Opinion

Boycotting Twitter to protest its handling of anti-Semitism could backfire

The Twitter logo is superimposed on anti-Semitic tweets. (Screenshots/JTA Montage)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On Friday afternoon, a few hours before Shabbat, I found myself scrolling through Twitter when I stumbled upon an anti-Semitic rant. This by itself is hardly unusual — the amount of anti-Semitic vitriol on Twitter is horrifying. But when I checked the account, I found that… Read more »

I’m an Israeli settler. American Jews are debating my future, but here’s what they don’t understand.

A woman walks with her child in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat, April 26, 2020. (David Vaaknin for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

MITZPE YERICHO, West Bank (JTA) — It’s been surreal watching from Israel as Americans discuss my future. I’ve gotten used to presidents spending years developing plans for my neighborhood and other towns in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank — they mean well and I truly… Read more »

Stop using Israel as an excuse not to support Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter protester raises his fist during a march to honor George Floyd in New York City, May 31, 2020. (John Moore/Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Alma. Take a moment and remember where you were when you first heard about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. I was in Tel Aviv getting ready to go to the movies after Havdalah. I didn’t end up going —… Read more »

White Jews have been able to flee to the suburbs. Black Americans largely could not. Here’s why that matters today.

A view of suburbia (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (JTA) — I turned on my phone and felt an overwhelming sense of frustration, sadness and hopelessness. While I had been enjoying two days without electronics in observance of Shavuot and Shabbat, cities across the country were engulfed in a combination of civic protests and police riots. Weapons… Read more »

To accurately count Jews of color, we need to radically alter assumptions

Marc L. Dollinger (Courtesy)

Two summers ago, I published an academic book about blacks and Jews that did not include a single black Jew in the narrative. Ilana Kaufman, founder and president of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, encouraged me to open my eyes to my own implicit assumptions about Jews,… Read more »

It is time for Hasidic leaders to embrace the internet

SUFFERN, N.Y. (JTA) — My two children, aged 13 and 15, attend daily Zoom classes from designated corners of our suburban home. Slovenly habits aside, their workspaces are virtual classrooms in which they analyze George Orwell’s work and ponder Talmudic passages in equal measure. Online classes — the ones they… Read more »

Our post-pandemic Shabbat meals should include far less meat

Melissa Hoffman (Justin Hackworth)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Last year I wrote about how, as we come to terms with the existential threat of climate change, our joyous occasions will shift in both spirit and practice — including the food we eat and how it is produced. The same is true in the… Read more »

When did elderly people like me become disposable?

An elderly man leaves a metro station in Rome during a test scenario amid the coronavirus pandemic, April 27, 2020. (Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

TORONTO (JTA) — The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is shaking the world in disturbing ways. As someone who is no longer young, I find one aspect of the crisis to be particularly unnerving: the attitude toward the elderly. The media is filled with stories about the problem represented by the… Read more »

Pandemic exposes U.S. food insecurity crisis nonprofits alone cannot fix

Liz Kanter Groskind

As Jews, we are commanded to be just, to aid and care for those most vulnerable among us. The word “tzedakah” itself translates to “justice,” not simply “charity,” as many believe. This is a value  Jews have internalized and acted upon over the centuries. Social justice is not merely a… Read more »

Zoom is getting safer. Here’s how you can make your meetings even more secure.

A family takes part in a shiva call, a Jewish mourning period, in a Zoom videoconference. (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Just a few weeks ago, most Americans were not familiar with the concept of Zoombombing. But as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many business, community and even social meetings online, Zoom increasingly became the platform of choice for videoconferencing. The rapid growth in its use came with… Read more »

Israel is suffering from coronavirus. Haredim have been made scapegoats

A haredi Orthodox man wearing a protective mask crosses a street in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak amid the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, April 6, 2020. (Photo: Menahem Kahana / AFP via Getty Images)

After the deluge of negative headlines over the last several weeks, when COVID-19 is finally beaten back, it will be the scenes of police cordoning off Bnei Brak like a medieval plague city that will define the corona crisis for most Israelis and international observers. These media attacks, which… Read more »

The upside to celebrating in isolation: This might be the holiest Passover ever

A mezuzah is seen in the doorway of a Jewish home during the celebration of Passover (Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Sitting at my Seder table with my two eldest daughters and my wife, I was struggling to find something to say that would provide meaning to this moment. Here we were: alone, beginning a Passover unlike any other we had ever experienced and, please God, will… Read more »

Passover demands we remember the Exodus. That means taking care of our most vulnerable.

A homeless man crosses the almost deserted Times Square in New York City, April 13, 2020. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Every Passover, we strive to experience Egypt in our own lives. Locating the suffering of our Egypt wasn’t hard this year: It seems like most days my husband and I share the names of new people we personally know who have passed away from COVID-19… Read more »

To give my Israeli synagogue a chance of surviving the pandemic, I had to quit my job as rabbi

Rabbi Mikie Goldstein at Kehillat Adat Shalom-EmanuelRabbi Mikie Goldstein at Kehillat Adat Shalom-Emanuel in Rehovot. (Facebook / JTA Montage)

REHOVOT, Israel (JTA) — To help my kehillah survive the coronavirus pandemic, I had to do something dramatic and counterintuitive: step away from being its official rabbi. Our faith communities need spiritual leaders in these trying times more than ever. But as a non-Orthodox rabbi in Israel, I am largely… Read more »