ownership of Sandy

10/14/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

As we prepare to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, there is a near unanimous consensus among scientists that the world is getting hotter at an alarming pace and that human beings have had something to do with it. A just-released report by a select United Nations panel leaves little to speculation, stating, “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Growing The Conservative Movement

10/14/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The recently released study of the American Jewish community by the prestigious Pew Research Center points to some serious problems in the Conservative movement.  The survey reveals declining membership and the inability of the movement to retain its young people. As a rabbi who has been leading free, walk-in High Holy Day services for young Jews for the last 10 years, and as a Talmud professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, I want to make some suggestions to keep the movement robust.

Rabbi Judith Hauptman

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.
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