A Rabbi's World

Weekly reflections from Gerald C. Skolnik, the rabbi of Forest Hills Jewish Center and a leader in the Conservative movement.

The London Jewish Community: Just Fine, Thank You!

02/13/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I left London this past Tuesday morning after a long weekend and wonderful Shabbat there, and landed in Madrid this afternoon, preparing to meet up with the Conference of Presidents mission here.  If anyone asks you what London and Madrid have in common besides both being in Europe, the answer is that, right at this moment, they're both cold and wet! 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

The Other Side Of The Pond

02/05/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, New York.

The Grammys And The Jewish Condition

01/29/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Partly because my daughter had asked me to, but also because I enjoy live performances of music, I watched the Grammy Awards last Sunday night.  In all honesty, I should say I watched the Grammys until I nodded off in my very comfortable chair, but I saw a good deal.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, New York.

What Does Perfect Faith Mean?

01/23/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

It has long been considered the case in Judaism that there is no “catechism” that one needs to subscribe to in order to be a Jew.  We are, for the most part, much more a community that measures a person’s commitment to the covenant by what he/she does- the mitzvot they perform- than one that cares about being able to say “I do” to a set of neatly and very specifically articulated beliefs.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Chris Christie And The Quest For Truth

01/15/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Perhaps it’s because he always seems so full of himself, or maybe it’s that he has never displayed even an iota of self-doubt, or that he always seems to take such delight in belittling questioners and critics …  It may well be for one of these reasons or quite a few others, but I have to admit to more than a little schadenfreude as I watch New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s carefully constructed persona slowly come apart before our eyes. 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

The Language of Multiple Narratives

01/09/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Like all other professionals who engage in counseling, rabbis are trained to know and believe that hearing one side of a story does not tell you all you need to know.  Whether it is a marriage that is in trouble or friends who have become estranged from each other, a professional may well ultimately choose to have the parties involved come in together for counseling.  But it is rare indeed that said professional would not see the parties individually before dealing with them as a pair.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Reflections at Arlington National Cemetery

01/01/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

With two of our four children home over the December holiday break, my wife and I decided to go “old school” with them and take a road trip.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Watching the Light Bulb Turn On

12/19/2013 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

For most of my thirty-two years as the rabbi of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, I have been teaching a weekly class to our Hebrew High School students who attend public high schools. 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

The Backstory Behind Netanyahu's Absence

12/12/2013 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The absence this week of Israel’s two leading political figures, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, at the massive memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa was both painful and sad.  Whether or not illness made it impossible for President Peres to attend is something we cannot know, although surely, it would not have been an easy trip for a man of Peres’ age. 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
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