Jewish Journal

Tag: Op-ed

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  • Why the Western Wall deal is a victory for now, but not forever

    10 hours ago

    On the morning of Dec. 1, 1988, a group of about 70 Jewish women entered the sacred space of the Western Wall. The women represented all the major streams of Judaism. Some wore prayer shawls or kippahs. Some did not. One woman cradled a Torah in her arms.

    Together, their voices...

  • Separate but equal? Egalitarian prayer space at Western Wall makes Israel similar to Iran

    4 days ago

    A plan to create a special prayer space in the southern expanse of the Western Wall where the Conservative and Reform movements can hold gender-mixed services was approved by the Israeli government on Sunday, January 31, 2016.

    While being hailed as a historic landmark for Jewish...

  • Israel education needs coaches instead of cheerleaders

    5 days ago

    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 norm, not the exception

    5 days ago

    Last month, I was honored to be included on the Jewish Journal’s mensch list, and what’s more, I was featured on the cover. The headline read “Not a Typical Persian Girl,” a title I’ve been introduced with just as many times as “executive director.” As you read the artfully written...

  • Kotel compromise shows Israelis know they need American Jews

    6 days ago

    The relationship between Israel and American Jews is a complicated mix of good news and bad news, and this week’s government compromise on the Western Wall, or Kotel, is a case in point: It’s a step forward in providing access for non-Orthodox Jews, but may also reinforce the...

  • Why this Rabbi likes The Boss

    1 week ago

    A rabbi friend in the States knows a priest in Philly who says that Bruce Springsteen is the most important Catholic theologian today. I wouldn't know, but as a rabbi I do know something about theology and religion, and I've little doubt about the Boss's power as a galvanizing...

  • Incitement and hate – The loss of civil public discourse

    1 week ago

    Recently, Israelis have witnessed the exchange of ever more serious accusations between left wing and right wing NGOs (non-governmental organizations). This mutual name-calling has poisoned public discourse in Israel by diverting public discussion away from reasoned analysis of key...

  • False equivalence in Israel

    1 week ago

    Americans are familiar with a particular form of mudslinging employed by the right. It starts when conservatives create a political spectacle with an attack campaign. Then, when progressives respond, the public looks at the standoff and says “a plague on both your houses.” The real...

  • Crossing the line: When criticism of Israel becomes anti-Semitic

    2 weeks ago

    In the wake of a protest against a reception featuring an Israeli community group at a recent LGBTQ conference, there has been widespread controversy. We have read blog posts and articles, watched videos of the protest, and heard from friends and allies who were present at the...

  • What Donald Trump and football can teach us about ‘chained’ women

    2 weeks ago

    Following eight years of struggle, an Israeli mother named Adina Porat finally received a Jewish writ of divorce, or get, earlier this month, bringing back into the headlines the plight of “agunot” — so-called chained women trapped in marriages and unable to move on because their...

  • UN remembers 6 million dead Jews as Ban Ki Moon’s words endanger 6 million live Jews

    2 weeks ago

    Then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan once acknowledged that the United Nations “rose from the ashes of the Holocaust” to save the remnants of European Jewry and provide the Jewish people with an opportunity to fulfill their age-old aspirations through the new nation state of...

  • On Trump and New York values

    2 weeks ago

    Having been born and bred in Brooklyn, I found Senator Ted Cruz’s categorization of The Donald’s values as “New York Values” interesting.  From birth until age 25 I lived in the city.  New York was all I knew and, it seemed, was all there was to know.

    Ironically, during those 25...

  • Gay community must build a tent large enough to include pro-Israel voices

    2 weeks ago

    The central prayer of our people, the Shema, is often interpreted as a message of unity and the interconnectedness of all things. This can be a powerful force for bringing people together, for helping us to see the common humanity and the spark of the divine that unites us,...

  • Ben Yehuda’s nightmare

    2 weeks ago

    In Israel, every crappy situation can be turned into an opportunity.  A gunman on the loose in central Tel Aviv allows me to spend several extra hours at home with my three kids, only one of whom demands to return immediately to the U.S., where the shootings in our neighborhood are...

  • The idiocy of the Iowa caucuses

    By Marty Kaplan

    2 weeks ago

    What were we thinking? 

    If we’re lucky, the day will come when we look back at the Iowa caucuses and the quadrennial carnival they inaugurate with the same embarrassed horror we now feel for duck-and-cover as a safety drill for nuclear war. 

    What a dangerous distraction the...

  • A renewed commitment to preserving our planet

    3 weeks ago

    This year as we celebrate Tu BiSh’vat, we are not just celebrating a new year for the trees, but the start of a new era for our planet. The international climate agreement that was finalized at the end of 2015 has provided a new sense of hope for protecting our earth and all of its...

  • Cold shoulders won’t improve education

    3 weeks ago

    Despite the significant growth in size and stature of Israeli universities, and their strong commitment to social justice and the betterment of humankind, some voices in academia persist in trying to isolate Israel’s educational and research institutions through an aggressive...

  • How to save the Conservative movement

    3 weeks ago

    In recent months, there have been several op-eds in Jewish newspapers nationwide about what should be done to reverse the decline of the Conservative movement.

    Before relaying my contribution to the discussion, here are some of the statistics that have insiders panicking.  Since...

  • Are we ready to learn the hard lessons from Cologne?

    3 weeks ago

    Last October, Henriette Reker was elected Cologne’s mayor the day after being knifed and seriously wounded by a German national, who reportedly was angry over the government’s open-door policy that could bring to Germany more than 1 million Muslim refugees/migrants.

  • Cruz control

    By Rob Eshman

    3 weeks ago

    We know Ted Cruz is a hypocrite. The urgent question before us is whether he is an anti-Semitic hypocrite.

    By now, everyone has heard and regurgitated the Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate’s assertion that Donald Trump “comes from New York and he embodies New...

  • California rejects taxpayer-funded discrimination

    3 weeks ago

    Last year, activists forced a music festival in Spain to cancel a performance by Matisyahu. Part of a global movement to demonize and isolate Israel, the activists issued an ultimatum demanding that the reggae star denounce the Jewish State before he could perform. Of all the...

  • On Roe v. Wade anniversary, fresh threats to abortion access demand action

    3 weeks ago

    Forty-three years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade protecting a woman’s right to abortion. Since the 2010 elections, a wave of state laws has aimed at restricting that right, closing clinics and harassing medical providers.

    No less...

  • When Palestinians kill

    3 weeks ago

    My current foray into Israeli-Palestinian coexistence efforts began a year and a half ago, in the summer of 2014, when a group of Israelis and Palestinians in Gush Etzion marked a joint day of fasting on the 17th of Tammuz, which fell that year during Ramadan. At the height of...

  • Jew in Progress

    January 13, 2016 | 3:20 pm

    The left, the right and Roger Waters.

    Most of us know Roger Waters, the brilliant musician behind some of Pink Floyd’s greatest music. He is also one of the most ardent supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a group hostile toward the State of Israel....

  • Cartoon: Stereo headphones

    By Steve Greenberg

    January 13, 2016 | 3:08 pm

  • Channeling the spirit of Heschel to combat homelessness

    By Rob Eshman

    January 13, 2016 | 1:45 pm

    If you go to synagogue around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you will hear about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

    It was Heschel who walked with King across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., to demonstrate his solidarity with the civil rights movement. It was Heschel who said,...

  • Chris Hughes broke The New Republic — and my heart

    January 12, 2016 | 2:58 pm

    I picked up my first copy of The New Republic as a teenager in 1993. The cover featured a caricature of Ross Perot as a salivating bug with the teaser “Pox Populi.” The magazine was smart, cheeky, disputatious and highbrow. It was also very Jewish.

    It was love...

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