Editorial & Opinion

YU’s Challenge


Yeshiva University’s challenges — financially and in competition with other institutions of higher learning, both secular and religious — are outlined in staff writer Helen Chernikoff’s thorough and sobering front-page report this week.

As she notes, the proud base of the Modern Orthodox community is seeking to increase flagging enrollment at a time of financial belt-tightening and when yeshivas to the right and secular colleges on YU’s left flank, are chipping away at the pool of possible students.

A Step Toward Jerusalem Recognition


With a Supreme Court ruling this week, the chances have improved that Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in 2002, may have a passport by the time of his bar mitzvah that records his birthplace as “Israel” rather than “Jerusalem,” as it now reads.

Vilification Has No Place In Debates On Israel

Special To the Jewish Week

When our Brooklyn synagogue recently hosted two former State Department veterans, Elliot Abrams and Robert Malley, a few congregants and even a local merchant objected to our having invited Mr. Abrams, a known “war criminal.”  

Similarly, when our synagogue hosted Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian academic, others claimed our pulpit now had “Jewish blood on its hands.”  Another congregant asked, “How can you invite Malley?  He and the president hate Jews.”

Rabbi Andy Bachman is senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn.

Joy Spring

Special To The Jewish Week

I know of many descriptions of the Jewish people: talented, beleaguered, stiff-necked, enduring — but rarely “joyous.” Most people don’t say — “Jews, now there is a happy people!” Our holidays reinforce this. On Pesach we celebrate leaving slavery — to go to a desert. On Purim we rejoice because we were not killed. Not exactly gleeful.

Pidyon HaBen Memory


Thanks to Gary Rosenblatt for another beautiful, personal piece, this one related to the Pidyon HaBen of his newest grandchild (“New Grandchild, Ancient Ritual,” March 2).

I was actually married with children of my own before I attended my first Pidyon HaBen and it was replete with the silver tray and jewelry around the baby. I recall being amazed with the entire process.

Foxman And Geller


It was grossly irrational for Anti-Defamation League national President Abraham Foxman to lump Pamela Geller with Patrick Buchanan and Rev. Louis Farrakhan (“Russell Simmons’ Blind Spot For Bigotry,” Opinion, March 16).

J Street Anti-Israel?


It pains me greatly to say this, but I believe that Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, is right and editor Gary Rosenblatt is wrong [regarding Klein’s statement that J Street is anti-Israel and Rosenblatt’s taking exception to that in his blog entry, “Don’t Call J Street ‘Anti-Israel’”].

Any organization that did the following is anti-Israel (as Rosenblatt does include in his entry): supported the Goldstone report; and called on the U.S. administration to veto a UN resolution condemning Israel.

Beinart Offers False Choice


Peter Beinart’s problem is that he uses a straw man to judge Israel — not reality (“Pushing Morality, A Victim Of Myopia,” March 23). He should compare Bibi Netanyahu with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Which country in the history of civilization continued to do business as usual during times of war as it did during times of peace? Has there ever been a society at war that did not alter the relationship between the state and the individual?

Boycott Boomerang


I was glad to see that Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch and David Harris of the American Jewish Committee oppose Peter Beinart on boycotting products made in the West Bank (“Pushing Morality, A Victim Of Myopia,” March 23).

I would like to add that by promoting a boycott, all you create is unemployment among Palestinian workers who also work with Jewish Israelis in the West Bank. Anyone who visits the West Bank will see an interaction between Israelis and Palestinians on the economic front that favors the Arab population. It amazes me that Beinart can’t see that.

‘Settlements’ Not Key Issue


With all due respect to Peter Beinart and others like him who argue that the “settlements” are at the core of the dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the fact is that there were settlements when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat entered into an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, when Jordan’s King Hussein entered into an agreement with Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and when PLO President Yasir Arafat entered into a series of agreements with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — yes, that same Netanyahu (“Pushing Morality, A Victim O

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