Editorial & Opinion

Koch Motives


So first Ed Koch spends two months urging the Jewish voters of the 9th Congressional District to vote against the Democratic candidate, David Weprin — an observant Jew whose positions on Israel and record of service to the Jewish community are indisputably solid.

Koch’s goal was to “send a message” of displeasure with the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. 

Comforting Words


I’ve never written you [to Jonathan Mark] before, but “Days of Awe” (Sept. 30) pushed me to my keyboard. I lost my wife six months ago after a tough four years with cancer. Your piece was the Shabbos Shuva drasha [sermon] I really wanted to hear.

A Dear Friend


Thank you very much for Jonathan Mark’s moving article about my very dear friend Matt Fenster (“Days Of Awe,” Sept. 30).
I think he really captured and relayed to the reader the special nature of Matt’s neshama (soul). The article has helped foster continued discussion in the Riverdale community about Matt and helped the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) community deal with our collective grief.

Moving Article About Days Of Awe


Thank you, Jonathan Mark, for writing the moving article about Matt Fenster and his courageous struggle (“Days Of Awe,” Sept. 30).

I did not know Matt, but learned of his illness last year through a donor drive. I was moved by his circumstances and sent a check. I remember asking myself, why him? Why does one get this adversity? We all get challenges, but they hopefully make us stronger. But his challenge was insurmountable. And it seemed to happen to a nice guy, one of us.

Understanding God’s Command


Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 6:11 p.m.
Torah reading: Leviticus 16:1-34; 18:1-30
Haftarah: Isaiah 57:14 - 58:14;
Book of Jonah Havdalah: 7:13 p.m.

“For on this day He shall forgive you to purify you from all of your transgressions; before the Lord shall you be purified” [Lev. 16:30].

Shlomo Riskin

Returning To Where I’d Never Been Before

Special To The Jewish Week

I’m a Russian Jew. I was born and raised in New York City. I am proud to be an American. But somehow, I am still a Russian Jew. 

My family hasn’t been back to the former Soviet Union since they left in search of a better Jewish life, some 40 years ago. I’d never been there at all, until this summer.

Julian Olidort

Aging, Gracefully, Together

Special To The Jewish Week

I recently took a walk in the woods with two women, one 20 years older than I am, the other 40 years older, to discuss the challenges of aging. We paused when we saw white-tailed deer hop-freeze beside us in the thicket. We shared stories about women in our lives, and how they navigated the aging process. We talked about our own changing bodies, changing minds, changing children, changing communities. We turned our faces towards the sunshine and stopped in our tracks when someone shared a particularly resonant insight, as we let it wash over us.

Maya Bernstein

The Soul Of Yom Kippur


‘What do you do,” Mr K. was asked, “if you love someone?” “I make a sketch of that person,” said Mr. K., “and make sure that one comes to resemble the other.” “Which? The sketch?” “No,” said Mr. K., “the person.”

Israel Education Down Under


I have returned from Australia where I facilitated and presented at a national conference of Israel education, organized by the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) in Melbourne. The conference was attended by representatives of almost every Zionist day school from across Australia, and from across the ideological and religious spectrum. Despite the differences of ideology, there was a tremendous amount of mutual respect and cooperation.

On JNF Policies

Vice President, Israel Relations Jewish National Fund

Robert Cherry's statement in his Opinion piece, “Zionist Policies Towards Israeli Arabs” (Sept. 23) that “93 percent of Israeli land is in the hands of the Jewish National Fund (JNF)” is totally incorrect.

Perhaps he is confusing JNF with the Israel Land Authority (ILA), which is a government agency that manages land in Israel. JNF owns about 13 percent of the land in Israel. It also owns land in both Syria and Jordan. Neither government allows JNF to utilize those lands.

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