Editorial & Opinion

Not Big Enough For 'Big Data'

The Jewish community should be more numbers-driven, but is to small to use Big Data techniques.

05/28/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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On May 1, after a 90-day review ordered by President Obama, the White House released a 79-page report on "Big Data", a catchphrase that has become exceedingly popular over the last several years to refer to the copious amounts of information about us and our habits that are being collected, stored and analyzed with new digital technologies. It's why Amazon tried to sell me a 5-pound box of matzah when I purchased a new seder plate a couple months ago. The theory is that if we collect enough information, and have the will and the expertise to properly analyze it, then we'll be able to create all sorts of new efficiencies, improve our behaviors and make better decisions for ourselves and our organizations.

Russel Neiss

The Book Of Ruth: A Celebration Of Female Friendship

05/28/2014
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It’s hard to find a conversation in the Bible between two women. Sarah and Rebecca never speak to another woman in Genesis. Rachel and Leah speak with one another just once. Deena, Jacob’s daughter, never speaks at all. In the Book of Esther, Esther speaks often, and with power, but never to another woman. Against this background, the Book of Ruth stands out as a celebration of female friendship.

A Five-Point Plan

How we're navigating the conflict over our partnership minyan.

05/28/2014
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I live in a town with one Orthodox synagogue. That is not simple if you prefer progressive Orthodoxy. It's sometimes not even simple if you like old-fashioned Modern Orthodoxy. But the community is diverse, our friends are here and we have carved out a liberal outpost for ourselves in "Kol Echad", a partnership minyan. A partnership minyan is a mechitza minyan, with a divider between men's and women's sections; where women read from the Torah; receive aliyot and lead prayers on for selected parts of the service.

Audrey Trachtman

Why The Secret Ballot?

05/28/2014
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The rejection of J Street’s application for membership in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is curious (“Did J Street Win The War By Losing The Battle?” May 9).

Jewish Week Or New York Times?

05/28/2014
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While mainstream Israeli media were reporting well-deserved celebrations in Israel on its 66th birthday, The Jewish Week’s Editorial, “Israel At 66,” was equating Israel with the Palestinians, worrying about [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas’ legacy and calling Hamas, “a militant group.” Militant? For a moment, I thought I was reading The New York Times. But no, it was our own newspaper of record.

Working Out In Synagogue

05/28/2014
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How cool to read of other synagogues that offer yoga classes and spirituality
to the Jewish communities (“Synagogues Turning To Workouts With Soul,” May 16).

On Measuring Success

05/28/2014
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I read your article, “Day Schools Cultivating a Secret Resource: Parents” (May 16), with great
interest. Abrams Hebrew Academy participated in the Measuring Success survey
two years ago and used the results of that survey to address areas of
perceived weakness in our school.

Church-Separation Is Vital

05/28/2014
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Steven M. Cohen is wrong to suggest that weakening the wall of separation between church and state is good for the Jews (“A More Religious America is Good For The Jews,” Opinion, May 13).

Windows To The Soul

05/28/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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One should pray in a room that has windows. In the Talmud, R. Hiyya Bar Abba cites the book of Daniel, (6:11): “and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem (he prayed).”

Rabbi David Wolpe

See You At The Parade

05/28/2014
Editorial

Much has been made of the controversy in recent weeks over which groups should and should not be participating in the 50th annual Celebrate Israel parade. It is set for Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, up Fifth Avenue, from 57th Street to 74th Street.

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