OP-ED: We need a rabbinic resistance to the religious right

A Torah reading at the Central Conference of American Rabbis' annual convention. (CCAR)

IRVINE, Calif. (JTA) — When most people think about the intersection of faith and political activism, the religious right comes to mind. And there’s no doubt that the current leaders of our government are closely aligned with the agenda of religious conservatives, even if they often don’t live up… Read more »

OP-ED: ‘Nobody is talking about anti-Semitism.’ You’re kidding, right?

White supremacists sparring with counterprotesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Slate podcaster Mike Pesca has a theory that whenever President Donald Trump says “everybody” it means “almost nobody,” and when he says “nobody” or “anybody” it means “almost everybody.” Try it: When Trump said, “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated” — well, nearly everybody disagreed. And when he says,… Read more »

OP-ED: Stephen Hawking was admired by Israeli physicists for his insights and his humanity

Stephen Hawking meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, Dec. 10, 2006. (Moshe Milner/GPO via Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Dr. Stephen Hawking was a rare and inspirational man whose deep insights into the mysteries of the physical universe were matched only by his courage in the face of a cruel, debilitating illness, which he met with good spirit and a unique sense of humor. In the wake… Read more »

OP-ED: Why I led my Orthodox Jewish classmates on the national gun control walkout

Students at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Skokie, Ill., holding a sign at their walkout to protest gun violence, March 14, 2018. (Ida Crown Jewish Academy)

CHICAGO (JTA) — I’m a sophomore at Ida Crown Jewish Academy, the largest Modern Orthodox high school in the Chicagoland area. When I heard about the #ENOUGH national school walkout, I immediately wondered how my school could participate. Our school motto is “Inspiring Bnei and Bnot Torah to thrive… Read more »

OP-ED: Poland was a world leader in the cause of Holocaust remembrance. It can be again.

A view of the barracks from Auschwitz-Birkenau in the U.S. Holocaust Museum's permanent exhibition. (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Recent alarming events in Poland, most notably a law “protecting the reputation of the Polish nation” by criminalizing certain speech regarding the Holocaust, have led me to reflect on my own relationship with that country. It’s a relationship that spans three decades, dozens of visits, various… Read more »

CCAR reverses suspension, reinstates local rabbi

On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 the Board of Appeals of the Central Conference of American Rabbis issued its final opinion in which it voted unanimously “in the interest of substantial fairness” to reverse my suspension (reported here in the Arizona Jewish Post in September) and reinstate me immediately.  I… Read more »

OP-ED Post-Parkland activism shows teens don’t need our praise. They need a place at the table.

Marjory Stoneman High School student Cameron Kasky addresses area students as they rally at his school after participating in a countywide school walkout in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 21, 2018. (Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In the aftermath of the fatal mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Jewish community should take note: Teenagers are not just the future of the Jewish people; they are the dynamic force driving social change today. Today we are witnessing history unfold as the American teenage populace… Read more »

OP-ED: Why Wayne LaPierre’s CPAC speech freaked out Jews and heartened anti-Semites

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., Feb. 22, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(JTA) — I don’t know if Wayne LaPierre is anti-Semitic. In many ways, I don’t care if Wayne LaPierre is anti-Semitic. But the executive vice president of the NRA gave a speech this week that was heard as anti-Semitic by two kinds of people: left-leaning Jews and hard-right anti-Semites.… Read more »

OP-ED: Here’s why we report on the Jewish victims of general tragedies

A makeshift memorial erected in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., days after the shooting that left 17 students and teachers dead, Feb. 18, 2018. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In the many years between my first job at JTA and returning as its editor in 2016, I would joke about a headline it published in 1999: “Two Turkish Jews killed in quake.” Perhaps you’ll remember that 17,000 people died in the Turkish earthquake that year. That headline seemed… Read more »

OP-ED Israel needs Trump to contain Iran. He’s off to a good start.

President Donald Trump in the White House, Feb. 9, 2018. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — The latest episode of Iran flexing its regional hegemonic muscles in the Middle East came with a direct and unprecedented military challenge to Israel. Last week, Iran used a technologically advanced drone – reverse-engineered from a U.S. drone captured in 2011 – to penetrate Israel’s… Read more »

We should nurture refugees, not ban them

One year ago, the Trump administration announced a highly controversial ban against refugee resettlement in the U.S. For seven months the White House declared that the most vulnerable people on our planet (refugees) – 75 percent of whom are women and children – would not find safe harbor on… Read more »

My Kids Live In Israel. Should I Follow Them?

(Kveller via JTA) — I have three children. Three healthy, wonderful, grown-up children. I have a wonderful husband. And I have a father, a brother and sister-in-law, and other friends and relatives whom I love. Sounds good, no? It is good. It’s very good. Yet I often say that… Read more »

OP-ED Jewish men need to talk about #MeToo

(Tabitha Kaylee Hawk/Flickr Commons)

(JTA) — Like a lot of other Jewish men, I have been quietly keeping a scorecard of the number of Jewish men in the #MeToo headlines. Harvey Weinstein, Dustin Hoffman, Jeffrey Tambor, Mark Halperin, Leon Wieseltier, James Toback, Israel Horowitz, Al Franken, James Levine, Jeremy Priven, Woody Allen, Brett Ratner, Michael Oreskes, Bruce Weber — all have been accused in… Read more »

OP-ED The two-state delusion is the greatest obstacle to peace

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Arab-Israeli conflict is entering a phase more likely to lead to resolution than any that preceded it. The mindless mantra “there is no alternative to the two-state solution” is giving way to reality. The Palestinian Authority has never been a partner for peace. A 23rd… Read more »

OP-ED: 6 ways to address sexual harassment in the Jewish community

Lisa Eisen (Courtesy of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation)

(JTA) — #MeToo. #GamAni. The stories are numerous and painful. They span decades and reach every corner of the Jewish community. Enough is enough. The time is now for us to finally and fully address sexual harassment in Jewish institutional life. When it comes to sexual harassment, Jewish teachings are… Read more »

Don’t destroy the two-state solution

(L-R): Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for their roles in the Oslo Accords. in the year 2525 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Several recent political measures in Israel — including announcements by Israel’s parliament, attorney general and ruling party — have significantly begun to undermine the possibility of achieving a two-state solution. Let me be clear: When discussing why the peace process has been stalled for so many years, one has… Read more »

What Martin Luther King Jr. learned on his only visit to Jerusalem

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preaches in 1960 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

On Easter Sunday in 1959, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. rose in the pulpit of his Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, to deliver a sermon that focused on his just-completed visit, with his wife, Coretta, to Jerusalem and its holy sites. King’s trip that month to… Read more »