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  • 50 LA Rabbis Call to Congress: “A Responsibility to do Better”

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    2 days ago

    Fifty of the most prominent Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Independent rabbis in Los Angeles have signed this letter to congress and the senate. Please read their letter and share it with your friends. They are unified on this issue:  "we strongly support and heed the Jewish...

  • Right, Left and Center Condemn the Iran Deal

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    5 days ago

    With more and more voices from the right, left and center decrying the deal with Iran, it is not surprising that a majority of American's in recent CNN poll are against the deal. The more you read the agreement, and study the issues, the more you cannot help but realize that this...

  • Lead by Fear, Jewish Leadership Fails

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    1 week ago

    “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region,” said the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    We cannot dismiss these types of comments by senior leadership in Iran regarding Israel's destruction as merely rhetoric. Iran...

  • Liberals Need to Stop Feeling Shame When Supporting Israel

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    1 week ago

    All my life, I have been liberal and I have been Jewish.  These identities are badges I have worn proudly and which have long bolstered one another.  Except on one subject: Israel.  So for a long time, I just stayed away from the landmine that discussing Israel can be.  I wore...

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  • Should American Jews show solidarity with Israel?

    By David Suissa

    2 weeks ago

    For as long as I can remember, American Jews who have opposed Israeli policies have justified it by pointing to a vigorous opposition inside Israel. In many ways, this was one of their most powerful arguments: Look at all the Israelis who agree with us! 

    Now, suddenly, with the...

  • The Torn Iranian American Jew

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    My father served the ‪‎Iranian‬ government for over thirty years.

    With the majority of his friends and colleagues ‪Muslim‬, few ‪‎Persian‬ Jews know of him now.

    He pulled himself out of poverty, away from the misery of losing his own father at a young age. He reached one of the...

  • Rabbinical Council of America conversion panel issues recommendations

    July 6, 2015 | 9:55 am

    A committee established by the Rabbinical Council of America to review its conversion processes has submitted its report featuring recommendations in nine areas of the process.

    The review was put in place nine months ago after one of the RCA’s leading conversion rabbis, Barry...

  • 22 senators sign letter to Obama urging Israel support

    June 29, 2015 | 11:36 am

    Nearly one-quarter of the U.S. Senate signed on to a bipartisan letter urging President Barack Obama to support Israel around the world.

    Twenty-two senators signed the letter, which was written “in response to your welcomed recent remarks at Congregation Adas Israel” on May 22...

  • Making a Kosher Deal With Iran

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    June 25, 2015 | 3:04 am

    As the June 30th agreement deadline approaches, it has me wondering how the P5+1 will guarantee Iran doesn’t obtain nuclear weapons. While my work as a rabbi doesn’t include agreements and safeguards on nuclear nonproliferation — though I did study that in university back in the...

  • Confidence in Obama falls dramatically in Israel

    June 24, 2015 | 1:56 pm

    While President Barack Obama remains popular in most countries, the sharpest decline in his image occurred in Israel, according to a new survey.

    In Israel, confidence in Obama on world affairs fell from 71 percent to 49 percent in the last year, according to the 2015 Spring Pew...

  • Death in Charleston: Trapped by the tragic, unheeded lessons of the nation’s racial past

    June 19, 2015 | 11:27 am

    America's latest incident of racial violence, the massacre of nine people at historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., echoes some of the horrific scenes out of the civil-rights era. A young white shooter allegedly committed mass murder at a...

  • How to build an American shtetl — See: Bloomingburg, N.Y.

    May 22, 2015 | 8:40 am

    This is how you launch a Hasidic shtetl in 21st-century America.

    Step 1. Find a place within reasonable distance of Brooklyn where the land is cheap and underdeveloped.

    Step 2. Buy as much property as you can in your target area – if possible, without tipping off locals that...

  • Is Shavuot dead?

    By Rob Eshman

    May 20, 2015 | 10:40 am

    If you’re like most Jews, chances are you looked at the title of this piece and asked yourself one of two questions: either “Who cares?” or “Shavu-what?”

    Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that begins at sundown on May 23. Religiously speaking, it is one of the three major festival...

  • Should Jews feel safe in America?

    April 6, 2015 | 12:23 pm

    On March 30, the ADL released its annual report on anti-Semitic incidents in America, which announced a rise of 21 percent over the previous year — 912, up from 751. This follows quickly on the heels of several important pieces (by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic and David Brooks...

  • Islamophobia:  Discovering the Impact on More Than Just Muslims

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    April 1, 2015 | 4:01 pm

    “Before you dump your issues onto me, I am not a Muslim or Arabian.  I am a Sikh from India.”  This was the sign that greeted me when I recently popped into a convenient store on Sunset Boulevard. The man behind the counter, who displayed the sign, was wearing an orange turban, a...

  • God Bless America and my new green Green Card

    By Ilana Angel

    March 25, 2015 | 8:05 pm

    I came to the United States in 1991 on vacation and never left. I met my husband, got married in 1992, and was given a Green Card. I remember being disappointed when I got the card becasue it was actually pink. I had seen the movie Green Card the same year I moved here and was...

  • American Jews and the Israeli election

    By Rob Eshman

    March 18, 2015 | 6:31 pm

    If there is one lesson American Jews will learn from Israel’s election, it’s this:  they’re not us.

    Israel is not New York. Or LA. Or Chicago or Boston or Miami or Philadelphia. It is a Jewish “community” unlike any in America.

    Israelis went to the polls this Tuesday and...

  • How Jewish Students Abroad Can Face Rising Anti-Semitism: Coming Together

    By Alex Jakubowski

    February 20, 2015 | 10:44 am

    Despite rising anti-Semitism across the European continent, over the past few weeks nearly 10,000 American-Jewish students arrived in London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and other cities across the European Union to begin their study-abroad experience. For many students, their time abroad...

  • Cartoon: A shining city on a hill

    By Steve Greenberg

    February 12, 2015 | 1:20 pm

  • Three American contractors killed in ‘insider attack’ in Afghan capital

    January 29, 2015 | 10:39 am

    Three American contractors were killed and a fourth was wounded by an Afghan solider at the military airport in the capital Kabul, an Afghan air force official told Reuters on Thursday.

    "It is unclear yet why he shot these advisers and no one else was there to tell us the reason," the official said, asking not to be named because he was not authorised to give statements to the media. "An investigation has been opened."

    The international force in Afghanistan confirmed the shooting took place on Thursday evening.

  • Merry Christmas!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 24, 2014 | 7:45 am

    Not “happy holidays.”  It’s Christmas!  I don't like tofu wishes; I wish for flavor and truth.

    This is the holiest day of the Christian calendar.  I would not want someone wishing me “happy holidays” for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    As a child in Iran, I attended the French...

  • Why Chanukah matters

    By Jared Sichel

    December 12, 2014 | 2:21 pm

    There’s a certain narrative about Chanukah that has become near conventional wisdom among American Jews, and it goes like this:

    Chanukah is a fun holiday that is big in America, thanks to its proximity to Christmas. But really, it’s a “minor” holiday that is more impactful...

  • U.S. - Israel not in crisis, but…

    December 11, 2014 | 4:15 pm

    The strain in US-Israel ties is one of the key issues in the Israel election campaign – and rightfully so. But if you glance at US media during the last couple of months, you’d think the relations have never been worse. Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic, which announced a...

  • Who Are YOU?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    December 3, 2014 | 2:33 pm

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    “‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar...
    ‘I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present – at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’
    ‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar...

  • Welcoming the stranger

    November 25, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    On almost every emerging issue of public policy, our community asks the same question, either in audible or hushed voices: “Is it good for the Jews?” In the matter of President Barack Obama’s recent decision to defer and sideline prosecutions that might have resulted in the...

  • Ten Lessons Learned from a Rabbi’s Murder.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    November 19, 2014 | 9:00 am

    1- The world is random.  No amount of holiness or payer can save a pious man from random evil.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky was a teacher of American students in Israel. His grandfather, had ordained 2,000 rabbis. His father, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, was a prominent American-Jewish leader,...

  • The Case for Judaism for Jews Who Don’t Care About Being Jewish

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    November 12, 2014 | 2:20 pm

    I was in high holiday services this year next to the same friend I always go to high holiday services with. We were with our families back at the temple we had both gone to elementary school at, repeating the yearly tradition.  When we go back every year and see our old principal...

  • Contemplating hypocrisy and double standards

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 22, 2014 | 8:51 am

    Hypocrisy – the ability to do certain things and then criticize others for doing the exact same thing, is part of being a human being. We do it constantly, and in the age of social networks –we have no shame in sharing our hypocrite thoughts with the world. We try to hide it behind...

  • Young Americans and Israel

    By Rob Eshman

    September 3, 2014 | 6:15 pm

    The new concern in the American-Jewish community is the number 25. According to a Gallup poll conducted in the midst of the Gaza war, 42 percent of all Americans supported Israel’s action. Among people aged 18 to 29, that number was 25 percent.

    This set off all the usual alarm...

  • Hillary, Israel and the Jews

    August 29, 2014 | 2:08 pm

    Last month, I read an opinion piece in a Jewish publication wrongfully accusing Hillary Clinton of being anti-Israel and not fighting for the issues that matter most to Jewish Americans. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has fought for...

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