A decade ago, the field of Israel education didn’t really exist in the United States.
A 2003 study found that when it came to teaching about Modern Israel in schools, camps, synagogues and youth groups, there was no conceptual framework, no standards of practice, no professional development, and educators felt unequipped to handle the material.
To hear some report it, the latest “cycle of violence,” featuring volleys of hundreds of rockets and airstrikes between Israel and Gaza began this past weekend when Israel killed Zuhair al-Qaissi and several other leaders of the Popular Resistance Committee, a terror group connected to Hamas.
Patrilineal descent is an issue that raises strong emotions in many Jewish circles. Some feel adamantly that patrilineal Jews who have been living and identifying as Jews their whole lives should be accepted as Jews by the entire Jewish community. Others feel strongly that the very term “patrilineal Jew” is a misnomer and that individuals are either Jewish according to Jewish law, halacha — that is, that they have a Jewish mother or they have converted — or they are not Jewish.
The debate about ritual circumcision with metzitzah b’peh (direct mouth-to-wound oral suctioning by the mohel) is complex, as it involves halachic, historical, social, medical, technical and potential regulatory components.
In the battle against racism and anti-Semitism in America, there have always been well-meaning people who, while willing to stand up against hatred and prejudice when they see it directed against others, nonetheless seem to have a blind spot when hatred emanates from within their own community.
This past week, along with over 13,000 other pro-Israel delegates, I attended the AIPAC policy conference. I have been going since my junior year of college when I led a delegation of fellow students. If you have never been, then you should know that it is, hands down, the largest Kiddush you will ever see. Thousands of laypeople, Jewish professionals, clergy, Jews and non-Jews all crammed into the DC Convention Center.
At work, we consistently offer positive reinforcement and constructive feedback to others to improve the quality of our collective efforts. From a Jewish perspective, we are not only concerned with the efficacy of our work but also the ethics of the workplace. In addition to personal accountability, all Jewish workers have a sacred duty to be a moral presence as well.
At AIPAC, assessing the Obama-Bibi standoff on the eve of Purim.
Editor And Publisher
Washington — The timing this week was hard to ignore. A do-or-die confrontation over Iran between two influential leaders, with the fate of the Jewish people at stake.
I’m not just referring to the Obama-Netanyahu showdown at the White House on when and whether to strike at Tehran’s nuclear sites, but to an encounter centuries ago between Queen Esther and King Ahasveros in ancient Persia — today’s Iran — and her plea that he reverse the wicked Haman’s death sentence for the Jewish population.