I was very concerned to see the blatant lack of accurate reporting on the 15,000 women of all denominations who came to pray and at the same time to peacefully protest Women of the Wall (“Tensions Seen Mounting On Prayer At Wall,” May 17).
The dozen or so riffraff were unfortunate, and the provocation by members of the Women of the Wall made the situation difficult. The numbers speak for themselves. The majority doesn’t want a change. Note that the Israel Democracy Institute found that 38 percent of Israelis support the cause of Women of the Wall, not 62 percent as you reported.
The only question asked was about women wearing male prayer garments [yarmulke, tallit] at the Kotel. It did not include a question about Women of the Wall’s true goal, which is to tear down the existing Israeli religious infrastructure.
Editor’s Note: According to a report in Haaretz, the poll in question, conducted among a representative sample of 600 Israelis ages 18 and above, found that “48 percent support the right of Women of the Wall to pray as they see fit, wearing a prayer shawl and phylacteries and reciting their prayers out loud, whereas 38 percent said they did not support this right.”
Joshua Mitnick, in his article covering the May 10 prayers and protest at the Kotel (“Tensions Seen Mounting on Prayer At Wall, May 17”), reported that “the protests on Friday brought out only a small fraction of the ultra-Orthodox constituency.”
There is a poignant story of a rabbi who learned the meaning of life from children building sand castles. As he watched the intensity with which they built, he could not help but realize that in a few hours, everything they created would be washed away. Yet it did not diminish their focus or joy.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s appointment this week of Ira Forman as special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism is a welcome and timely move as religious bigotry is increasing around the globe.
Of course it is a sad statement that in the 21st century, the United States requires a high-level post to deal officially with anti-Semitism. But the State Department’s annual report on international religious freedom, just released, underscores the need for a more assertive effort in countering the decline in religious freedom as well as the increase in Holocaust denial and a violent brand of anti-Semitism that is often couched as opposition to Israeli policy.
It’s been more than a dozen years since Mohammed al-Dura, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, was caught in the crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian security forces at the outbreak of the second intifada and allegedly killed by Israeli bullets.
In the nearly two years that I have worked in the field of Jewish day school finance, no topic has generated more emotion or been the subject of more debate than the issue of Jewish day school affordability.
Our Jewish story is one of migration. Our Jewish American story is one of receiving safe refuge on this nation’s shores. From our seminal Exodus saga to our waves of aliyah, we are a people who know the feeling of being expelled and freed, welcomed and rejected.
Our Jewish story is one of migration. Our Jewish American story is one of receiving safe refuge on this nation’s shores. From our seminal Exodus saga to our waves of aliyah, we are a people who know the feeling of being expelled and freed, welcomed and rejected. Today in America, we Jews experience the freedom and prosperity most of our ancestors never knew. Our current fortune confronts us with a question: what are we going to do with the freedom we have been given? How will we to channel the prosperity we enjoy?
Celebrity Angelina Jolie's recent decision to opt for prophylactic surgery after she determined she is a carrier of a mutation in the BRCA1 gene has prompted media attention the world over. Media descriptions of her “Jewish gene”, however, are misguided.