Opinion

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 »

Kristallnacht/Crystal Night/ Night of Broken Glass

From Wikipedia, eyewitness accounts and reports from Holocaust survivors While the initial purpose of Kristallnacht was the need of financing for the Nazi Party, there were underlying racial and social hatred. That hatred was expanded to include Gypsies, homosexuals and members/leaders of other religions. The international Evian Conference on… Read more »

Beauty of Shabbat transcends fear

On Friday night, Nov. 2, I entered a local synagogue with a feeling of trepidation. Could a copycat of the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh take place in Tucson? I wondered what I would do if the unthinkable happened again. Remembering how we were taught in elementary school to crouch… Read more »

Anti-Semites a dying breed in U.S.

The vast majority of Americans are not anti-Semites, nor anti-black, or anti-gay, etc. This may not have been the case when I was born in Chicago 80-plus years ago. At that time the gays hid in the closet, black people were seen and not heard, and we Jews could… Read more »

At the Vigil for Tree of Life Temple (Tucson JCC)

We sang Shalom and we almost believed it We proclaimed Love stronger than Hate and we tried to believe it We stressed Solidarity and we thought we believed it We shouted Never Again but we could not believe it. — Joy Nelson… Read more »

#WeAreAllJews: The American Jewish media stand with Pittsburgh

Earlier this year, our colleagues at the three leading Jewish newspapers in the United Kingdom published the same front-page headline and joint editorial voicing concern over rising anti-Semitism in Britain’s Labour Party. Today we have found a mournful occasion to follow in their footsteps. For many Jews, the United States… 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 »

As a black Jew, I am angry but defiant after Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Marcella White Campbell, on the right, at her son's bar mitzvah. (courtesy of Marcella White Campbell)

On Saturday, I received a text: “why do they hate us so much?” It was from my daughter, a first-year student at college who is thousands of miles away from home but, at that moment, was reaching out for comfort, wishing she was curled up on the couch beside… 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 »