Editorial & Opinion

Let's Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics

01/10/2012

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were "outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right – more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).

David Sable

Forgotten Voices

On ultra-Orthodox Israelis wearing yellow stars in protesting alleged bias.

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square is a Mecca for tourists. Predictably it also attracts entrepreneurs interested in revenue sharing. You can hear every San Francisco song in creation performed on every conceivable instrument; you can have your portrait done for $15, your caricature for $10, or your silhouette cut for $5.

One aged hustler, in particular, caught my attention, in part, because he could not attract anyone else's. He was lying in a recliner. When open, his eyes were glazed, but most of the time that I observed, they were closed.

Hamas Concedes That Gaza Is Not Occupied, So Where Is The UN?

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

In a stunning about-face, and after decades of violence justified by excuses of being under occupation, this week Hamas has admitted that Gaza is not occupied by Israel. And yet, the United Nations, which has long been reluctant to acknowledge Gaza's change in status, is still silent on the issue.

The Jewish Imperative For Child Adoption

01/09/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Millions of children fall asleep every night hungry, wearing an unchanged diaper, and with no one to hold them as they cry themselves to sleep. There is perhaps no greater suffering than to feel unloved, unwanted, and uncared for by anyone. This is the story of the orphan.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L'Tzedek, director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at UCLA Hillel.

Spiritual Transformation Through Our Dream Interpretations

01/04/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

“For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come” -Hamlet

Every night of our lives, we enter the dream state. Sometimes we are very aware of our dreams upon waking, sometimes not at all. I often wonder about the theological implications of our unconscious thoughts that occur while we dream. How are we to interpret these ideas and how can those interpretations help us to grow to become who we need to be?

Rabbi Yanklowitz is Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, Director of Jewish Life and Senior Jewish Educator at UCLA Hillel.

Beit Shemesh: Dialogue Is The Only Solution

01/04/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

 

Beit Shemesh, Israel -- For more than 10 years I have been a board member and supporter – and am currently chair -- of Gesher, an Israeli organization that seeks to build bridges between communities and create dialogue around common Jewish identity. But I would never have believed that my family would find itself in the eye of the storm with physical violence and intimidation on our very doorstep.

Why Funders Need To Embrace Failure

Opportunity to take risks and learn from them necessary for success, some experts say.

01/03/2012
Editor and Publisher

Before there was Birthright Israel, the most successful Jewish communal effort to increase Jewish identity among young people, there was The Israel Experience, a like-minded effort — and acknowledged failure.

Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Family Philanthropies, recalls that Charles Bronfman announced the launch of The Israel Experience in 1992, amid great fanfare, at the major annual convention of North American Jewish federations.

Gary Rosenblatt

Beyond Beit Shemesh

01/03/2012
Editorial

It’s more than embarrassing to have to speak out on how frightening, immoral and tragic it is for a group of adults to yell and spit at little girls on their way to school, calling them “prostitutes” and throwing dirty diapers at them. Even more so that such incidents take place in Israel — and especially that those causing the trouble consider themselves pious Jews.

When Fealty To Jewish Law Becomes Misogyny

01/03/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

The shocking behavior of a small group of haredi militants in Israel has forced me to face the difficult reality of just how much divides the Modern Orthodox Zionist community, of which I am a member, from that of the haredim, despite our sharing of an ancient text. 

Gail Bendheim

In Messianic Times

01/03/2012

The history of messianism in Judaism is the history of false and failed Messiahs. Some were earnest but wrong; others were clever pretenders. But there is also no complete agreement as to what the messianic time, when it arrives, will bring. Some scholars are supernaturalists, believing that it will result in the overturning of nature. Others, most notably Maimonides, are more restrained in their vision.

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