Opinion

Daughter’s aliyah plans fill family with pride, hope

My wife, Sue, and I are new to Arizona, having moved here from West Chester, Pa., in August 2016. However, we are not new to Judaism or a love of Israel and Jewish culture. But this is not about us, it’s about our daughter, Alexandra Simone Penfil. When Alli… Read more »

From disabilities awareness month, a way to think about bomb threats

Julie Zorn

Last month was Jewish Disabilities Awareness month, and as I found myself in a situation where I was suddenly asked to be a substitute teacher for sixth and seventh grade students at the local reform Jewish synagogue, I really felt that this was a good topic to discuss with… Read more »

OP-ED The surge in anti-Semitism? Here’s how to stop it

People demonstrate at a Stand Against Hate rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, March 2, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Almost daily accounts of vandalized cemeteries, spray-painted swastikas and bomb threats to JCCs and other Jewish agencies have naturally evoked considerable alarm. Clearly, we must never reconcile ourselves to an America where this is considered normal. Yet we must not succumb to the opposite tendency to see… Read more »

Analysis: JCC bomb threats are weapons of fear

Police block off a parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, Feb. 27, 2017.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — The “fear itself” thing? FDR was on to something. The rash of JCC bomb threats and cemetery desecrations, combined with a general sense that the country is becoming more intolerant, has Jews on edge in ways they haven’t been in years. The head of a major… Read more »

Ray of hope amid gloom of vandalization, bomb threats

I was immensely saddened to learn of recent bomb threats to JCCs in the United States and Canada and of the malicious destruction of headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in my hometown of University City, Mo.  I hope our country will soon know who committed these heinous… Read more »

Complaint about two-state letter missed the point

I’d like to thank David Kohn for his detailed and illuminating response (“Letter on two-state solution got the facts all wrong,” AJP 2/3/17) to Joel Heller’s original letter on the “two state solution” (“Two-state solution could have happened decades ago,” AJP 1/20/17). Educational as it was, I don’t think… Read more »

OP-ED When Jews were illegal, and turned to others for sanctuary

Protesters demonstrate at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 26, 2017. (Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images)

  MILWAUKEE (JTA) — I was privileged recently to participate as the sole Jewish voice at a news conference with Latino leaders, community activists and faith groups at which we spoke loudly and clearly in support of compassionate immigration policies. I told the people gathered about a piece of… Read more »

ANALYSIS Trump, the Jews and the political weaponization of anti-Semitism

Stephen Bannon at a White House news conference, Feb. 16, 2017. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Was that so hard? At some point in the past week, it looked like President Donald Trump was never going to use “anti-Semitism” in a sentence. It took a fourth series of hoax bomb threats at JCCs around the country and imprecations from Jewish groups across the ideological… Read more »

OP-ED Israeli development aid is a win for Africa, Israel and American Jews

A look inside the Project Ten Volunteer center of The Jewish Agency for Israel. (Courtesy of Shimon Mercer-Wood)

  (JTA) — Late last month, on the eve of Black History Month, a delegation of African-American journalists landed in Ghana to cover international development projects and the impact those projects are making in that West African country. This in itself is nothing out of the ordinary. Africa in… Read more »

‘Lebensraum’ evocative and educational

Until I saw “Lebensraum” on Feb. 9 at the Invisible Theatre, I thought I knew a great deal about the Holocaust; how wrong I was. I had never heard about lebensraum (“living space”), Hitler’s belief that Germany needed more living space to survive, a premise based on the denial… Read more »

Lecture adds to understanding of Lincoln

I want to express appreciation to the Secular Humanist Jewish Circle and member Joel Unowsky, for his thought-provoking lecture on Feb.11, “Jews and the Civil War.” It was “altogether fitting and proper” (to quote a phrase from the Gettysburg Address) that this lecture should take place one day before… Read more »

ANALYSIS Bannon and the Jews: A conditional kind of love

President Donald Trump, left, and Stephen Bannon at the swearing-in of senior staff at the White House, Jan. 22, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Reports that White House Svengali Steve Bannon once referred to the American Jewish community as enablers of Islamist jihad revived accusations that the former Breitbart News publisher is an anti-Semite. On its face the accusation, like the oft-repeated charge that Breitbart itself is an anti-Semitic news site,… Read more »

OP-ED On trade and travel, Trump has an opportunity to bolster US-Israel ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a news conference at Google's Tel Aviv office, Dec. 10, 2012. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — When President Donald Trump meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel next week, the two are expected to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, the peace process and other issues, including the Trump’s campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and what the White… Read more »

At Tucson Women’s March, ‘my legs were praying’

On Shabbat morning, Jan. 21, I joined 15,000 of my neighbors at the Women’s March in Tucson. Why did I participate in the march? Because the teachings of our Jewish tradition made it clear that I must. Torah teaches that all of us are created in God’s image (Genesis… Read more »

Letter on two-state solution got the facts all wrong

In the Letters to the Editor (1/20/2017), Joel S. Heller channels Kellyanne Conway by presenting alternative facts about the original partition of Israel/Palestine by the United Nations (“Two-state solution could have happened decades ago”). He states, “In 1948 the United Nations declared a ‘two state solution.’ The two states… Read more »

Letter from Mexican consul in Tucson underscores importance of solidarity

On the afternoon of Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Jewish History Museum received a letter from the Consul of Mexico in Tucson, Ricardo Pineda.  The letter arrived at the end of an emotionally charged 24 hours, moments prior to closing for Shabbat. To mark this commemorative date,… Read more »

OP-ED One year and counting: Western Wall prayer fight must go on

Anat Hoffman being arrested after saying the Shema prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Oct. 16, 2012. (Women of the Wall)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — One year ago, we thought we had made history. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government passed the Western Wall agreement, for the first time granting official recognition to non-Orthodox Jewish streams and women’s rights at Judaism’s holiest site. We were proud of achieving a historic compromise because… Read more »

ANALYSIS Why Trump’s universalizing of the Holocaust matters to the Jews

A Holocaust survivor shows her number tattoo. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Where’s Jared Kushner? Supporters of President Donald Trump have often defended his election campaign against charges of anti-Semitism by noting he has an Orthodox Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Jews on the right are excited about Kushner’s role as a special adviser to the president, assuming… Read more »