Blogs

UN Needs Day Of Atonement

There is a greater likelihood that the United Nations will vote to blame Israel for global warming than it would to put Yom Kippur on the official holiday calendar of UN Headquarters as called for in an op ed in Wednesday's New York Times.

A Teacher And His Runaway Student: Preparing for the High Holidays

On Tuesday night, August 26, the "spiritual pre-season," leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, began. We celebrated the first day of Elul, the Hebrew month during which Jews traditionally examine their behavior and contemplated self-improvement.

Rabbi Michael Levy

It’s The Money, Stupid

Whether Republicans elect Jews is not as important as why we Jews don’t vote Republican. The GOP agenda, for the overwhelming majority, is not ours.

When it comes to the Jews, Republicans are single-issue campaigners – all Israel all the time – while Jews are multi-issue voters and Israel is not the top issue for most.

What’s more, the rest of the Republican agenda, dominated by far right social and religious conservatives and the Tea Parties, turns off the 70-80 percent of Jewish voters who consistently vote Democratic.

Hamas Leaders Crawl Out Of Their Holes

In case you didn’t notice, the Hamas spokesman announced acceptance of the ceasefire at a news conference in the Al Shifa Hospital.  Why is that important?  Because many journalists covering the war in Gaza as well as the Israeli Defense Forces believe the Hamas leadership hid out during the fighting in bunkers beneath the hospital.  In other words, the doctors, staff, patients and visitors were their unwitting human shields.

A Novella Sparked By Conflict

The Jerusalem Lover," a novella by Shira Dicker, is a prescient and courageous look at the ongoing battle between Israel's staunch defenders and her harsh critics. The work was actually written seven years ago, as Dicker struggled with the “casual anti-Semitism (she)…confronted nearly daily” while living in England during 2004.

"Bathsheba" by Bruce Murray

How Did They Find Out? Israel Turns Pot To Heroin

We always knew those Israelis are clever folks, but they may have outdone themselves on this one.

Israeli scientists may not have found Merlin's formula for turning lead into gold but they may have figured out how to do what all other scientists say is also impossible: turn marijuana into heroin.

That startling news comes from one of our favorite reliable sources, the Palestinian Authority.

I Am Able: Share YOUR Selfies!

The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has mounted an "I Am Able"? campaign to document and celebrate the abilities of the individuals that the office serves. People with disabilities are encouraged to submit pictures and share accomplishments in their own words.

Ceasefires Needed On All Fronts

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is not the only truce needed to restore peace for the Jewish state.  There are at least two others.

The Israeli cabinet looks like a circular firing squad as ministers take pot shots at one another and particularly at the Prime Minister, whose job each covets. It's gotten so bad that Bibi Netanyahu is reluctant to hold a Likud leadership vote because he could get dumped by his party's settler-nationalist wing. 

How Did They Find Out? ISIS Is Zionist Plot

I'll bet you didn't know that ISIS was a Zionist conspiracy created to discredit Islam.  In fact, I'll bet even ISIS didn't know it.

But Yasmina Halfi, who worked in the Dutch government's Cyper Security Center, says that's just what happened.  On Wednesday she posted on Twitter, "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.  It's part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam's name."

Ruderman Prize Profile: Bar-Ilan University's "Empowerment Program"

Editor's Note: In July, the Ruderman Family Foundation awarded five prizes to agencies across the world that are making the Jewish community into a more inclusive one. The New Normal will profile each of these amazing agencies over the next month. Click here to read previous profiles.

Bar-Ilan University's Empowerment ("Otzmot") Program is among five international winners (and the only Israeli winner) of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, honoring organizations worldwide that operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community.

Prof. Hefziba Lifshitz and Students. Courtesy of David Garb
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