Saturday, October 31st 2020   |


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 in your hand and said to me, ‘Things that you see from there -
you can’t see from here’.”

Of course,...

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 2012 tax-deductible dollars, the questions are even more urgent.

Why grappled? Because there are so many worthy causes, and the...

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 at the rear of the room. There are suggestions from some quarters that we should put aside any religious differences...

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 performing circumcisions.

By contrast, at no time in the 1,700-year history of Jews in Germany has the practice been forbidden...

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 expansion. Similarly, despite Republican warnings that a reelected Barack Obama would “throw Israel under a bus,” the president backed Israel...

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 Forces rose to defend the right of Jews to live proudly, freely and independently. Again, our federation system proved its...

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 Torah scroll to a suburban Detroit synagogue and the appointment of a Jewish chief operating officer demonstrate a marked shift...

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 its Jewish citizens both the right to religious freedom and the right to move to Israel, in effect was imprisoning...

OP-ED: Jewish groups have made great strides in gay inclusion – but must do more

BOSTON (JTA) — At the 2009 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington, 50 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews and their allies gathered in a small room on the ninth floor of the conference hotel. The event was not part of the official GA program, and the room was in the hinterlands of the hotel, hidden from the public eye. It reminded me of photos...

OP-ED: Back Egypt’s democratic forces with fervor


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The outrage and political ferment that arose in Egypt after President Morsi’s recent decision to centralize power in his own hands is, in fact, the true beginning of the Arab Spring that erupted in Tunisia and Egypt two years ago.  A newly empowered Egyptian people is not just fighting for freedom; they are using the tools of democracy in an ideological battle for the...