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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Op-eds

Crossing The Line: Five Lessons From a Nonprofit Professional's Excursion into Volunteerism

After ten years of working professionally in the nonprofit sector, I decided to take a short sabbatical to refocus and align my daily activities with my long-term professional goals.

But this article isn’t about that.  It’s about an unintended luxury of circumstance that embarking upon this journey provided me:  time to volunteer.  When I made this

The Exclusion of J Street and the Denial of Ourselves

In a 2012 article I relayed what I described as “a real life midrash”:

Early in my career, I worked at the Memphis Jewish Federation. At the time the most beloved community volunteer was Lewis “Red” Kramer, a secular Jew, regional Vice President of the Workman’s Circle and yet the membership chairman of what was then the

Odd Man Out

I feel like the odd man out this week. But don’t feel sorry for me, I often feel like the odd man out. On four major timely issues in the Jewish community, I find myself in dissent. Let me explain.

Last week in a meeting with Rabbi Marc Schneier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas unequivocally stated that the Holocaust is “the most heinous crime to have

Why BDS is Dangerous

What Is BDS?

With thanks to my friend Joe Hyams, CEO of “HonestReporting,” for his guidance, the following is a primer on the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement, which has been toiling for over a decade to undermine Israel’s legitimacy by equating the country to South Africa.

The BDS movement’s stated claim is to end the

Meet Eric Brauer: Teaneck Town Council Candidate

The Teaneck Council Election is on May 13, and while it may be hard to believe, that is less than a week away, so JLBC grabbed an opportunity to sit and talk with Eric Brauer, one of the candidates for the Council.

Eric, who recently retired from a career in sales, has been a Teaneck resident for more than 30 years, making him a witness to how the

Donald Sterling is Pathetic, But He Doesn’t Speak For All Jews

My husband isn’t a sports fan, so I was surprised when he started talking basketball. He was the first person to tell me about Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling and the nasty comments he made about black people.

“It gets worse,” my husband said.

How so?

“Sterling is Jewish,” he said. “This is bad. This is really

Torah u-Madda and the Academic Study of Judaism

When I was a student in Yeshiva College during the Middle Bronze Age, the university’s watchword Torah u-Madda was generally understood as the study of both traditional Torah and secular disciplines with the overarching goal of establishing a “synthesis” between the two.

In the hard sciences this objective had

Is All Zionism Really Religious Zionism?

There was a great deal of religious ambivalence about Zionism in its early years. On one hand, the return to the Land of Israel had always been a religious aspiration of the Jewish people, and yet the nascent movement was a secular movement to its core, whether in the neutral sense that it viewed state-building as a non-religious endeavor, or in the

The 1% Game the System and the Rest No Longer Want to Play

Every year I ask my class on “Wealth and Poverty” to play a simple game. I have them split up into pairs and imagine I’m giving one of them $1,000. They can keep some of the money only on condition they reach a deal with their partner on how it’s to be divided up between them. I explain they’re strangers who will never see one other again, can only

What the Chag HaSemicha Means to Me

Fair Lawn—On March 23, Yeshiva University and RIETS will be celebrating their Chag  HaSemicha celebration which takes place every four years. I will have the privilege of being a participant in this year’s chag, as I missed the previous celebration by one year and had to wait to be a part of such an exciting celebration of Torah and the

Bid to Explain Climate Change Risks Losing The Argument

One has to understand to believe either way.

The report released jointly by the Royal Society in the U.K. and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences provides a guide to current climate change science for a non-scientific audience.

In this respect it is an interesting undertaking by two of the world’s most eminent scientific bodies,

We Already Have The Answers To Humane Religious Slaughter

With kosher and halal food an increasingly common feature of the British high street, a top vet has called for reform of their slaughter practices, calling them inhumane.These alternative methods of animal slaughter rightly provoke a heated debate about the welfare of farm animals and the ethics of killing them. But is there a humane way of killing animals