Opinion

We Orthodox Jews desperately need gay rabbis

Israelis participate in the Gay Pride Parade on July 30, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. The Hebrew signs read, "Come out from the closet, the closet is death." (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — On May 24, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that I would be ordaining a gay Orthodox rabbinical student who was denied the opportunity to receive smicha from his own Orthodox yeshiva. On May 26,  I did so, ordaining Rabbi Daniel Atwood during a ceremony attended by more… Read more »

What Jewish law really says about abortion

Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the Right To Life March in Washington, Jan. 18, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Alabama and Georgia have passed laws recently that limit or forbid abortions in unprecedented ways, joining a growing number of states that are attempting to dramatically restrict abortion access. During these charged times, it is appropriate for the Jewish community to remind ourselves that halacha (Jewish law) has a… Read more »

New director ups ante for local security

Collaborating to strengthen security in Tucson’s Jewish community are, (L-R) Graham Hoffman, president and CEO, Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona; Paul Patterson, Jewish community security director; and Stuart Mellan, president and CEO, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. (Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona)

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona took a proactive stance to harden local vigilance, bringing on 23-year law enforcement and security veteran Paul Patterson in March as the Jewish community security director. Patterson is assisting all area synagogues and agencies with facility security assessments, ensuring best practices and up-to-date… Read more »

U.S. synagogues need what Europeans have — armed guards

Whether it’s a white supremacist targeting praying Jews, blacks, or Muslims, or an Islamic radical committed to killing Christians on Easter Sunday, it has become very trendy to attack houses of worship. In Europe, synagogues, unfortunately, have been targeted by terrorists for quite some time, including deadly attacks at… Read more »

One thing Crown Heights can do to really tackle anti-Semitism

Orthodox Jewish men walk through the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, Feb. 25, 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Anti-Jewish incidents made up more than half the hate crimes reported in New York City in 2018 and so far this year. The 71st Precinct, which includes the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, reported nine incidents, the most of any precinct in the five boroughs.… Read more »

Want your kid to excel in college? After high school, try a break in Israel.

Tech whiz Asher Dale, second from right, hikes with friends in the Negev Desert during his gap year in Israel. (Courtesy of Dale)

Within months of graduating from a Jewish high school near Boston in 2017, Asher Dale had an internship that he “absolutely loved” at Forter, an Israeli technology startup that sells online fraud protection services. The company, which processes more than $50 billion in transactions annually for a global network… Read more »

Cool kosher choices available in Tucson

In the Post’s article regarding kosher establishments in Tucson, “As city’s only kosher market closes, Tucsonans get creative in search for products” (AJP 4/19/19),  I wanted to bring to your attention another establishment under kosher certification, which has been proudly serving the Jewish community for the past seven years.… Read more »

Poway, a California haven, learns it can happen here

Hundreds gather in Poway, Calif., for a vigil for the victims of the synagogue shooting there, April 28, 2019. (Gabrielle Birkner)

POWAY, Calif. (JTA)— With hundreds gathered to show support for the victims of a shooting inside his synagogue, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein recounted the moment when he came face to face with the gunman and what happened next: He described watching a congregant’s husband, a doctor, faint as he attempted… Read more »

In the wake of another deadly synagogue shooting, we need Holocaust education more than ever

A gate with the inscription "Work Sets You Free" at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial in Oranienburg, Germany, Jan. 25, 2019. (Omer Messinger/Getty Images)

(JTA) — On the Shabbat morning of April 27, Hadassah member Lori Gilbert-Kaye was murdered while celebrating Passover at the Chabad of Poway. The synagogue’s rabbi, a male congregant and an 8-year-old girl were wounded as well by the self-avowed white supremacist shooter. We know that anti-Semitism is on the… Read more »

Why President Trump desperately needs a White house Jewish liaison

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, attend a Hanukkah reception at the White House, Dec. 6, 2018. (Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The terrorist attack at Chabad of Poway on April 27, which occurred on Shabbat and the last day of Passover, was horrific – and only the latest hate crime among the increasing number of anti-Semitic acts in recent years. The shooting left one dead and three injured.… Read more »

Notre-Dame will be rebuilt – but most European Jewish sites never will be

A Star of David stands in the Nozyk Synagogue, Warsaw's only surviving synagogue from before World War II and located in the city's former ghetto, April 12, 2018 (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BUDAPEST (JTA) – Architecture and built heritage can be powerful symbols. Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most famous and familiar buildings in the world, visited by an astonishing 30,000 people a day, or 13 million people a year. It is embedded in global collective consciousness and immortalized around the… Read more »

Hookup culture? Not on the Birthright trips I’ve led.

Young Jewish adults who participated in Birthright Israel celebrate 10 years of the program at an event in Jerusalem. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — After I spoke to a group of people whose post-college-aged children would soon be going on a Birthright Israel trip, one father leaned in close to me, winked and whispered, “Just do what you have to to make sure my son finds a nice Jewish… Read more »

The Passover kitniyot argument isn’t worth a hill of beans

Rice, lentils, chick peas, beans and other legumes shown in a produce market in Netanya, Israel. (David Silverman/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Israel held elections under the cloud of its leader’s possible indictment. The world’s far right and its far left have found common cause in their hatred of the Jews. There is a measles outbreak among the Orthodox. And friends want to kvetch about kitniyot. Every year around… Read more »