Editorial & Opinion

Tzohar Rabbis Disingenuous In Their Campaign

11/14/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Over the past few weeks, I have watched the unfolding drama facing Tzohar, the group of Modern Orthodox rabbis in Israel, and its campaign to reinstate their rabbis as officiants for weddings in Israel. (See “Fighting Back Against The Chief Rabbinate,” Editorial, Nov.11) I believe the issue warrants greater understanding of what truly underlies it.

Rabbi Uri Regev

Embracing The Lost Art Of Creativity

11/08/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I was 5 years-old and my father was the President of Crayola Crayons. This gave me significant popularity points as a kindergartner. One day, my parents came home to find that I had taken my Crayola markers and painted all over all of the white walls in the house. As protocol for this type of normal occurrence, my mother scolded me while my father, as a marketer of ideas, stood back and thought. It was in this precise moment that the washable marker was invented. I take some credit for this invention.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, Director of Jewish Life and Senior Jewish Educator at UCLA Hillel.

Just Who’s Inside The ‘Big Tent?’

GA debates inclusivity, federations’ relationship to Israel, overseas funding at annual meeting of JFNA.
11/07/2011 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

Denver — In one of the most innovative sessions at this week’s 80th annual General Assembly (GA) of the North American Jewish federations, the biggest annual meeting on the communal calendar, two actors presented a 25-minute play exploring the practical challenges of what it means to have a “big tent” Jewish community, trying to be inclusive while maintaining loyalty to valued beliefs.

Gary Rosenblatt

Buy Israel Week

11/07/2011 - 19:00

We don’t dwell in Israel, but we sure dwell on it. We gloat. (Nobel Prizes!) We kvetch (Sabras!). We worry. (Flotillas!) Most of us are probably convinced that we can’t do much more than think about Israel, beyond writing a check, say, or boarding a plane every once in a while. But there is something more we can do. We can buy Israel.

Fighting Back Against The Chief Rabbinate

11/07/2011 - 19:00

In what could be the most serious challenge to the legitimacy of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in its present form, Tzohar (Hebrew for window), an influential group of more than 600 religious Zionist Israeli rabbis, is launching a major media campaign this week, accusing the Chief Rabbinate of discriminatory policies over the right to officiate at marriages in Israel.

Other Israel Film Festival

11/07/2011 - 19:00

George Robinson writes that the Other Israel Film Festival is “melancholy, exhausted by the ossified position of the Israelis and their Palestinian neighbors” (“The Melancholy Israel Film Festival,” Nov. 4). Robinson my not have noticed it but our festival is not about the Palestinian neighbors but about the 1.7 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel.

Those Arab citizens might well be exhausted by the growing level of racism that is becoming acceptable in Israel, but that is not what you will see in the festival.

Treatment Of Agunot

11/07/2011 - 19:00

 While I am heartbroken at the plight of the agunot in your article (“Religious Courts Are Treating Agunot Unfairly,” Oct. 25), I must question why they would feel so ashamed to be issued a seruv from an institution so obviously corrupt and unworthy of any honorable Jew’s respect.

The very idea that women need to vet batei din [religious courts] to make certain they are respectful of women and above suspicion of bias or conflict of interest, points to the inconsistency and illegitimacy of the entire system.

Dispute Over ‘Good News’ Research

11/07/2011 - 19:00

I was shocked by Howard Rieger’s remarkably anti-intellectual and narrow-minded comment (“Demographers Should Help Rather Than Criticize,” Nov. 4) describing the ongoing, critical survey evaluation of Birthright Israel programs as “Research that doesn’t uncover anything new.”

Focus On Gender Issues

11/07/2011 - 19:00

While the debate about filling the void of a national Jewish population study is certainly worthwhile (“How Many U.S. Jews, And Who Cares?” Nov. 4), the disconcerting silence about gender at the Brandeis socio-demography of American Jewry conference also merits attention. By gender I mean the socially constructed roles of men and women, and the power dynamics between the sexes.

Jewster And Philanthropy

11/07/2011 - 19:00

Your article on innovation in the Jewish dating scene, “Yenta 2.0” (Nov. 4) left out Jewster’s most attractive feature. A key element of the Jewster.com site is that it is also a platform for philanthropy. Members donate 20 percent of their subscription to one of a select group of Jewish organizations and ventures. In addition to matching singles with each other, Jewster helps build community by matching members with Jewish events and by crowd-sourcing financial support and new donors for Jewish organizations. Our

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