Editorial & Opinion

Enough Dissent


How pitiful and sad it is that Peter Geffen’s op-ed in defense of Peter Beinart is printed in The Jewish Week as an attempt to explain “Why Dissent is Essential” (April 13).

Defends Pius XII


Regarding “Making Sense Of Pius’ Wartime Record” (April 13), David Cymet’s remarks about this subject are no different from the other historical revisionists who have simply ignored the tens of thousands of actual wartime documents that are all available for those who take the trouble to research them.

Rutgers’ Responsibility


Rutgers University’s president rightly condemned The Medium’s publication of a vile op-ed mocking and trivializing the Holocaust, and falsely claiming it was written by Aaron Marcus, a Jewish pro-Israel student (“Medium Paper, Large Insult,” April 10). The Medium’s response to the pain it caused Marcus makes clear just how much work Rutgers needs to do to address campus anti-Semitism.

Face Time


The Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas talks about the “meaningful world into which the face of the Other has introduced me.” For Levinas, our ethics are a result of appreciating the existence of another human being, a human face, before us. By ignoring others we shirk our abiding responsibility.

Changing Up The Bar And Bat Mitzvah Experience

Editor And Publisher

Did you chant a Haftorah at your bar or bat mitzvah?

Do you remember what it was about?

Have you chanted any others since then?

Rabbi Joy Levitt, executive director of the JCC in Manhattan, believes that the heavy emphasis on teaching youngsters to chant a Haftorah on their special days is a sign of “wasted training and the wrong message” for bar and bat mitzvah youngsters.

“We’re not preparing them for Jewish life” with such rituals, she says. “On the contrary, we’ve sabotaged their Jewish life.”

Gary Rosenblatt

Showdown At Chicago Hillel


One of the few undisputed facts in the bitter clash between the University of Chicago’s Hillel director and board, on the one hand, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago that operates it, on the other, is that the school’s Hillel program was one of the best in the country.

“Was” because the federation has fired Daniel Libenson, the executive director of the Hillel, along with his 17-member advisory board, in a showdown over issues of power, independence and funding.

Holocaust Observances


Yom HaShoah, the day declared by the Knesset six decades ago to serve as the Jewish people’s period of memorial and mourning for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, takes on a more vital aspect of a Day of Remembrance as the years pass. As the survivors of and witnesses to the horrors of the Third Reich’s near-annihilation of the Jewish people pass on, memory serves an increasingly important role.

Celebrating Israel In Space And Time

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:23 p.m.
Torah: Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haftarah: II Samuel 6:1-7:17 (Ashkenaz);
6:1-19 (Sfard)
Havdalah: 8:27 p.m.    

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

Reflections On The Bat Mitzvah Rite Nearly A Century Later

Special To The Jewish Week

Ninety years ago this spring, on 86th Street in Manhattan, the first girl became a bat mitzvah. Judith Kaplan Eisenstein was invited to read from a chumash (a printed book of the Torah) — not a Torah scroll — on a Saturday morning — not a Friday night — by her father, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan. She read and a revolution began. 

Sally Gottesman

In The Name Of Judaism, Haredim Have Turned Inward

Special To The Jewish Week

While flying home from Israel recently I struck up a conversation with the bright young haredi man sitting beside me. Before our talk, he had been busily studying a wonderful rabbinic text, “Mishnah Zevachim,” which details the laws concerning Temple sacrifices in ancient times. But God, it seemed, continued to be found in the text and not in me, so when I sensed that he was more interested in resuming his studies, I found a way to end the conversation so we could return to our respective pastimes.

Eugene Korn
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