Opinion

What a liberal rabbi learned at the Trump Hanukkah party

Rabbi David Kaufman and his wife Julie, attend the White House Hanukkah party in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2017. (Courtesy of Kaufman)

DES MOINES, Iowa (JTA) — A Jewish woman walks into the post office to buy Hanukkah stamps for her holiday cards. The person behind the counter asks, “What denominations?” The Jewish woman responds, “Oy! Are we so polarized? Some Orthodox, some Conservative and some Reform.” Yes, we are so… Read more »

OP-ED Winners and losers as the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

A patron at a Jerusalem pub watches as President Donald Trump recognizes the city as Israel's capital, Dec. 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) — President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his announcement that he will move the embassy there from Tel Aviv will have a number of consequences for Israelis, Palestinians and the wider region. For Israel, it has finally received from an American president… Read more »

OP-ED: How Jews on the left and the right are empowering BDS

An aerial view of Michigan Stadium as the sun rises on the University of Michigan campus. (University of Michigan/Flickr)

(JTA) — The BDS debacle at the University of Michigan proved once again that Jews can be their own worst enemies. Since 2002, the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government (CSG) has, on 10 occasions, rejected resolutions to support the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction the State… Read more »

OP-ED Jews make news, but when is it Jewish news?

A screenshot from Google Images shows several prominent Jews accused of sexual harassment in the past month. (Google Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — “Is So-and-So Jewish? How Jewish is she? Find out if she’s Jewish.” I often joke that JTA reporters and anti-Semitic bloggers write the same stories, only with different headlines. We proudly search down Jewish celebrities to show the diverse ways that Jews are contributing to… Read more »

OP-ED Israel and Africa need each other

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets Liberians upon arriving at the airport in Monrovia, June 4, 2017. (Prime Ministry of Israel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish month that began this week, Cheshvan, has traditionally been dubbed “mar,” or bitter, because it alone among the months is devoid of any holidays. It is time for the Jewish people, and the Jewish calendar, to drop mar from Cheshvan, since it is blessed… Read more »

OP-ED Here’s why I believed Elie Wiesel’s accuser

  NEW YORK (JTA) — When I read the headline of Jenny Listman’s Medium piece — “When I was nineteen years old, Elie Wiesel grabbed my ass” — I decided not to click on it. It wasn’t because of any judgment I passed on her or the veracity of her… Read more »

OP-ED How anti-Zionists fueled a far-right victory

The American Jewish Historical Society is housed at a Manhattan address that includes several other Jewish organizations. (Wikimedia Commons, JTA montage)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Last month, New York’s Center for Jewish History was the target of a right-wing campaign seeking to oust its new president, David Myers, over his dovish views on Israel. The campaign drew an appropriately outraged response from leading Jewish scholars, who rallied around Myers, a… Read more »

OP-ED Harvey Weinstein shows us how perpetrators pose as victims

Harvey Weinstein speaking at National Geographic's Further Front Event at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, April 19, 2017. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for National Geographic)

(JTA) — In an interview with The Daily Beast, George Clooney described Harvey Weinstein as a very powerful man with a tendency to hit on young beautiful women over whom he had power. Despite the “rumors” he had heard about Weinstein’s openly predatory behavior, Clooney expressed sincere shock and outrage at… Read more »

If you’re burdened by ‘the mental load,’ speak up and ask for help

(Kveller via JTA) —  In the past two weeks, I’ve read two incredibly relatable pieces of writing that take to task the never-ending extra labor mothers inevitably carry on behalf of our families. The first is a beautiful Facebook post that went viral (again) called “I Am The Keeper,” which… Read more »

OP-ED How to get more women speakers at big Jewish events

The General Assembly is one of the largest annual gatherings of the organized Jewish world. (Jewish Federations of North America)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — In November, the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America is coming to Los Angeles for the first time since it became my home city in 2008. Over the course of my Jewish professional life, I have eagerly attended at least six General Assemblies,… Read more »

OP-ED As Orthodox community grows, study of all Jews reveals stark contrasts

The Orthodox Union's youth organization sold more than 4,000 tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure on the first day of chol hamoed, Passover's intermediate days, April 25, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)

  (JTA) — The 2013 Pew survey “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” shows that Orthodox Judaism, while currently attracting the allegiance of only about 10 percent of all American Jews, is the fastest growing sector of the community. The high birthrate and retention rate confirmed by the survey have led some observers to predict that within a generation, American Jewry will… Read more »

OP-ED Why I traveled to Las Vegas to help after the deadly shooting

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  LAS VEGAS (JTA) — We just got into our car and drove. Going to Las Vegas after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history felt like the right thing to do. As Americans and as Jews, we wanted to be a source of support and love in the face… Read more »

The left has an Israel problem. Does that mean colleges have an anti-Semitism problem?

Recently JTA reported a story about an alternative students’ guide published by student activists at Tufts University that labels Israel a white supremacist state. The so-called “disorientation guide” also reduced the university’s Hillel to a “Zionist” organization that offers nothing of value to the private campus’s diversity or culture.… Read more »

Israel-Tucson bonds strong

Regarding “New Israeli shinshinim bring youthful energy to Tucson” (AJP 8/11/17),å how lucky we are that Tucson is one of the cities participating in the shinshinim (Israeli teen volunteers) program, the goal of which is to make connections between Israel and worldwide communities. Our first shinshinim, Leah Avuno and… Read more »

HIGH HOLIDAYS FEATURE How can we forgive the unforgivable

(Flickr Commons)

(Rabbis Without Borders via JTA) — The month of Elul is the season of repentance and forgiveness that culminates with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. In the rabbinic imagination, Elul is an acronym for “Ani L’Dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”… Read more »