Editorial & Opinion

The Binding Of The Boy From Damascus

Isaac, Ishmael and the slaughter in Syria.
10/21/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A wild and dangerous “spring” is raging in the countries surrounding Israel. Egypt, Syria and Lebanon face internal battles for control that are motivated by religion, nationalism, tribal loyalties and financial gain. The situation in Jordan is precarious and may similarly deteriorate into war. The toll, in Syria at least, has been high. According to estimates, over 100,000 civilians have been slaughtered in Syria alone, and its land is drenched in Arab blood. In Israel, by contrast, the situation is relatively calm and stable. Despite the proximity, life on the two sides of the borders seems to be taking place on different planets.

Rebel fighters in Aleppo run for cover a barricade to avoid fire by government forces. Getty Images

Rebecca And Veiled Understandings

10/21/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 5:42 p.m.
Torah: Gen. 23:1-25:18
Haftarah: I Kings 1:1-31
Havdalah: 6:41 p.m.

Beth Kissileff

Explaining Pew’s Findings On Orthodox Jews

10/20/2013 - 20:00

We would like to thank Rabbi David Eliezrie for describing the new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Jews as “a treasure house of information” on contemporary trends in Jewish life.

Unfortunately, however, Eliezrie’s Opinion column also mischaracterized the survey’s results, including some findings that actually support the points he was trying to make about Orthodox Judaism in America.

Pew Missed the Newest Trend in Jewish Life

Kosher pizza shops don't lie.
10/17/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The most recent Pew Study on American Jewish life reveals a treasure house of information about modern Jewish trends. The rising numbers of intermarriage amongst the non-Orthodox are a foreboding sign for the future vitality of American Jewish life.  It seems that when it comes to measuring the Orthodox Jewish community the study falls short.  Its methodology of denominational self-identification, effective decades ago when Jews fit in to neat categories of Orthodox Conservative and Reform, fails to reveal the real trends in a complex post denominational era. 

Response To Low-Cost L.I. Synagogues

10/15/2013 - 20:00

The Sept. 6 article by Stewart Ain “Lured by Cost and Community,” about low-cost startup synagogues on Long Island, could just as well have been titled, “Lured by Low Cost and Low Commitment.”

Help Synagogues, Don’t Criticize Them

10/15/2013 - 20:00

The Opinion piece, “When Judaism Becomes Kmart” (Oct. 4), by
 Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, echoed many of my own sentiments regarding the plethora 
of “garage” and “pop-up” synagogues cropping up on the North Shore of Long
 Island.

Disagrees With Wertheimer

10/15/2013 - 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.

Sephardim And Secularism

10/15/2013 - 20:00

After reading the articles on the Pew study about the state of American Jewry
and how slowly secular Jews are disappearing, I also read about the passing
of Rabbi Ovadia Josef (“What Pews Does — And Doesn’t — Tell Us, Oct. 11, “A ‘Gaon’ In Every Sense,” Oct. 11).

Pew And Jewish Humor

10/15/2013 - 20:00

For years, the Jewish community and synagogue leaders have fought the trend 
of dropping membership and attendance. Now the Pew study provides an answer (“Jews Serious When It Comes To Humor,” Oct. 11).


Saddened By Pew Survey

10/15/2013 - 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).

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