A Rabbi's World

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

Trayvon Martin And The Pursuit Of Justice

07/19/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Oceans of ink have already been spilled in commentaries on the death of Trayvon Martin, and on the acquittal of his accused murderer, George Zimmerman.  Were oceans more to be spent, we would still be no closer to achieving what all who have cared about this case crave most of all– certainty about what really happened that tragic night when a teenage boy lost his life, and a grown man’s life was changed forever.

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

A Sudden Trip Home From Jerusalem

07/12/2013
Jewish Week Correspondent

During the last week of June, my wife Robin and I participated in the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, held this year in Jerusalem.

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

Jerusalem 2013: A City of Beggars and Prophets

06/28/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I fell in love with Jerusalem in 1971, as a junior-year-abroad student at the Hebrew University.  Someone who visits there today for the first time would be hard-pressed to imagine just how different the city was then...

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

Peres With Streisand And Clinton: Turning 90 With Style

06/21/2013

The annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international professional association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis, will take place this coming week in Jerusalem.  In my capacity as President of the RA, as it’s commonly referred to, it will be my great honor to formally introduce Shimon Peres, the President of the State of Israel, at a reception that he is hosting for us in his official residence, known as Beit Hannasi.

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

The Snowden Case: Is Telling The Truth Always The Highest Good?

06/14/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

How can it be that a 29-year-old computer technician, a defense contractor for the National Security Agency of these United States, has set the entire intelligence world back on its heels?

The simple answer to that question is, I’m afraid, “all too easily.”

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Guarding The Public Trust

06/07/2013

The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Though the Torah is, by anyone’s definition, an ancient document, its “cast of characters,” if you will, often portray sensitivities that are strikingly relevant to contemporary concerns.   One area in particular in which this is evident is in the responsibility of those in leadership positions to be worthy of the trust that others put in them, particularly with regard to fiduciary duty.

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

Yom Hazikaron and Memorial Day: How We Remember

05/31/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Remembering those brave men and women who have fallen in battle in defense of their homeland is any country's solemn responsibility.  A commitment to remember their ultimate sacrifice is the most effective guarantee that their lives will not have been lost in vain.  Those who survive them, and live free because of them, owe them at least this much, and of course so much more...

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

Nature, God And Us

05/24/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I am writing this the morning after the day before, not quite twenty-four hours since the horrific tornado in Moore, Oklahoma essentially destroyed the entire town, taking many innocent lives with it.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center

The Torah Is For All Of Us

05/17/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

In all of the storied history of the Jewish people, there was no single event that had greater short and long-term consequences than the revelation of Torah at Sinai. 

The festival of Shavuot, which we celebrated this week, marked the anniversary of that extraordinary (in both the literal and figurative senses of the word) day.  It encouraged us to recall, or recreate, if you will, the power, majesty and mystery of that luminous moment when God and humanity communed as one.  The world would never be the same thereafter.

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

A Grief That Time Does Not Heal

05/10/2013

There is an older gentleman in my synagogue who, for as long as I’ve known him (which is quite a few years), has been reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish on a daily basis. 

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