Friday, October 30th 2020   |


OP-ED: On Labor Day and Jewish values


NEW YORK (JTA) — When Congress declared Labor Day a public holiday in 1894, workers had more to lament than to celebrate: an economic depression, a growing concentration of corporate wealth and power, and the brutal suppression of their unions. A momentous national railroad strike to protest deep wage cuts and the summary firing of workers who dared to voice their grievances was ruthlessly broken with the...

Bracing for Hurricane Issac

We’ve been here before. We know what to expect. In just a few hours the skies will darken further and the howl of the winds will echo in our ears, rattling our windows and doors. The rain will begin its terrible onslaught on our city and the sidewalks and streets will fill up with water.

When one lives in New Orleans, one learns to cope with tropical storms and hurricanes,...

OP-ED: For New Year renew the commitment to end global hunger


NEW YORK (JTA) — Last month I traveled to Ghana with 17 American rabbis. We spent 12 days constructing the walls of a school compound in partnership with a local Ghanian community ravaged by hunger, poverty and labor exploitation.

More important than our efforts to mix cement and schlep bricks, we built powerful relationships with Ghanaian human rights activists. We also engaged in rich discussions about what...

OP-ED: How the contemporary left can reclaim its moral authority


JERUSALEM (JTA) — After the 1967 Six-Day War, much of the radical left in the West predicated its militant anti-Zionism on the illusory notion that the Palestinians represented a revolutionary and “progressive” vanguard that could one day mobilize the Arab masses in the cause of social revolution.

But in 2011, when revolution really spread to the Middle East, Palestine was scarcely on the agenda. Not only that,...

OP-ED: Leadership means taking the reins – and sharing

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Philanthropist Charles Bronfman once told me, “Leaders lead. That’s what they do.” Years later I was sitting with his professional partner for philanthropic impact, Jeffrey Solomon. “Leaders lead,” Solomon said. “That’s what they do.”

Like an old married couple who finish each other’s sentences, these two are so intertwined in their thinking and doing that at times it’s as if their minds are locked together, even when...

OP-ED: Jews should vote with religion in mind


NEW YORK (JTA) — Most people dislike politics. “Voter apathy” has become part of our vernacular, and far too many people fail to exercise one of the most extraordinary privileges afforded to us by the Constitution — the right to vote. As Americans, voting is a privilege we should cherish. However, as Jewish Americans, we have an even greater obligation to ensure that we do not...

OP-ED: BDS campaign remains dangerous, despite failures


NEW YORK (JTA) — For more than a decade, anti-Israel activists have sought to shoehorn Israel into the nomenclature of apartheid-era South Africa through the use of a tactic named BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions). Apartheid was a universally decried racist system. BDS activists argue that Israel is the second coming of apartheid South Africa and must be treated the same. BDS activists may claim success, but they...

OP-ED: Stop hateful white power music


NEW YORK  (JTA) — Much has been written and said of late about the underground white supremacist subculture in which Wisconsin shooter Wade Page immersed himself, and his own involvement with white power music. But one aspect of that subculture has not been given the attention it deserves. In that subculture, there also is a powerful undercurrent of anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitism is unmistakable in band names such...

The benefits of the Maccabi Games

Congratulations once again to the New Orleans Jewish Community Center and its decision to support the 30th anniversary Maccabi Games in Memphis. While it might have been easier and cheaper to have sent the Jewish athletes to Houston again, the decision to send them instead to Memphis might have been nothing short of inspirational. The reason was that the Maccabi Games began three decades ago in Memphis, so to expose...

OP-ED: Educate Israeli leaders on the nuances of Diaspora life


JERUSALEM (JTA) — As an immigrant to Israel, a woman and a member of the Knesset, I must juggle many sensitivities and responsibilities. I do this with great honor and try to be responsive to competing demands and ideals. Sometimes this means that I have to examine fundamental beliefs.

When I made aliyah in 1973 from the former Soviet Union, I was of the firm opinion that...