The departure of Rav Uri and the future of Beth Israel

The announcement of Rabbi Uri Topolosky’s resignation as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel sent shock waves across his own congregation that have reverberated into the whole Jewish community of Greater New Orleans. “Rav Uri,” as many have called him, is unlike any other rabbi who has manned the helm...
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OP-ED: The intersection of gun violence, mental illness must be addressed


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Twenty-six lives were lost in Newtown in a sliver of time, and another community was shattered by violence. These lives of beautiful potential lie like shards of glass on the floor of our national conscience.

While we grieve as a nation, it is imperative...
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OP-ED: Israel elections as seen from America


Washington – There’s an old Israeli song by Matti Caspi, sung memorably by Yehudit Ravitz, that sums up exactly my view of the upcoming Israeli election: “You took my hand in your hand and said to me, ‘Let’s go down to the garden.’ You took my hand...
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OP-ED: How to choose when giving to charity


AVENTURA, Fla. (JTA) — Anyone committed to financial support of Jewish causes likely has grappled with the questions of where to give, what to give, how to give and, of course, why to give. As the end of the year approaches and organizations seek those last of our...
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There’s no face like chesed for the holidays

Now that the Chanukah holiday has ended and the Jewish community finds itself in a torrent of advertising adorned with red and green ribbons for the Christmas holiday, there are the usual questions about what we as Jews should do.

Ignoring the celebration is akin to not acknowledging the elephant...
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OP-ED: Passage of German law won’t stifle debate on ritual circumcision


BERLIN (JTA) — German parliament passage of legislation to protect male circumcision for religious purposes occurred, coincidentally, during Chanukah. The holiday celebrates the Jewish uprising against the Syrian Greeks more than two millennia ago. It was a revolt triggered by religious persecution, including punishment by death for...
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OP-ED: On Israel, Obama brings Moynihan to mind


JERUSALEM (JTA)  — Those who view American-Israel relations through a dualistic “are you pro-Israel or anti-Israel” lens must be confused. In one week, the United States stands virtually alone with Israel against the Palestinians’ upgrade of their status at the United Nations, then immediately condemns Israel’s settlement...
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OP-ED: Chanukah, Soviet Jewry and the unceasing battle for freedom


CHICAGO (JTA) — During the past month, Israelis found themselves yet again on the front lines of a struggle they did not seek but which history delivered to their doors courtesy of radical Islam.

Again, terrorist rockets forced them into bomb shelters. Again, the Israel Defense...
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OP-ED: Take that Henry Ford! New Ford COO is Jewish


WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI (JTA) — It’s no secret that Henry Ford was a notorious anti-Semite, and his company’s dealings with the Nazi Party during the Holocaust are well documented. But the company’s story has changed drastically in recent years. The Ford family’s donation of a rare 500-year-old...
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OP-ED: Where have all the student activists gone?


NEW YORK (JTA) — Twenty-five years ago, I joined hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans — Jews and others — on the National Mall to draw attention to the plight of Soviet Jews. We were united by a simple belief that the Soviet Union, by denying...
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