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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Op-eds

Divorce Is The Only Option

Naming is the most human of functions. In the Bible, Adam named the animals and plants. Scientists name diseases, and in so doing they identify its symptoms, predict its consequences and prescribe treatments. Ultimately, they seek a cure or better yet a means to prevent the disease.

If we call the diplomacy, the give and take underway a return to the “peace

A Purim in War-Torn Galitzia

The First World War was a tragic time for most of the one million Jews of Galitzia, as it was for much of Eastern European Jewry. Fonder recollections of life for Galitzian Jewry under the Austrian monarch, Franz Josef, soon faded under the brutality of the Russian army which invaded Galitzia, and soon faced the German Kaiser’s forces which came to the aid of their

The Soul Truth

Songs are often more than music, but also the embodiment of ideas and ideals. We can all think of such works. Some inspire us, while others simply tell the story of a certain time or people. The most powerful songs do both. In this light, let’s look at a verse from a popular Jewish song from a generation ago and at the educational idea it contains. Feel free to sing

Modern Orthodoxy’s Identity Crisis

The flagship needs to right its course.

Modern Orthodoxy has a problem and a blessing: it is the belief that one can be both Modern and Orthodox. The problem is that when one changes, the other must, too, for if we are truly to be both Modern and Orthodox, then as modern world changes, our Orthodoxy must change, too. And that must start with conversations about

Stop UNRWA Advocating the ‘Right of Return’ by Force of Arms

One aspect of the war between Israel and the Palestinians must be resolved: the continuing humanitarian crisis facing descendants of Arab refugees from 1948, who wallow in UNRWA refugee facilities under the notion of “return” to villages which no longer exist.

To that end, the Center for Near East Policy Research, has launched The UNRWA Reform Initiative

In Support of Women Who Choose to Lay Tefillin

My perspective on the recent announcements that several female students have requested and been given permission to wear tefillin at Shacharit at SAR Academy in Riverdale would be what you might call a long view, as it’s now been over 20 years since I left my community Jewish day school behind for college, career, motherhood, and

Honor Holocaust Victims

We rarely ask ourselves why we should remember the Holocaust. We simply assume that we should. However, if we only go through the motions uttering phrases such as “we remember” and “never again”, remembering the Holocaust will quickly become a meaningless ritual.

Just saying that we don’t want something like the Holocaust to happen again has not

A Comment on the Prime Minister’s Diaspora Initiative

I have spent a good portion of my professional career working in areas at the intersection of the Israel-Diaspora relationship. In addition to my social work education I have a certificate in Jewish communal service from Hebrew Union College. During my career I have monitored and evaluated programs funded by the local Federation campaigns in Israel; I represented the

The Spinning Wheel

The Israeli Rabbinate has once again decided to accept the “attestation of Jewishness” letters of Rabbi Avi Weiss. That was a no-brainer, and I, for one, was not supportive of the initial rejection of those letters, of which I have written many. Let’s face facts: It is a real insult to be told that one has no credibility to state that “X” is Jewish because

Kerry’s Peace Process Double Standards

It is interesting how one comment from an Israeli minister has managed to strain relations between the U.S. Administration and Israel, while fiery rhetoric and street demonstrations against Kerry and Obama in the Palestinian territories and Arab capitals are completely ignored by Washington.

The U.S. Administration has reacted quickly and strongly to

Who Killed Hebrew?

Growing up in New York in the 1940s to1960s, in a Religious-Zionist family mixed in an odd way with Hashomer Hatza’ir, I was raised on a steady diet of Hebrew.  A yeshiva whose classes were conducted “Ivris b’Ivris” (“Hebrew into Hebrew”); a summer camp, Machane Massad, whose language was exclusively Hebrew; shirei ha-Yishuv,

Remembering Our Identity

According to the recently published Pew Survey of U.S. Jews, a staggering 73% of Jews say that remembering the Holocaust is “an essential part of what being Jewish means to them.” In fact, more Jews chose “remembering the Holocaust” as an indispensable component of Jewishness than any other alternative.

What does this response convey? If “remembering