Shimon Peres

A cartoon by Israeli Amos Biderman making the rounds last week showed Shimon Peres climbing the steps to heaven. Waiting to greet him, wearing robes, wings and haloes, are three former prime ministers: Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, who is puffing on a cigarette and in front with arms outstretched, and David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime… Read More

The Unvarnished Candidates

An estimated 100 million viewers had an unvarnished look at the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on Monday night. The nationally televised — and live-streamed — debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton showed the two for who they are and so gave the American electorate a chance to make a more educated decision on… Read More

Barack and Bibi: The Finale

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit all the right notes in their public comments before their 35-minute meeting in New York last week during the United Nations General Assembly. Obama declared the bond between the two countries “unbreakable.” He thanked former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who recently suffered  a stroke, “for… Read More

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