I was riveted by the recent story of an Orthodox Israeli young woman, Ophir Ben-Shetreet, who sang beautifully on the Israeli talent-search program, “The Voice,” and as a result was suspended from her Orthodox school for two weeks because of the prohibition against women singing in public if men are present. Ophir’s performance and evident charm inspired people around the country. The judges praised her as “modest” and “pure,” and she could serve as a role model for young Orthodox women who feel the desire to express themselves and develop their talents. Instead, she was condemned.
Founder of Tel Aviv's secular yeshiva, also a Knesset member, leads Israel's parliament in study and prayer.
Editor’s Note: Ruth Calderon, founder of a secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv, spent several years living in New York recently, teaching at the JCC in Manhattan and other venues. This was her inaugural speech in the Knesset this week as a member of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
Every year, around Chanukah, Jews in synagogues worldwide read the heart-wrenching story of Joseph and his brothers. While not immediately apparent, the festival and the Torah readings that accompany it have much in common. Chanukah, although we may neglect to mention it to our children, is a holiday that commemorates a Jewish civil war. The stories of this season challenge us: How do we deal with conflict among ourselves? Where do we draw the boundaries around our communities, and how do we defend them?
Regarding the Sharansky-Mandelblit proposals under current consideration [for equitable prayer at the Western Wall]: any solution that enshrines privilege for and domination by any stream of Jewish worship at the Kotel, or any public, sacred space in Israel, is a terrible, short-sighted policy that will come back and bite us in perpetuity.
The article, “‘Knockout’ Comes To Crown Heights” (Nov. 29) was terribly disturbing. Not only due to the evidently increasing incidence of these sickening vicious random attacks, but also because of the offensive apologetics offered by City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.
I am in agreement with Chancellor Eisen and I also treasure what the institutions of the Conservative movement have done for my family and me (“Lets Drink A L’Chaim To Conservative Judaism,” Opinion, Nov. 29).
For me the key words [in Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s Opinion essay] are “affordable intensive Judaism.”
Chancellor Eisen mentions day care, early childhood programs, day school education and Ramah camps. They are becoming less and less affordable (“Let’s Drink A L’Chaim To Conservative Judaism,” Nov. 29).