Congregational Collaboration in the New Year

Here’s a thought to take to High Holiday services next month: Collaboration  between congregations can be a good thing. In an article in eJewish Philanthropy, Larry Glickman, the director of network engagement and collaboration for the Union for Reform Judaism, questioned the spirit of competition in the synagogue world. People go “shul shopping” and ultimately… Read More

Understanding the U.S.-Israel MOU

It’s being billed as historic — the largest-ever U.S. military aid package. The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed Sept. 14 and will go into effect in 2018, will provide Israel with $3.8 billion in aid a year for 10 years. The increase in aid from the previous MOU’s annual $3.1 billion sends important messages:… Read More

Bring on the Judges

In order to maintain public confidence in the legal system of a diverse country, those who uphold and enforce the laws must be from equally diverse backgrounds. Before the Civil War, when sectional differences were acute, the Supreme Court was composed of justices who were chosen, in part, to maintain a regional balance. More recently,… Read More

J Street Crosses the Line

Should American groups that support those living in the West Bank lose their tax-exempt status because the support fosters the entrenchment of Israeli settlements and is contrary to formal American policy? Is it even American policy to oppose the settlements? The self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street says it is and has encouraged the U.S…. Read More

Unfair Play

In this broiling summer of Zika, of floods in Louisiana and fires in California, of the shootings of unarmed black men by police, of police by African-American snipers and of the patrons of a gay bar by a Muslim man, the international brouhaha caused by four American Olympic swimmers at a Rio de Janeiro gas… Read More

Crown Heights, 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years ago, a car in the motorcade of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi  Menachem M. Schneerson, accidentally hit and killed 7-year-old Gavin Cato in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, N.Y. The incident set off three days of racially motivated protests and violence during which nearly 200 people were injured and Yankel Rosenbaum, an Australian… Read More

Not in the Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit is supposed to promote healthy sports competition, divorced from political or more serious differences among countries whose athletes choose to compete. In ancient Greece, warring city-states called a truce before each Olympic Games. The Olympic Truce lasted from a week before the competitions began to a week after they ended. In this… Read More

Black Lives Matter, and So Does Israel

Americans of goodwill have rightly been concerned by violence, much of it by police, against unarmed black men, from the shooting of Trayvon Martin to the rough ride given to Freddie Gray. Jews are no  exception in their reactions. The relative helplessness of segments of the black community in the face of powerful  authority stirs… Read More

The Spectacle of the Battling New York Mayors

Political attack dogs, like their furry namesake, come in many breeds. But even in the same breed, no two attack dogs are exactly the same. And so it was with two former Republican mayors of New York City, who treated viewers of  the Republican and Democratic national conventions to wildly different displays. Rudy Giuliani’s full-throated,… Read More

Zika Advances while Congress Dawdles

The mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects in  fetuses, has emerged in the mainland United States. More than a dozen new “homegrown” cases of the virus have been reported since last Friday, and Health officials have warned pregnant women not to visit a Miami, Fla. neighborhood where the recent… Read More