Editorial & Opinion

Disagrees With Wertheimer

10/08/2013 - 20:00

As a Conservative Jew and a mohel certified by the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Rabbinical Assembly, in practice for more than 25 years, I was somewhat dismayed at the content of Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Not Too Late To Push In-Marriage?” (Sept. 13). While Professor [Jack] Wertheimer has done extensive work in gathering data on Jewish demographics, I am afraid that he “chooses and picks” his data to suit his points of view. I disagree that intermarried families have lower chances of raising committed Jews, and I believe my statistics and follow-ups prove him wrong.

Ramaz Club On Sexual Identity

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Jerry Zeitchik, Director of Guidance

Rabbi Steven Greenberg’s column, “New Hope For Gay Orthodox Jews” (Opinion, Oct. 4), mischaracterizes a student club at Ramaz that was initiated by the school (not “pushed into it”). In this spirit, we want to clarify the purpose and focus of the club, called Sexuality, Identity and Society.

Saddened By Pew Survey

10/08/2013 - 20:00

I found myself saddened, demoralized and deeply concerned when reading the
 results of the Pew survey (“Fast-Growing Jewish ‘Nones’ Seen Reshaping Community,” Oct. 4).

Not Enough Joy

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Founder/Director Manhattan Jewish Experience

The newly released Pew findings on Jewish
 continuity paint a bleak future for American Jewry (“Fast-Growing Jewish ‘Nones’ Seen Reshaping Community,” Oct. 4). It reports that 58 percent of respondents who married since 2000 have married a non-Jewish spouse, and only 20 percent of those who have intermarried are raising their
 children Jewish by religion.

Support Families, Not Orphanages, For Vulnerable Children

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

My grandma Sadie lived in the town of Droghobych in Ukraine until she was 13. Nearby, there is a dirt road through a forest leading to the mass graves where the town’s last Jewish population lies buried. It is barely marked — if you did not know to look for the large slabs of concrete between the trees, you would have a hard time finding it. As a human rights lawyer who has spent a lifetime documenting atrocities, I was not prepared for the effect of this visit a few months ago. I broke into tears.

Eric Rosenthal is founder and executive director of Disability Rights Inernational.

‘Where Are Your Bloody New York Jews?’

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In October 1975, as the heinous resolution condemning Zionism as racism progressed through the United Nations, American Jews were silent. America’s UN ambassador, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was fighting this libelous legislation, asked Israel’s Ambassador Chaim Herzog: “Where are your bloody Jews?” The UN heard the silence of the world’s largest Jewish community. Even German Ambassador Rudiger von Wechmar told Herzog: “It would be helpful if the Jewish community were to react.”

Gil Troy is professor of history at McGill University and a Shalom Hartman Engaging Israel Research Fellow in Jerusalem.

A Plea For Diversity In Worship

For suburban congregations, friction between passion and inclusivity.
10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Many Westchester readers will recall that a number of synagogues in our county participated some years ago in the Synagogue 2000 program. The program stressed two central goals: (1) making the synagogue a more spiritually fulfilling and uplifting place; and (2) making the synagogue a welcoming, “user-friendly” place, which would draw people in.

Rabbi Gordon Tucker

What Pew Does And Doesn’t Tell Us

Trend lines suggest continued erosion, but that’s not the whole story.
10/08/2013 - 20:00
Editor And Publisher

Not surprisingly, there has already been a large wave of reactions to the first major national survey of American Jews in more than a decade, with its sobering, if not bleak, portrait of a community on the fast track toward assimilation.

Source: Pew Research Center 2013 Survey of U.S. Jews, Feb. 20-June 13, 2013.

Voice Of Israel’s Sephardim

10/08/2013 - 20:00

It was a testimony to the influence and longevity of the life of the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that the health updates on an ailing rabbinic leader were headline news in Israeli newspapers and broadcasts in recent weeks. Outside of haredi, or ultra-Orthodox circles, in which Rabbi Yosef played a prominent role for more than a half century, most Israelis have little interest in aging rabbis.

Something Out Of Nothing

10/08/2013 - 20:00

The art of living is one of self-creation. The Rabbis of the Talmud teach that when God says in Genesis, “Let us make man,” God is speaking with the royal “we.” But a later chasidic teaching argues that God is speaking to human beings — together we will make you. I will endow you with certain gifts and you must spend your life soul-shaping.

Rabbi David Wolpe
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