Editorial & Opinion

Face Time

04/17/2012

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

04/17/2012
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

04/17/2012
Editorial

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

04/17/2012
Editorial

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

04/17/2012
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

04/17/2012
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

04/17/2012
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

“I am Seeking my Brothers”: The Lost Jewish Virtue of Friendship

04/11/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

"And a man found him, when he was wandering in the field, and the man asked him, 'What are you seeking?' And he said, 'I am seeking my brothers'" (Genesis 37:15). This story about Joseph strikes me so deeply. As a child who moved to different cities every few years, I constantly felt like I was seeking “my brothers.” To some degree, we are all wandering in search of our “brothers.” Friendship is a challenging virtue to cultivate, even more challenging in our transient times.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L'Tzedek, director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at UCLA Hillel.

Bigger Survey

04/10/2012

In Stewart Ain’s article, “Social Justice Still Drives Jewish Agenda” (April 6), he points out that Israel is not high on the priority of American Jews according to the survey that was taken. The survey is flawed because of the small number of people surveyed.

Too Easy On Beinart

04/10/2012

Look what Gary Rosenblatt got for conferring undeserved status and a “fair” report on Israel-basher Peter Beinart – a kick in the teeth.  (“JW Review ‘Disservice’ To Readers,” Opinion by Peter Beinart, March 30).

When will Rosenblatt and our leaders learn how the radical J Street crowd works? --Attack and demonize anyone who doesn’t completely support them.

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