Opinion

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 »

OP-ED From Rome to Charlottesville, a statue is never just a statue

The Arch of Titus at the Imperial Forums in Rome. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — French historian Pierre Nora spent his life describing and explaining “places of memory,” sites commemorating significant moments in the history of a community that continue to resonate and transform from generation to generation. For the French Republic, the Arc de Triomphe is one such… Read more »

OP-ED Billy Joel wore a yellow Jewish star. Thanks, but the trend should stop there.

Billy Joel performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Aug. 21, 2017. (Myrna M. Suarez/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Few artifacts of the Holocaust move me like the yellow star. Homely and seemingly innocuous, they sit in museum cases either by themselves or still attached to a jacket or blouse, the stitching rough and the lettering surprisingly crude. They are almost comically, cartoonishly blunt,… Read more »

FIRST PERSON I talked to the ‘anti-Semitic’ Swiss hotel owner. It’s more complicated than you think.

The Paradise Apartments hotel in Arosa, near Zurich, Switzerland. (Courtesy of Paradise Apartments hotel)

(JTA) — A chuckle tickled my throat as Ruth Thomann, a Swiss hotelier who posted signs urging her “Jewish guests” to shower before entering the pool, assured me that she has “nothing against Jews.” To be clear, I don’t find racism particularly amusing, especially not these days. But there… Read more »

OP-ED 11 former White House Jewish liaisons: Trump doesn’t understand anti-Semitism

President Donald Trump shown before making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 14, 2017. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) — As Jewish liaisons to four different presidents, we had the responsibility inside the White House to give voice to the perspectives and priorities of the American Jewish community. While our community may not be unified in matters of policy and politics, our spiritual practice, cultural traditions and… Read more »

OP-ED Our president just asked us to be fair to white supremacists

President Donald Trump speaking to the media at Trump Tower in New York City, Aug. 15, 2017. Looking on, from left, are Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; and Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — There was a moment in his “neo-Nazi, neo-Shmazi” news conference where you might have found yourself thinking, maybe President Trump is right. On the narrow question of who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, a prosecutor might note that punches were thrown by white… Read more »

OP-ED This Jewish summer camp raised a Palestinian flag — and a ruckus

The Palestinian and Israeli flags hang at the Knesset during a meeting featuring, left to right, Abdullah Abdullah of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Israeli parliament member Hilik Bar and Muhammad Madani of Fatah's central committee, July 31, 2013. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — I don’t know if there is a Yiddish or Hebrew version of “more Catholic than the pope.” More machmir than the rebbe? More kosher than glatt? If there is such an expression, this weekend’s convulsion over a Jewish camp in Washington state raising a… Read more »

Why I kept my daughters at camp after tragedy

The summer before she entered first grade, my oldest daughter asked me when she was going to go to sleepaway camp. I was stunned; she was too young. And why the heck would she ever want to leave us, her family? I blew off the question until the next… Read more »

OP-ED Artists’ protest of Israel play fizzles — as it deserved to

Members of the Habima National Theatre and the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv appear in an adaptation of David Grossman's novel "To the End of the Land," as part of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, July 24-27, 2017. (Gérard Allon)

NEW YORK (JTA) — In David Grossman’s 2008 novel “To the End of the Land,” an Israeli mother flees to the countryside to avoid news of her soldier son, who is serving a dangerous stint in the West Bank. Ora considers herself apolitical and tries to avoid talking or… Read more »

OP-ED Jews once fought — and died — for voting rights. Here’s why some are still at it.

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party supporters demonstrate for voting rights outside the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, N.J. Some hold signs with portraits of slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. (Warren K. Leffler/Wikimedia Commons)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner are about the closest American Jews have to secular saints. The two Jewish civil rights workers traveled south for the Freedom Summer campaign of 1964, joining the African-American activist James Chaney in canvassing black churches. All three were kidnapped and murdered by… Read more »

OP-ED America’s only nuclear-qualified, Navy veteran, transgender rabbi is not happy with the president’s tweets

Rona Matlow served in the Navy for 22 years before leaving to become what she calls "the only nuclear-qualified, transgender rabbi." (Photos courtesy of Maslow)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (JTA) — On Wednesday, in our offices near this city’s Dupont Circle, the staff at Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. were opening the mail when a request came in from a veteran asking that we change her first name on our records from Jaron to Rona. “I… Read more »