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  • The Jewish Foreign Policies exchange, part 1: ‘All political communities are worried about survival’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    4 days ago

    Michael Barnett is University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University. His research interests include the Middle East, humanitarian action, global governance, global ethics, and the United Nations. Among his many books are ...

  • Do you have to drink all four cups of wine for your Seder to be ‘traditional?’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    Almost all Jews celebrate the Seder night. Seven-in-ten Jews in America (70%) told the researchers of the Pew Research Center that they participated in a Passover meal (Seder) “in the past year.” In Israel, according to the recent Pew survey, the numbers are higher. More than...

  • Small groups contemplate big issues at Fields Institute

    By Susan Freudenheim

    1 week ago

    “Israel is about meaning in Jewish life. If we reduce it to politics, in many ways we undermine the long-range possibilities of commitment,” Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, director emeritus of Hillel at UCLA, told 13 people gathered in the Beverly Hills home of...

  • Israel emerges as campaign issue ahead of voting in three big Jewish states

    March 15, 2016 | 8:32 am

    Israel has prominently emerged as a presidential campaign issue ahead of critical primary contests in five states on Tuesday, three of which – Ohio, Illinois and Florida – have substantial Jewish communities.

    Israel was the subject of a heated exchange in the Republican debate...

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  • “A person’s a person: Supporting all, no matter how small.”

    March 8, 2016 | 3:08 pm

    The essay below was inspired by a discussion that occurred at a Haskalah Salon in a West Hollywood home.  Haskalah is an association of young professionals and alumni who support Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

    One state, two state(s), red state, blue state....

  • American Jews: Trump is yours

    By Shmuel Rosner

    March 2, 2016 | 2:38 am

    1.

    Next time an American friend – I have many – tells me that the Israeli political system is impossible to understand and detrimental to my country's future – and they often tell me that – I will respond by giving him the spreadsheet of the delegation count for Super Tuesday.

    ...

  • Israel education needs coaches instead of cheerleaders

    February 4, 2016 | 8:44 am

    Imagine you’re playing in the Super Bowl. Would you rather have the encouragement of an enthusiastic cheerleader or the guidance of a skilled coach? 

    The field of Israel education is crowded with cheerleaders. Believing that it is their responsibility to champion Israel, teachers...

  • The top 7 perks of being Jewish in December

    December 3, 2015 | 2:21 pm

    Growing up, ours was the only house on the block with a menorah glowing in the window. This should have put me on the fast track to Christmas envy, but it didn’t. I respected Christmas but was never jealous of those who celebrated. In fact, watching my neighbors actually gave me a...

  • Ron Wolfson: A precious gift from his Zayde and Bubbe

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    October 21, 2015 | 3:49 pm

    The Jewish community in Southern California is richly blessed with high-profile pulpit rabbis, and we tend to turn to these influential women and men when we want to know about Jewish identity and practice. But respect must be paid, too, to those whose teaching takes place outside...

  • Steve Gutow’s 10-year crusade for Jewish civility ending on bitter note

    October 13, 2015 | 12:06 pm

    For the past 10 years, Rabbi Steve Gutow has been trying to get American Jews to be more civil to each other, especially in debates about political issues.

    But a decade on, as he prepares to step down from the helm of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the community seems...

  • AJC shows U.S. Jews split on Iran deal, back Clinton more than other candidates

    September 11, 2015 | 10:21 am

    An American Jewish Committee poll found U.S. Jews virtually split on the Iran nuclear deal and showed Hillary Rodham Clinton well ahead of the pack among preferred presidential candidates.

    The annual AJC poll published Friday showed 50.6 percent of respondents approved of the...

  • Does Iran deal rift mean Jews will go GOP in 2016?

    September 11, 2015 | 10:07 am

    One conspiracy theory making the rounds is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s various Iran-related confrontations with President Barack Obama are part of a Sheldon Adelson-plot to turn American Jews into Republican Party voters in 2016.

    Even if one rejects this theory out...

  • Why we lost the debate to kill the Iran deal, and how we could ultimately win

    September 8, 2015 | 11:27 am

    Early on in February of this year, as the President and his Secretary of State were starting to leak information on the  negotiations around the proposed deal with Iran, the world looked on and assumed like so many attempts before it, the prospects of success where slim - they...

  • Palestinian who rescued American yeshiva boys: I’m no hero

    September 4, 2015 | 9:50 am

    A Palestinian man who sheltered five American Jews from fire bomb attacks in Hebron said he only did “what needed to be done.”

    Faiz Abu Hamdiah, who on Thursday took the five yeshiva students into his home to prevent their lynching, recalled the incident Friday in an interview ...

  • Author, psychologist delves inside ‘The Israeli Mind’

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    September 2, 2015 | 11:36 am

    Alon Gratch practices psychology in New York but was born and raised in Jerusalem, which puts him in a unique position to tell us how Israelis see the world. Indeed, as he writes in “The Israeli Mind: How the Israeli National Character Shapes Our World” (St. Martin’s Press), “I...

  • Letters to the editor: Prager v. progressives; Kishkas vs. Sechel; Bernie and Noam

    September 2, 2015 | 9:59 am

    In Conversation: Prager and a Progressive

    I have to start by saying I am a secular, progressive, left-wing Jew and, for the most part, disagree with the views expressed in Dennis Prager’s column (“Why Many American Jews Support the Iran Deal,” Aug. 28). 

    I also support the Iran...

  • More than 900 rabbis sign letter opposing Iran nuclear deal

    By Aron Chilewich

    August 27, 2015 | 10:08 am

    Over the past three weeks, more than 900 rabbis across every major denomination have signed an open letter calling upon the United States Congress to reject the proposed Iran nuclear deal. The letter was written by two Los Angeles rabbis, Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob Congregation and...

  • Why many American Jews support the Iran deal

    By Dennis Prager

    August 26, 2015 | 2:14 pm

    The more one knows about the Iran nuclear deal, the more obvious it becomes that it is a deception that portrays itself as a deal. Virtually every claim made for it is either not true or is insignificant. The deal vastly strengthens Iran and its regime’s grip on power.

    • There...

  • The who-represents-American-Jews-on-Iran fallacy

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 17, 2015 | 4:05 am

    It has been a constant feature of American-Jewish life in recent years: complaints from certain quarters — in most cases, the same quarters — about the way Jews are represented, or misrepresented, by organizations pretending to represent American Jewry. The argument is simple:...

  • Black like me

    By Danielle Berrin

    August 12, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    When Toni Morrison says, “This is required reading,” I listen. 

    So, when I saw that imperative calling out from the cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ memoir-cum-treatise on race, “Between the World and Me,” I obeyed. 

    But I was not entirely prepared for the demands this book placed on...

  • Black like me

    By Danielle Berrin

    August 12, 2015 | 2:39 pm

    When Toni Morrison says, “This is required reading,” I listen. 

    So, when I saw that imperative calling out from the cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ memoir-cum-treatise on race, “Between the World and Me,” I obeyed. 

    But I was not entirely prepared for the demands this book placed on...

  • Iran, Israel & American Jews

    August 5, 2015 | 1:55 pm

    The struggle over the Iran Agreement reminds me of the seventeen years I spent as editor of Present Tense, a liberal Jewish-oriented magazine, published by the American Jewish Committee.

    In 1990, we featured a detailed investigative piece, “Speaking for the Jews.” Our cover...

  • American Jews must speak out for Haitians in Dominican Republic

    July 28, 2015 | 2:09 pm

    Fewer than 800 miles from our shores, a deeply disturbing crisis is unfolding as tens of thousands of citizens of the Dominican Republic face deportation from their country simply because of their heritage.

    Tragically, people of Haitian descent who were born in the Dominican...

  • Iran Deal: A few comments on leadership and historical comparisons

    July 28, 2015 | 12:16 pm

    Michael Berenbaum’s July 22, 2015 “Geneva is Not Munich, and President Obama is not Neville Chamberlain,” is written with characteristic knowledge and insight.  His concerns about polarization in the Jewish community are worth heeding, as is his reminder that we have to work...

  • When American Jews do not believe that Israel ‘sincerely’ wants peace

    By Shmuel Rosner

    July 27, 2015 | 3:53 am

    Here is a short yet important story in one graph:

    Two years ago, the Pew Research Center asked the Jews of America a question: Do you think the current Israeli government is making a sincere effort to bring about a peace settlement with the Palestinians? The Jews had an...

  • Liberals Need to Stop Feeling Shame When Supporting Israel

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    July 24, 2015 | 12:33 pm

    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...

  • Wrapped up in Rainbows, but consumed by hate.

    By Diana Emuna

    July 9, 2015 | 8:09 am

    When I started writing this blog, I gave the relationship with my relative.  It was too hard. It was suggested I make it more generic and I have done that.  I also apologize for the length of this blog, but I felt the details were important.

    Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court...

  • Using early Zionists’ script, Jewish volunteers aim to empower West Bank Palestinians

    June 16, 2015 | 2:56 pm

    They dig their fingers into the dirt, their knees bearing into the ground as they embed sprigs of thyme in identical rows. The sun beats down on the small plot, and the work can be tedious, but these volunteers — most of them American, most of them Jewish — plant with a purpose.

    ...
  • What will the ADL lose when Foxman leaves?

    June 16, 2015 | 11:32 am

    If there’s one thing that can be said of longtime Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman, who is stepping down this month after nearly 30 years at the helm, it’s that he never holds back from speaking his mind.

    In an age of canned, anodyne statements from public figures...

  • Obama’s latest wooing of Jews not working

    June 12, 2015 | 1:25 pm

    It’s early days for the White House’s latest charm offensive among American Jews, but a new poll suggests that the wooing effort is having little effect.

    The poll, published Wednesday by J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that generally backs President Barack Obama’s Middle...

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