Opinion

OP-ED When George H.W. Bush was reluctant to wear a yarmulke

President George Bush poses for photographers following his Oval Office address to the nation, Sept. 27, 1991. (Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — George H.W. Bush was a man of uncommon decency. He also was a man of uncommon integrity. I worked for him for over 10 years, while he was the vice president and then president. My memories could fill a book (or at least a chapter of… Read more »

What PBS got right — and so wrong — about the Jews of Iran

A Jewish woman casts her vote at the Yusef Abad Synagogue during elections in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016. (Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Several days after the Jewish Daily Forward published the first-ever report from the Islamic Republic of Iran by a reporter openly representing a Jewish, pro-Israel news outlet, the host of CNN’s foreign affairs show “GPS” posed a vexing question. Citing the Forward’s surprisingly favorable account of the… Read more »

OP-ED: There is no religious excuse for not vaccinating your kids

Many Jewish legal authorities have called for universal vaccination in response to measles outbreaks in the United States and Israel, according to two doctors associated with the Touro College system. (Hannah Smith/KOMU/Flickr)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Opposition to vaccination on political and religious grounds has been swaying parents across the country to refuse immunizations for their children. Recently this has resulted in two of the largest measles outbreaks in New York’s history, impacting haredi Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. The opposition to vaccines… Read more »

When America doubted my grandmother’s loyalty

Jeanette Kern, left, receiving one of the two commendations she earned for her work during World War II as a clerk in the Army Signal Corps, July 27, 1944. (Orn Hayon)

After my grandmother Jeannette died in December 1996, the process of settling her estate worked in the same way it does in most families: There was a house to be sold and possessions to be distributed. The surviving family members were left with a few souvenirs of my grandparents’… Read more »

OP-ED Women’s March is the wrong target in the fight against anti-Semitism

The Women's March leaders, from left, Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland and Linda Sarsour on stage at the BET's Social Awards at Tyler Perry Studio in Atlanta, Feb. 11, 2018. (Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

  NEW YORK  (JTA) — The same Jewish liberals who gave in to efforts by the Jewish right to divide the black and Jewish communities in the ’70s are back again to divide Jews from their would-be allies, and this time they’re dead set on being the breach in… Read more »

OP-ED Why liberal Jewish women are demanding more from Women’s March

Women's March co-chairwomen Linda Sarsour, left, and Tamika Mallory at a voter registration rally at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Jan. 21, 2018. (Sam Morris/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON, D.C. (JTA) — On the heels of actress and activist Alyssa Milano’s remarkable statement indicating that she plans to boycott the upcoming 2019 Women’s March because of its leaders’ persistent anti-Semitic behavior, there has been a backlash in our own Jewish feminist ranks. Jewish women are being urged not… Read more »

OP-ED: Stan Lee gave comic books permission to be more Jewish

Marvel Comics Publisher, Stan Lee, poses with a book of "Spider Man" comics which he created along with comics on the "Hulk" and others. Photo from Washington Post Archive scanned on 2/17/2009. (Photo by Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(JTA) — When Stan Lee died on Nov. 12 at 95, he left behind a vast legacy. Between 1961 and 1969, his greatest sustained burst of creative activity, he co-created a vast array of iconic characters, including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Thor,… Read more »

 Anxious? Angry? Here’s why we have to keep going

(Kveller via JTA) – “I’m so scared for your synagogue,” my (non-Jewish) mother said to me as we were driving the other day. We were talking about my daughter’s schedule — religious school was on the agenda for that afternoon — and she had asked me about our synagogue’s security… Read more »

OP-ED In 1986, another anti-Semitic Pittsburgh shooter murdered my childhood friend

A view outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Oct. 29, 2018, two days after the mass shooting inside. (Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The outpouring of grief over last month’s massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue has sparked a degree of counterintuitive hope. Just maybe, the eternal optimists among us believe, this will prove to be the watershed event that sends all the craven anti-Semites crawling back into… Read more »

Yes, anti-Semitism is a problem again. No, it is not 1939.

A mourner wearing a Star of David around his neck at the Squirrel Hill memorial service for the victims of the shooting at the neighborhood's Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn., Oct. 29, 2018. (Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(JTA) — My father, whose own father changed his unpronounceable last name to Carroll when he came to America, would often tell a story about job hunting in the late 1940s and 50s. It was only after the interview that the men across the desk would ask, “And all… Read more »

We’ve seen this before: Public charge rules used to disguise xenophobia

The Trump Administration recently proposed an unprecedented expansion in our country’s public charge rules for applicants for citizenship. For the first time, a legal immigrant to the United States can be considered ineligible for citizenship simply because they utilize SNAP — our nation’s food stamp program. These new public… Read more »

OP-ED Why Roseanne Barr and Shmuley Boteach need each other

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, left, and Roseanne Barr in conversation at Stand Up NY in Manhattan, July 26, 2018. (James Devaney/Getty Images)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Shmuley Boteach may or may not be America’s most famous rabbi. But among Jews, at least, he may be it’s most polarizing rabbi. Boteach has built his career on those twin tent poles of American fame: sex and celebrity. In books like “Kosher… Read more »

There are no other Jews where we live. Do we leave?

Oh, if I could count the many discussions my husband and I have had on this topic — multiple times a day on some days. Pros, cons; the list begins. Our house fit us well enough and served its purpose well enough when we bought it 12 years ago.… Read more »

NY meeting not chance but divine providence

Some people believe we live in a world where everything can be seen and touched. They buy into scientific explanations and find it hard to believe we live in a complex world where there’s much we can’t explain. Here is a true story of divine providence or in Hebrew,… Read more »