Editorial & Opinion

Score One For Israel At The UN

12/03/2013 - 19:00

A milestone for Israel, long overdue, was achieved this week when the Jewish state was invited to become a member of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) at the United Nations in Geneva.

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

12/03/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” General Kutuzov exasperates his comrades by refusing to take action Napoleon. “Maneuver,” they urge him, “outflank, attack!” But the general, except for ordering an occasional retreat, insists on doing as close to nothing as he can. Napoleon, on the other hand, is a frenzy of activity. As a result, his supply lines are overextended, and the Russian winter devastates his army. Failing to lure the czar’s troops into a decisive confrontation, he is forced to withdraw, beaten, back to France. Tolstoy summarizes Kutuzov’s philosophy as “the less you do, the less you err.”

Rabbi David Wolpe

Making A Move At Cummings

A Jewish foundation's new universal priorities fuel fresh look at communal values.

12/03/2013 - 19:00
Editor and Publisher

Several weeks ago the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a stalwart in the Jewish philanthropic community for 25 years, announced that its new strategic plan calls for focusing on two specific areas: inequality and climate change.

Gary Rosenblatt

Israel-Diaspora: A New Twist

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Last month I was privileged to attend a gathering in Israel — the Planning Summit of the Government of Israel and World Jewry Joint Initiative. 

Of special note, it was the first time in my experience that the discussion between Israel and representatives of world Jewry was truly conducted among equals.

David Bryfman

The Mourning After: Pew’s Unheralded Surprise

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The irrelevance of Modern Orthodoxy to the American Jewish experience is one of the most intriguing revelations of the Pew report on the community’s condition — yet also one of its most overlooked. While commentators galore are busy reproaching the Conservative movement for being inauthentic, accusing Reform Judaism of being hollow, and wringing their hands over the 32 percent of Millennials categorized as “Jews of no religion,” nobody seems to be paying attention to the stark fact that only 10 percent of those identifying as Jews describe themselves as Orthodox — and just 3 percent as the Modern variety.

David Breakstone

How Change Happens

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I believe in being an agent of change. I think our responsibility — in the brief time we have on Earth — is to figure out how to make the world a better place. I’ve raised my three kids with that as their mantra. But sometimes, keeping that mission at the front of my mind can get awfully frustrating, and there are days I feel as if I’ve just set them — and myself — up for failure. Sometimes it feels as though real change will never happen and that rather than trying to make significant changes in the world, I should just cordon myself off, back into a private bunker and live my life the way I want. But doing that doesn’t feel right either.

Bat Sheva Marcus

His Brother’s Keeper

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting: Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:08 p.m.
Torah: Genesis 44:18-47:27
Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Havdalah: 5:09 p.m.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

News About Jews In 2013

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Mid-point in 5774, we are about to close 2013, so it’s a great time to look back on major and not-so major Jewish events and notables of the year past. Take a deep breath and sigh, and we will begin with Israeli elections in January of 2013. Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu surfaced as the largest coalition, and we welcomed some new faces to the 19th Knesset.

Erica Brown

The American Jewish Experience: An Experiment In Freedom

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of the talk delivered Dec. 1 at the Touro Synagogue in Providence, R.I., marking the 250th year of its founding.

I am honored to be here to offer words on the 250th anniversary of the Touro Synagogue. As we celebrate this historic occasion, I want to take a moment to imagine what those first 15 Spanish and Portuguese Jewish families who came to Newport in 1658 would think if they could see us here today. For more than a century a small community of Newport Jews worshipped in rooms, in private homes before they could even afford to build a synagogue – this synagogue – which they dedicated on Dec. 2, 1763. The promise of that moment has been realized beyond anything those people standing right here 250 years ago could have possibly imagined. How blessed we are to be living in this moment.

A Chanukah Thank-You To Ed Koch

11/26/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I was listening to the radio the day Ed Koch passed away in February, when I heard a recording of the former New York City Mayor answering a reporter’s question about how he would like his epitaph to read.

Ed Koch, seen here in a video supporting Barack Obama, supported menorahs in public places.
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