A Scary General Assembly

As world leaders took the podium last week at the U.N. General Assembly, we were treated to a lot of bluster and some theater, but not much assurance that the world is heading down a peaceful path. And there were many offending speakers. In the case of President Donald Trump, had he been anywhere other… Read More

Netanyahu’s Slap at Diaspora Jewry

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likes to speak broadly about his long-term goal of Jewish unity. But his recent assertions with respect to Diaspora Jewry raise serious questions about his real commitment to that goal. Indeed, rather than leading as a unifier, Netanyahu is coming across as a cynical politician who will say anything to… Read More

They’re Playing ‘Hatikvah’

As the saying goes, we don’t expect Israel’s enemies to be playing “Hatikvah.” Yet there was the Bahrain National Orchestra, playing the Israeli national anthem. The occasion was an interfaith gathering last week at the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, where Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, son of Bahrain’s king, spoke to 400 guests,… Read More

The Possessions of Iraqi Jews

A year from now, the United States is scheduled to return to Iraq a trove of Jewish artifacts the U.S. military discovered in Baghdad after it overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003. Included within the historic materials are thousands of what were badly damaged holy books — the oldest from the 16th century — which were… Read More

Searching for Meaning from an Unsettling Year

Irma. Harvey. Charlottesville. They are the names given to three extraordinary and deadly events, which all happened in the last few weeks. And that’s only a small part of the past chaotic year — in our politics, in our society and in our environment. The surprise election of Donald Trump upended much of our nation’s… Read More

Trump’s Hand-Offs to Congress

DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an executive order issued by then-President Barack Obama in an effort to address one part of the country’s broken immigration system: the status of nearly 800,000 residents who were brought here illegally as children. When President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced their plan to rescind… Read More

A Secure New Year

The new year at Jewish day schools involves more than new teachers, new clothes and new backpacks. Particularly in a calendar year that began with a wave of bomb threats phoned to Jewish institutions across the country and a summer that ended with death and injuries caused by white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, day schools… Read More

How to Help Houston

The size and devastation of Hurricane Harvey came as a surprise. The scenes of catastrophic flooding were barely comprehensible as one of the nation’s largest cities appeared to sink beneath unrelenting rainfall. Four feet of rain fell on Houston, the greatest amount of precipitation from a tropical system in the continental United States. Houston is… Read More

Complaining Rabbis Got Outmaneuvered by Trump

What is a Jewish group supposed to do when it wants to make a principled statement to the president of the United States? How aggressive should it be? And how carefully should its members consider the political ramifications of what they are doing? After President Trump’s defense of the white supremacists who staged the deadly… Read More

The Forward’s Sloppy Attack on JCPA

All too often in our heated political environment people and groups are called on the carpet, not for what they do, but for what they don’t do. And sometimes the finger pointing goes too far. A recent case is an article in the Forward last week that led with the “news” that the Jewish Council… Read More