Saturday, June 15th 2024   |


OP-ED: Judaism must embrace its doubters


NEW YORK (JTA) — As of 2012, one in 20 Americans is identifying themselves as an atheist, agnostic or unbeliever. According to the research done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released last year, nearly 33 million Americans list themselves with no religious affiliation. While it’s not specified in the Pew study how many Jews are among the ranks of the nonbelievers, doubtless...

OP-ED: Begin was right to fire Sharon over ’83 massacre


(JTA) — Israel’s State Archives last week released the previously classified minutes of a 1983 Cabinet meeting during which the government debated the Kahan Commission’s recommendation to fire Defense Minister Ariel Sharon on account of the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

The killings had taken place some months before, on Sept. 16, 1982, when 150 fighters of the Lebanese Christian Phalanges entered two Palestinian refugee camps and massacred 700...

OP-ED: Engage Russian Jews on their own terms


NEW YORK (JTA) — In 1993, one of the great scholars of Russian Jewry, Zvi Gitelman, noted that “since the 1880s, no group of Jews has migrated as often, in as great numbers, and with such important consequences as the Jews of Russia and the FSU. The mass immigration of Russian/Soviet Jews played a great role in shaping the character of the two largest Jewish communities in...

OP-EDS: Seth McFarlane Insensitive boob? Harmless joker?

(Editor’s Note:  Following the Academy Awards ceremony last Sunday, the pundits came out of the woods to rap or defend host Seth McFarlane as either anti-Semetic or misunderstood. Here are two authors – author Peter Drier and Rob Eshman, editor of the Jewish Journal – on both sides of the controversy. We invite your replies as letters to the editor.)            



OP-ED: Catching the wave at Tulane Hillel


NEW ORLEANS (JTA) — “Hillel’s not really my thing. That’s not me.” This is not what you want to hear as a first-year Hillel director acclimating to a new campus. Yet when I arrived at Tulane University four years ago, that’s the refrain I heard as I tried to figure out how a Jewish student population that comprised more than 30 percent of the school’s student body...

OP-ED: Lessons today from Sophie Scholl’s anti-Nazi resistance


NEW YORK (JTA) — Though Sophie Scholl and the students of the White Rose resistance were executed by the Nazis 70 years ago this month, the example they set of courage in the face of authoritarian repression is as relevant today as it was seven decades ago.

Their crime: Daring to rouse the consciousness of their countrymen in the face of Nazi Germany’s destruction of all civil...

What would you give?


10,000 Hours

Legend has it that famed violinist Isaac Stern (1920-2001) was once confronted after a concert by an admirer who said the following to him: “O, Mr. Stern, I would give anything to be able to play the violin as magnificently as you do.” Stern’s answer: “Would you give 12 hours a day?” He probably wasn’t exaggerating.

Stern was born in Poland but moved...

OP-ED: The State of the Union and the Middle East – What the Record Shows


Israel may be one of the United States’ closest allies but a review of State of the Union speeches for the past 20 years finds that more often than not the issue of Middle East peace and/or Israel have not been mentioned at all.

What stands out from this record is a lack of consistent and continuous effort. We know only a sustained U.S. effort can bring...

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...