Editorial & Opinion

Secularism Enhances Judaism


“Jewish Secularism’s Moment,” by Steve Lipman (May 20), details the startling results from the latest surveys that show that as many as 37 percent of America’s Jews now check off “no religion” when asked to express their religious preferences. This percentage has doubled in the last 20 years and is indeed most noteworthy.

Most of that population has moved into secular humanism and Lipman commendably has included quotes from the significant leaders in this area to address the challenges involved in developing Jewish secular humanist identities.

The ’67 Border Problem


In regard to Francine Klagsbrun’s Opinion article, “Especially on Mideast Issues, Words Do Matter” (June 10), the author says that for those “who care about Israel there is every point in knowing the facts.” In our hyperpolarized political world, choosing isolated facts out of context does a disservice to the truth and moves the parties to more intransigent positions. The author correctly points out that President Barack Obama said a return to 1967 lines with land swaps does not mean a return to the 1967 lines.

Flawed Values


One of the most painful and disturbing articles I have read in many years regarding Jews and Israel was “Alienation From Israel Hitting Liberal Seminaries” (May 6).

Calling these students “bright, decent, thoughtful and deeply Jewishly committed” is not merely specious, but solidly false, contemptible, despicable and detestable, as are the attitudes of the students mentioned.

In Praise Of Women Rabbis


As officers of the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism, in Flushing, Queens, we are writing to inform the readership of The Jewish Week about the very positive experience we have with our female rabbi, in an egalitarian Conservative congregation. We are a community made up of both young and old members who enjoy learning and growing with our rabbi.

Speak Up About ‘Sexting’


Most of the media focus surrounding the Anthony Weiner saga has been about him, the women he contacted and what his future holds. While these are all things that need to be considered, I believe there is an important issue that has been largely ignored that needs to be addressed.

Don’t Stoop To Conquer


The documentary “Precious Life” tells of Israeli Dr. Roz Somech’s saving the life of an infant whose mother then insists she would be proud if the boy grew up to be a suicide bomber. It put me in mind of what the English historian Thomas Macaulay called the finest sentence ever written.

It is found in Julius Caesar’s answer to Cicero. Cicero wrote to express thanks for the compassion the conqueror displayed toward political adversaries who fell into his power at the surrender of Corfinium. The sentence Macaulay so admired reads:

Widening The Reach Of Israel Advocacy For Students

Editor And Publisher

Write On For Israel, an intensive two-year program that trains a select group of high school students to be advocates for Israel through journalism, was launched by The Jewish Week in 2002, at the height of the second intifada. At the time, I never imagined it would be around, or needed, nine years later.

Gary Rosenblatt

Volunteering Connected Me To My Jewish Identity

Special To The Jewish Week

Today’s federation is not your grandfather’s federation.

It seems that every Jewish periodical I read expresses concern about the next generation’s commitment to Israel and our Jewish heritage. This was the focus of a Jewish Week op-ed (“Mentoring the Next Generation While We Still Have Them,” April 29). In this article, Rabbi Lawrence Zierler discusses what many perceive to be a struggle for the federation to “articulate a message to its future generations of potential leaders.”

Father’s Day — It’s A Mitzvah

Special To The Jewish Week

Children sometimes ask, as mine did when they were younger, why, if there is a Father’s Day and a Mother’s Day, is there no Children’s Day. Although it’s not the response that I used, the classic one is that every day is Children’s Day.

The Distance Between Moses And The People

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candles: 8:11 p.m.
Torah: Numbers 13:1-15:41
Haftarah: Joshua 2:1-24
Havdalah: 9:20 p.m.

Between the lines of the Bible, we glimpse the difficulties — even tragedy — of Moses, the greatest prophet in history, who sees himself losing the fealty of his people. Moses feels that he is failing to direct the Israelites toward the very goal of the Exodus: the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel. Where has he gone wrong, and why?

Shlomo Riskin
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