Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee, The City University of New York
Regarding the absolutely outrageous letter from Rabbi Arthur Waskow (May 20, Letters), let me be clear: Jim Dwyer’s piece in The New York Times was part of a concerted campaign to defame me [over this letter-writer’s role in the initial decision by the CUNY board to deny Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree]. I apologize for nothing. I never made the statement that Palestinians were not human.
I had the privilege of being one of 120 participants at a unique conference that took place in mid-May. Siach (conversation) was a gathering of Jewish social justice and environment professionals from Israel, Europe and the United States.
Funded by the Commission of the Jewish People of the UJA-Federation of New York, the gathering was coordinated by three organizations: Bema’aglei Tzedek (Israel), Jewish Social Action Forum (U.K.) and Hazon (U.S.).
Summer is upon us and that means camp season will be here again. As I have for each of the past five years, I’ll be going to Jewish overnight camp. Not as a camper — I’m 81 — but as a visitor. I’ve made it a practice to visit Jewish overnight camp because I believe in the transformative influence that Jewish camps have on our children and I think every child could benefit from a camp experience. So, although I never went to summer camp as a child, the support of these institutions has become my hobby and my passion.
Since Israel was founded, and especially during the Intifada of 2000-2004, Hadassah's Jerusalem hospitals have been known as bridges of peace, where the staff provides its medical expertise equally to people of every religion, nationality and political persuasion.
It's been a crazy week in the ongoing soap opera, "Bibi and 'Bama," and given the reception Prime Minister Netanyahu got in Congress, I think the GOP wishes Netanyahu could be their standard bearer in 2012. There are so many fascinating dynamics at work here that it would make for a top notch TV comedy if the situation weren't deathly serious.
Too many Conservative Jewish synagogues and institutions – the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism included – have forgotten the passion, the joy, and even the accessibility of Shavuot.
Rabbi Steven Wernick
Special to the Jewish Week
One of Judaism’s most profound ideas is the notion that each year at Shavuot each of us stands at Mount Sinai, poised to receive the Torah as if for the first time. The holiday, in other words, is an annual renewal of the relationship we Jews as a people experience with God through Torah.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' May 17 op-ed in The New York Times is a masterpiece of revision, rejection and recrimination in support of one simple request to the international community on behalf of the Palestinian people - please save us from ourselves. Having stubbornly refused to lead the Palestinians to resolve the conflict through the only viable approach, direct negotiations with Israel, he turns to the United Nations to enable and reward Palestinian denial of Israel's right to exist.
Prime minister, at AIPAC, revives call against ‘indefensible’ borders.
Editor And Publisher
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had an excellent response to President Barack Obama’s major speech on the Arab world and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But it came two days too late, and the net result is another hasbara disaster for Jerusalem.
In his book “Representative Men,” Ralph Waldo Emerson tells a helpful story about Napoleon: He directed his one-time secretary, Bourrienne, to leave all letters unopened for three weeks, and then “observed with satisfaction how large a part of the correspondence had thus disposed of itself, and no longer required an answer.”
As someone who steadily answers e-mails lest the queue become unbearably long, I wonder at the steely self-discipline required to leave that mail unanswered. If Napoleon could manage that, world conquest was probably a trifle.