Saturday, October 31st 2020   |


OP-ED: Play the money card to push for rights for disabled


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish identity and connection are the birthright of every Jew. So why do so many Jewish institutions discriminate against Jews with disabilities?

It keeps happening because we let it happen. We make excuses by saying there isn’t enough support or enough dollars, or because we value children going to Harvard over those who won’t.

With February being Jewish Disability Awareness Month, it’s time...

OP-ED: FSU governments must act against rising ultranationalism


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Friends of Russia and Ukraine are worried. The Russian government’s recurring rhetoric about foreign meddling and fundamental differences between Russian and Western values is spurring nationalism. With Ukraine divided along linguistic and religious lines, many Ukrainians disillusioned by pervasive corruption and government ineptness are turning to nationalist ideology.

The Ukrainian right-wing Svoboda party has found fertile ground campaigning on a platform...

OP-ED: Passivity against racism leads to disaster

GENEVA, Switzerland (JTA) — One of the seminal slogans of the 20th century was the historic refrain “Never again!” This cry that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust was meant to ensure that there would be no repeat of the greatest tragedy in modern European history.

The refrain remains hollow if it remains a theoretical verbiage utilized during speeches and ceremonies but lacking any real intent and action.


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 Chasidic community, was found guilty of 59 counts of sexual abuse with a female that occurred over a three-year period,...

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.

“This is the Israeli reality of 2013, enabled in part by American politicians and staunch supporters in this country …...

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 Jan. 21, reminds us of two significant anniversaries surrounding the civil rights leader. It is the 50th anniversary of his...

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 Expects the Spanish Inquisition!” In that immortal skit, a cardinal lists his main weapons in exposing heretics as “fear, surprise and ruthless...

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 of the Senate had been rejected by that body, there is little reason to believe that the Hagel nomination will...

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 of the Beth Israel pulpit.

He has proven to be able to move with alacrity and inpunity throughout all the...

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 that we engage in a national discourse about gun control and the need for improved access to mental health services.