Congress Must Affirm A Credible Military Threat Against Iran

09/29/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In the last two weeks we have witnessed potentially historic diplomacy in the Middle East. One hopes that this yields a safer Middle East and lessens the likelihood of the United States or Israel engaging in dangerous military operations. As the President pursues diplomacy with Syria and Iran, the U.S. Congress must reaffirm the tough policy positions that have gotten us to this point.

Rep. Grace Meng

When Judaism Becomes Kmart

09/24/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Here’s my end of Elul routine: I drive out to the cemetery to visit my mother’s grave, and on the way, I drive past the house where I grew up.

Jeffrey K. Salkin

Bringing Israelis Here Into The Community

09/23/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A   place where the guy at the local falafel greets you with a “ma nishma?”(what’s new?); where the neighborhood Aroma Café feels like is like your living room as you browse through the day’s Haaretz or Yedioth; where the streets are filled with music from the local chapter of Tzofim (Israeli scouts); and where the cultural offerings range from an Idan Raichel performance to a community theater production of Moshe Samir’s “He Walked through the Fields” — only in Israel, right?

Eran Shayshon and Daphna Kaufman

Too Close For Comfort In Nairobi

Tight-knit, eclectic Jewish community on edge.
09/22/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Nairobi, Kenya — As the terrorist attack enters its third endless day at Westgate, an upscale mall in the center of the city, with the death toll reaching 70, and the terrorists still holed up with an unknown number of hostages, I sit in my new home glued to the television and wondering just how on earth I ended up here.

This Nairobi synagogue is the center of an eclectic Jewish community. Photo courtesy Rebecca Schischa

Baseball, American Jews And Repentance

09/16/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

As its rich literature attests, baseball is the quintessential American experience, with particular meaning for immigrants and minority populations.  For immigrants, baseball opens a door to American culture and language.  For minority populations, baseball can offer both a respite from the challenges of assimilation and a possible pathway to acceptance and even success.  All of this is particularly true for American Jews, an immigrant, minority group for which baseball has held almost mystical meaning as a ticket into the American mainstream. 

President Obama And The Anxiety Of Ambivalence

09/16/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Which is worse for Israel’s security and for the volatile Middle East: a tyrannical Syrian regime in an unsteady alliance with a nuclear Iran, or an anarchic Syria, run by “the rebels,” becoming a petri dish for al-Qaeda, situated along 375 miles of borderland with Iraq?

Yehuda Kurtzer

The Fundamental Flaw In Jewish Education

09/16/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Another Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone and you pat yourself on the back for having made it through the long synagogue spell, dutifully reading the prayers just how you’d been taught in Hebrew school as a youngster. But now you wonder if knowing how to read the Hebrew words is the sum of your identity as a Jew. What about what those words represent, what about your emotional connection to them as a Jew in the 21st century?  

Simon Klarfeld

Sukkot Reminds Us To Protect The Vulnerable

09/12/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Sukkot is the time of the year during which we modern-day Jews leave the safety and comfort of our “real homes,” and instead sleep and eat in the temporary structures we call sukkot. Despite their impermanent nature, we do everything we can to make them feel sacred, like a real home. We decorate them, we furnish them, and most importantly we invite many guests to sit and eat with us under the stars.

‘Never Again’ Must Become More Than Just A Slogan

09/09/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Seinfeld” aficionados will remember how the series ended, with the four main characters being convicted under a highly unusual statute for not intervening to prevent a carjacking. Normally, in U.S. law, there is no affirmative requirement to help anyone in distress. Good Samaritan laws were passed to shield those who take action voluntarily from potential liability claims based on those actions. 

Martin Raffel

God’s Gatekeepers: Signs Of Progress Regarding Israel’s Rabbinate

09/09/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Everybody knows the war is over

Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed

The poor stay poor, the rich get rich

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”

Elli Fischer
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