Feeling Thankful

There can never be too much gratitude. And Thanksgiving is a powerful opportunity for all Americans to join with their family and close friends to share a festive meal, maybe to watch football and hopefully to count their blessings. Communities do this, as well, and the annual interfaith Thanksgiving service has long been the opportunity… Read More

Settlements Again

Donald Trump’s win in the presidential race, and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, have signaled to some members of Israel’s government that hard times are over with regard to American disapproval of settlement building in the West Bank. In their euphoria, pro-settler party leaders have pursued two very different approaches to moving… Read More

The Need to Move Forward

Last week’s presidential election revealed not so much a nation divided, as it did a society whose residents inhabit two very different realities — with the apparent inability of those who live in one to understand the perceptions and beliefs of those who live in the other. Which begs the question: How do we move… Read More

Stop the Madness

“The world has gone mad,” Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, told the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America meeting Sunday in Washington. Sacks’ message was ultimately hopeful, but the madness to which he referred certainly includes the rise in hate crimes across the country since Donald… Read More

The Jewish Agency after Sharansky

The day before Natan Sharansky was  appointed to a second term as chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel in 2013,  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the former Soviet political prisoner and Likud party government minister a “symbol of Jewish unity and a symbol of the triumph of the Jewish people over  adversity.” You… Read More

Pushing Back at the Wall

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was critical of American Jewish community leaders who were involved in staging a march to the Kotel, or Western Wall, on Nov. 2 as part of a protest to restrictions on egalitarian worship at the holy site. About a dozen Torah scrolls were carried into the women’s section for use… Read More

A Return to Civility

Americans used to talk about election- related violence and contested balloting in other countries with a degree of smugness, confident that it couldn’t happen here. Not anymore. This year’s presidential race not only has seen the thin veneer of civility torn apart, it has also raised the disquieting specter of something less than a peaceful… Read More

The Perils of Zero Tolerance

When Hillel International announced last week that it was canceling a speaking tour featuring Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, we ran a thought experiment. Shavit, widely lauded for his 2013 book “My Promised Land,” had publicly admitted that he was the man who a Jewish reporter said sexually assaulted her in 2014. Hillel’s response was swift,… Read More

Iran’s Finger Prints

An article in Al Arabiya last week dropped a small bombshell. It reported that Hassan Fariuzabadi, military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, boasted to the semiofficial Fars news agency that his country had “sent, in the past years, military advisers to the Gaza strip and trained the ‘Palestinian forces’” there. The fact that… Read More

UNESCO Cannot Change History

There was at least one piece of good news after votes by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, over the last two weeks that effectively denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount: The body has made clear just how feckless U.N. diplomacy is. More countries opposed or abstained… Read More