Editorial & Opinion

Dealing With Scandal. Again

08/12/2013 - 20:00
Editorial

Some scandals, when we learn of them, seem almost predictable, a disgrace that was just waiting to happen. Others, like the news this week that William “Willy” Rapfogel, the popular and successful executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, has been fired and is under investigation for financial misconduct, come as a shock. As a Jewish community leader who had helped Met Council, during his more than two decades at the helm, grow into a major social-service organization, Rapfogel was energetic, effective, focused and well connected. Now, it seems in hindsight, to a fault.

Tending Your Sheep

08/12/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When God wishes to choose leaders, the Rabbis teach, God looks to see how they tend sheep. Jacob, Moses and David were all shepherds. This rabbinic teaching reminds us how important it is to be kind to those whom we do not need. But let’s take it more literally: how nice are you to sheep?

Rabbi David Wolpe

Committed To Memory

Ernie Michel, a Jewish leader and Holocaust survivor, knows his own memory is fading.
08/12/2013 - 20:00
Editor And Publisher

Ever since he escaped from the Nazis, at 21, after enduring more than five years in forced labor camps and Auschwitz, Ernest (“Ernie”) Michel has devoted his life to preserving the memory of the Holocaust.

Gary Rosenblatt

Sins Of Commission At The Jewish Week

08/12/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Last May, The Jewish Week published an Editorial (“Sins of Omission at The Times”) complaining about The New York Times’ failure, in publishing a two-part series on abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community, to credit The Jewish Week for taking the lead in reporting on these issues, calling the Times’ failure to give appropriate credit “deeply unethical.” That Editorial referred to a letter from The Jewish Week to the public editor, or ombudsman, of The Times complaining about this omission.

Julius Berman

What Abuse In The ’80s Obscures About YU Today

08/12/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The recent news stories about Yeshiva University bring back memories from my own experiences in the 1980s, when I attended both high school and college at YU. For me, those were positive and powerfully transformative years, with YU playing the central role. I am profoundly sad that not all of my peers had the same experience, and of course pray that deep wounds suffered by victims of abuse will be healed.

Yossi Prager

Messianic Images On The Road To Rosh HaShanah

08/12/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:36 p.m.
Torah: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Havdalah: 8:36 p.m.

The weekly haftarah is usually related to the Torah portion that it follows, but this week’s haftarah, from Isaiah 54, seems different. It is the fifth of seven readings that began after Tisha b’Av, as part of a rising crescendo of faith in a better time to come — not a bad lesson these days of troubled headlines.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

Proud History

08/05/2013 - 20:00

As administrators of America’s first Hebrew school, going back 211 years and still going strong, we read Julie Wiener’s article, “Family Time Hebrew School” (July 5) with great interest. We have no argument with the recent trend for Hebrew schools to experiment with experiential learning. If the kids have fun, they will hopefully want to attend and if they attend and have fun, they will hopefully form positive feelings about being Jewish. This is surely a good thing.

Credits Bruni For Column

08/05/2013 - 20:00

I read with dismay Erica Brown’s “Open Letter To Frank Bruni” (Aug. 2, Back of the Book).

In his July 23 column in the New York Times, “The Faithful’s Failings,” Bruni
unflinchingly discussed sexual abuse among Orthodox Jews. The hurt and shame
we feel as Jews when reading his column is compounded because it was written
by someone outside our faith. But for that Bruni deserves our thanks,
not our criticism.

No Excuses On Abuse

08/05/2013 - 20:00

Regarding Erica Brown’s “Open Letter To Frank Bruni” (Aug. 2, Back of the Book), decades ago, as the news of Catholic Church abuse came to light, many Orthodox
Jews snickered with schadenfreude. More recently, as the epidemic of abuse in the haredi community has become public, educated Orthodox Jews stood on their morally
superior soapbox posturing how much better they would handle such events
should they ever occur in their community, as unlikely as that might be.

Immigrant Experiences

08/05/2013 - 20:00

I was dismayed to read “Immigration, Then and Now” (July 26) by Jonathan Mark, which contends that there are vast differences between early 20th-century Jewish immigrants and recent immigrants. Mark states “one group was escaping a Holocaust; the other, simply seeking a better way of life in a stronger economy.”

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