Opinions

Staying home will save lives this Passover — so spread the word

By SAMUEL HEILMAN

NEW ROCHELLE (JTA) — Jewish holidays, typically times of joy and gathering, have this year become times of increased danger and foreboding.

Particularly among the observant and Orthodox communities, Purim was — and now Passover will be — occasions when following tradition as usual can be deadly. The spirit...
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OP-ED: This is not a Passover for despair

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

– For most of us, this is the saddest Passover we can recall.

The coronavirus pandemic is unlike any previous trauma we’ve lived through. Nothing, not even the 9/11 attacks, brought our world to an extended collective halt the way the efforts to contain...
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OP-ED: The coronavirus pandemic: A wake-up call

By RICHARD SCHWARTZ

The present coronavirus pandemic should be a wake-up call for the urgency of eliminating, or at least sharply reducing, the consumption of animals.

Food and health experts agree that the pandemic began due to the consumption of a wild animal at one of China’s many live animal...
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OP-ED: Love and hatred in the days of COVID-19

 –If you were to take a wider perspective on this current pandemic, you would immediately realize that the earth is like one giant petri dish facing a universal contagion, where we are all in this together. In this dish, both the best and the worst microbes are virulently reproducing.

...
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OP-ED: I’m an Orthodox sociologist. Social distancing will take a toll on the Orthodox community.

By SAMUEL HEILMAN

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (JTA) — Recalling the culture of the Eastern European shtetl in their famous book of the same name, Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog wrote that for Jews, “Life is With People.”

This is certainly true in a world governed by Jewish values and tradition. At...
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OP-ED: The Great Indoors

By ALAN SMASON

When the first accounts began to reach me over Facebook and through more conventional news that colleges were sending their students packing, my initial reaction was to question the wisdom. How could shuttering school dorms and transitioning to online classes at Harvard and other top-tier colleges and...
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OP-ED: I didn’t know I had contracted the coronavirus. Now I’m alone in an Israeli hospital.

By MERYL JACOBS

JERUSALEM (JTA) — In late February, I flew to Long Island to help my 77-year-old mom following her knee replacement surgery.

I arrived in the United States with the remnants of a mild winter cold, a slight cough and runny nose — nothing I was concerned about. I...
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OP-ED: I’m a veteran expert in stopping epidemics. Here’s why Jewish institutions should cancel everything.

By DR. GARY SLUTKIN

CHICAGO (JTA) — I am an infectious disease epidemiologist who worked at the World Health Organization on epidemics in over 25 countries around the world. 

As a physician and member of the Jewish community, I prize the Jewish teaching that places the saving of a life above all...
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OP-ED: A year ago, I went public with my #MeToo moment. Purim reminds me of all we haven’t learned.

By SHEILA KATZ

WASHINGTON (JTA) — As we approach the Purim holiday, we also approach the one-year anniversary of my own going public about being sexually harassed by mega-philanthropist Michael Steinhardt. Over the past year, as the Jewish community has reckoned with the #MeToo movement, I’ve reflected on the people and...
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OP-ED: CCJN is not Facebook or Twitter to ‘like’

Sometime in the period after the release of the so-called “smartphone,” a curious thing occurred in America. With an immediate access to the Internet, everyday rank and file members of society had an unfiltered and unfettered ability to make their “likes” known and to inform other members of the public.

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