Editorial & Opinion

One Simple Question


The Democratic Party’s platform provides an excellent glimpse into the direction it is heading.

I’d like to ask the presidential candidates one simple question at their upcoming debates: “What is the capital of Israel?” If the answer requires more than one word, “Jerusalem,” then that tells me all I need to know about for whom I will be voting.

What Ross Didn’t Say


Former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross is reported to have said that “the Israeli homeland is now vulnerable,’ with wars no longer waged on distant battlefields but rather with tens of thousands of rockets — from Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south — aimed at the entire civilian population of the country” (“Ross Urges Israel To Be ‘Proactive’ With PA,” Between The Lines, Aug. 24).

Women’s Rights


Regarding women’s reproductive rights, Blu Greenberg is wrong when she states that “although Republicans are making loud noises on this … I don’t think anyone could roll back the rights” (“Election Stirring Passions Among Women,” Sept. 14).

Cantorial Memories


I would have enjoyed Gary Rosenblatt’s wonderful column, “Rosenblatt ... But Not that Rosenblatt” (Sept. 14), even if he had not mentioned my late father, Cantor Avraham Davis. Over the years, I, too, have often been approached by people who wanted to know if I was related to the Cantor Davis who made those recordings. I was proud to say that he was both my father and my teacher. He actually pioneered the making of educational liturgical recordings in the early 1950s in a way that was both beautiful and practical. (Easier said than done).

Decreasing Affiliation


The op-ed by Steven M. Cohen, Jack Ukeles and Ron Miller, summarizes the results of the “Jewish Community Study of New York, 2011” (N.Y. Jewry’s Stunning Diversity, And Why That’s Good,” Sept. 21)

The authors state that the number of synagogue-affiliated Conservative and temple-affiliated Reform Jews has shown little or no change from 2002 until now. That doesn’t square with the actual published findings of the study:

A Mission That Is Ever More Vital


Dear Friends,

As we begin the new year, we offer this “stockholders” report on the state of The Jewish Week — its past year and future plans — to you, our readers and supporters. And we ask for your help so that we can continue to provide you with high-quality journalism, and more, in future years.

Ours is a unique role, seeking to both cover, and help build, our Jewish community. That is a delicate task, merging the tasks of outsider and insider. But we think it is vital, and well worth the effort.

Metzitzah Changes Require Rabbinic Leadership

Special To The Jewish Week

Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein (1866-1934) was widely considered to be one of the more impressive Talmud scholars of his generation. In his “Levush Mordechai” (Ch. 30) he writes, “If anyone were to suggest doing metzitzah with the mouth, we would say the worst things about him because there is nothing more disgusting [than] placing a wounded [bleeding] organ into the mouth. Especially that organ.” His conclusion, however, is that “since it is a mitzvah, there is justification.”

Avi Billet

Sing A Song Of History

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 6:25 p.m.
Torah: Deut. 32:1-52
Haftarah: II Samuel 22:1-51
Havdalah: 7:21 p.m.

‘Deep in the Heart of Texas.” “The Banana Boat Song (Day-O).” “Rock Around the Clock.” “Hard Day’s Night.” “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  “La Bamba.” “I Will Always Love You.” “Livin La Vida Loca.” “I’ll Be There for You (Theme from ‘Friends’).”

Rabbi Gidon Rothstein

My New Bottom Line: From Private Equity To Jewish Engagement

Special To The Jewish Week

 There’s a lot of talk about Wall Street these days. Once upon a time I worked on Wall Street. Actually I worked in private equity, which means that I invested (other people’s money) in businesses hoping to grow them.  Together with my partners, I did really some good things back in those days: I invested in businesses that grew and added to the GNP. I invested in businesses that grew and provided more jobs for people. I invested in businesses that made money for pension fund investors so that they could pay pensions to their participants. 

Rabbi Lori Koffman

Stay At Home Jews


Elicia Brown, in her column in the Jewish Week (“Free Range Jew,” Sept. 14), recounts her adventures as she takes her family from synagogue to synagogue during the High Holy Days rather than commit to attending one synagogue and missing out on an adventure.

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