I strongly praise the new head of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Rabbi Richard Jacobs’ work to help victims of war, famine and massacres in places like Chad, Darfur and Haiti (‘The Scarsdale Dynamo,’ Mar. 29). I am also heartened to have read elsewhere Rabbi Jacobs’ statement that “the connection to Israel is a vital part of Jewish life.”
With President Barack Obama announcing — to nobody’s surprise — his intention to seek a second term, and Republicans fighting for the chance to oppose him, this might be a good time to lay out our early views on the 2012 election.
No, we’re not making endorsements. Consider this, instead, a plea for a sober and respectful debate on the candidates and their positions on a wide range of issues, starting with the always explosive issue of U.S. Middle East policy.
Aside from the issue of the current tendency in Israel’s government to reject pro-Israel groups who are critical of some of Israel’s policies (“For the Love of Israel,” March 25), an additional important point is made in this report, namely, that Israel “remains a vital connection point to Jewish life for many younger Jews” in the U.S.
As a college student, I am genuinely surprised that the editor and publisher of The Jewish Week could seem so out of touch with my generation’s reality. At Dartmouth, a campus with fewer Jewish students than most, Chabad exists as an unparalleled place of spirituality, education, tradition and community.
I am a rabbi who has been sober for 13 years and am involved in helping Jews who are suffering from addiction or the pain of seeing a loved one or family member suffer. I have spoken on panels for UJA-Federation about substance abuse in the Jewish community and am a rabbi for JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) and a member of its board as well.
We are writing in response to Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Back Off On The Bacchanalia” (April 1), which grossly misrepresents the appeal, mission and reality of TribeFest, the recent three-day conference in Las Vegas in which 1,300 North American Jews ages 22 to 45 discussed Jewish issues, explored their role in the community and engaged in Jewish life.
‘In every generation each person should see themselves as if they personally were part of the exodus from Egypt.” So says the Talmud (Pesachim 116b), but what does that really mean? Is it possible to do as most classical commentaries suggest — engage in a psycho-spiritual transformation which crosses the boundaries of time and space, to actually see ourselves as if we are leaving Egypt?
By disparaging the U.S. government’s support of demands that Poland compensate Jews for property stolen from them during the Holocaust, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski exacerbated the firestorm created by his government’s peremptory decision to walk away from long-promised restitution legislation for spurious economic reasons.