Be Good While Doing Good

Two high profile cases involving American Jews in high community positions again shine an accusatory light on Jewish communal leadership and raise the question of whether a person’s good deeds are canceled by the bad they have done. William Rapfogel, the CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, turned himself in to the… Read More

A Voice For Jewish Culture

Have you ever heard of the Foundation for Jewish Culture? It is a New York-based organization that was founded 53 years ago and is dedicated to the advancement of Jewish cultural life and creativity in the United States. Since 1960, the foundation is credited with channeling some $50 million to Jewish scholars and artists. Last… Read More

We’ve Seen This Before

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We mourn for the 12 victims of Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard and wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured. And we thank the police officers who ended the killing spree before the number of casualties grew even higher. But for the individual lives lost and the particular location of… Read More

Time To Raise The Minimum Wage

Any discussion of the minimum wage should begin with the fact that Costco pays a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states. Compare that to the $7.25 minimum wage mandated by federal law, the state of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia and the $8.25 minimum wage in Washington, D.C. In Maryland, a new… Read More

Resolve And Hope On Yom Kippur

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With the High Holidays falling at the earliest time since 1899, they also coincide with the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the dozen years since that fateful day of horror and tragedy, the initial sense of dread and helplessness has in many ways given way to resolve, hope and a greater understanding and… Read More

Who Owns Iraq’s Jewish Past?

In the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, U.S. troops discovered a treasure trove of Iraq’s ancient Jewish community in the waterlogged basement of Saddam Hussein’s secret police headquarters. The vast collection included more than 2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents, the earliest from 1540. They were left behind… Read More

Red Lines, Green Lights And Mixed Messages

President Bashar al-Assad has threatened to retaliate against Israel if the U.S. strikes Syria with missiles. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The past week has been witness to a dizzying array of political brinkmanship, even in a town like Washington, D.C., where changing strategy can be as commonplace as changing shoes. More than a year ago, President Obama dec-lared that if Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, used chemical weapons to attack his own people, he would be… Read More

Hamas’ Sudden Vulnerability

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The chaotic changes in the Middle East have had at least one positive result at the moment: the weakening of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. Because of alignment decisions made by the Islamist group in both Egypt and Syria, Hamas has emerged as a big loser. (See related story, “The Mideast… Read More

Do Jews Need A White House Liaison?

When Matt Nosanchuk was appointed associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for Jewish Outreach last month, the former defense department staffer became the fourth in a series of President Obama’s “Jewish liaisons.” It is a role that goes back officially or unofficially to FDR and Harry Truman. The Jewish liaison is… Read More

A Seat At The New Year’s Table

This is the time of year when even the unaffiliated feel the pull of prayer, and many of them seek to join with other Jews to usher in the New Year. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — the World Series of Judaism — is also when seats in synagogues are at a premium. Increasingly, congregations… Read More