Recognizing and reporting abusers

The conviction of Nechemya Weberman to 103 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a minor on Tuesday may have been the tipping point for a problem that has long gone unrecognized or underreported in the Jewish community.

Weberman, an unlicensed therapist  and counselor and member of the Satmar...
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OP-ED: Israel’s political cycle not stuck on the right


WASHINGTON (JTA) — With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poised to win re-election later today, some critics of Israel’s peace and security policies worry out loud that Israel’s political cycle — its pattern of cycling alternately between the political left and right — is stuck on the right.

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Remember King for battling hate against all groups


NEW YORK (JTA) — For those of us who closely follow the progress in America in the battles against racism and anti-Semitism, the observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this year has particular relevance.

First, the King holiday, which this year is observed on...
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What Monty Python can teach us about the Hagel nomination


The furor that has surrounded the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be President Obama’s Secretary of Defense has shed a searing light on the way some political lobbies operate these days in Washington. Some seem to take their cue from a classic Monty Python sketch,“Nobody...
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Hagel would not have been our choice, but he’s not as bad as some fear


It is looking more and more certain that former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is going to be the next American Secretary of Defense. President Obama has officially announced his intention to nominate Mr. Hagel. Considering precedent, whereby very few nominated cabinet members who were formerly members...
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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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