Editorial & Opinion

Democrats’ Support For Israel Declining

05/18/2016 - 09:24

While presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue their race to the Democratic convention, the former secretary of state remains the presumed candidate despite the Vermont senator’s string of primary victories. Another disconnect within the party — one with direct impact on the Jewish community — is that it is losing pro-Israel voters to the Republicans by a disturbingly wide margin.

The Low-Tech Child

05/18/2016 - 09:19

One of childhood’s great pleasures is to populate the world with imagination. It does not require elaborate equipment to engage a child. As the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi said, “Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.”

David Wolpe

In Two Crucial Struggles, Arming With Jewish Values

In efforts against BDS and Chief Rabbinate, a stick-to-your-guns message emerges.

05/18/2016 - 09:13
Editor and Publisher

The “vicious, well-funded and sophisticated” BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which has “strong anti-Semitic elements,” is a serious problem on college campuses, Israeli columnist and author Ari Shavit told a group of local high school  students at a JCC Manhattan program on Sunday afternoon. But it is relatively small and could be defeated by a “much larger, stronger Jewish community.” It would require a more sophisticated strategy, Shavit said, one that would have Jewish students asserting themselves as “a moral minority,” and forming alliances with a wide range of campus activist groups that now target Jews “as part of the white, privileged aristocracy.”

Gary Rosenblatt

When Campus Activism Becomes The Politics Of Exclusion

05/17/2016 - 14:53
Special To The Jewish Week

From coast to coast, movements for social justice on American campuses are increasingly taking an alarming turn. Some activists, preeminently Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), have begun enforcing a crude ideological purity in ways profoundly at odds with the principles of open debate and inclusive discussion that define the academy. SJP and allied groups not only seek to isolate Israel economically, academically, and culturally through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), and they not only disrupt events related to Israel or featuring Israelis, SJP now also aims to prohibit Hillel, the central support for Jewish life on campus, along with its affiliates, from engaging in social justice work.

Marcia Kupfer and  David Ellenson

A Redundancy Reveals A Message

05/17/2016 - 12:31
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candlelighting: 7:53 p.m.
Torah: Leviticus 21:1-24:23
Haftorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31
Havdalah: 8:54 p.m.
Pesach Sheni: May 22

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

What We Talk About When We Talk About the Menu

05/12/2016 - 09:44
Special To The Jewish Week

Erica Brown’s column, “Exclusion On The Menu” deeply resonated with me – well, at least the shared experience did. I, too, have felt very weird and different for keeping a strict form of kosher in many different settings, including Jewish ones.

Rabbi Aaron Potek. Via jewishedproject.org

A `Most Fantastic Transition’ Still Incomplete

05/11/2016 - 15:54

“The history of every people fixes its eye upon a particular moment in which its qualities and attributes shine forth with special radiance,” wrote Abba Eban in 1952.  For us, “the time was the sequel to the Second World War, which left the Jewish people battered and bleeding.... Here was a people which had seen six million of its kinsmen butchered and slaughtered in Europe.  The institutions of Jewish life and culture lay about them in ruin.... Any observer would have been forgiven for thinking that this must be the end of the tormented journey of the Jewish people across the face of history.  How could any people under the impact of such a blow...summon out the energy with which to survive, still less the special resilience required to exhort its life to new levels of achievement and of sacrifice.... Yet within three years of that lowest point in Jewish fortunes, the whole Jewish commonwealth had been re-established after 2,000 years, its flag fluttered in the great circle of banners which symbolized the freedom and equality of all peoples on earth.... Jewish history in our lifetime will forever be dominated by this most fantastic transition from the depths of paralyzing despair to unexpected pinnacles of sovereignty, pride, and achievement.”

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson

For Israel’s Northern Border, It’s Danger In Numbers

Both Al Nusra and ISIL loom as Syrian civil war rages; will either open a front against Israel?

05/11/2016 - 12:40
Contributing Editor

Osama bin Laden’s son has said that the Syrian civil war is paving the way for “liberating Palestine.” The voice recording by Hamza bin Laden, just posted online, is disturbing but, sadly, not surprising.

Nathan Jeffay.

Kosher Events In Scotland

05/11/2016 - 10:02

I would like to thank and applaud Erica Brown for her wonderful column on kosher catering at Jewish charity functions (“Exclusion On The Menu,” May 6).

Defends ‘Breaking The Silence’

05/11/2016 - 10:02

The numerous columns and Letters The Jewish Week has published attacking Breaking the Silence have notable omissions. None of them has acknowledged that members of Breaking the Silence have themselves served in the IDF and that they speak now from inside Israel where they also choose to remain (neither of which is true for most of their “pro-Israel” critics).

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