Trump’s Reality Candidacy

With mounting vehemence and desperation, Republican and conservative politicians and pundits are denouncing Donald Trump and his appeal to what is characterized as the lowest instincts of the American electorate. From Mitt Romney (“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud”) to columnists George Will (“Trump is a presidential aspirant who would flunk an eighth-grade civics… Read More

The Vanishing NJDC

Has the National Jewish Democratic Council run out of steam? The once vocal and visible lobbying organization that represented Jewish interests in the  Democratic Party and Democratic interests in the Jewish community has virtually vanished. Since its last full-time director, Rabbi Jack Moline, left the organization in 2014, the NJDC has been led by its… Read More

Unnecessary Provocation

Controversy over the massive, bipartisan customs bill that President Barack Obama signed into law last week has boiled down to the question of “conflation.” The law, which deals with international trade  enforcement, includes language opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and also applies restrictions against entities  employing the practice to those… Read More

How to Answer Strange Questions

When strangers come to your synagogue, how should they be treated? At least one congregation in the Miami area has put that question to the test, and it turns out that the answer isn’t so simple. According to reports, two women wearing hijabs and identifying themselves as Muslim twice visited a North Miami Beach synagogue…. Read More

What Is Disability Inclusion?

February is Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Which prompts the question: What is disability inclusion? Is it not “inclusion” when a program is organized for people with disabilities around the time of the Jewish holidays so they can learn about their heritage. But it is “inclusion” when a mitzvah program is developed in which teens… Read More

Modulate the Outrage

It is well known that Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is soliciting and receiving support from evangelical Christians. And if it turns out that some of them are blinkered and offensive, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Every group has its crazies. Cruz is being supported by Kansas evangelical Pastor Mike Bickle, who… Read More

Large Shoes to Fill

This year’ s presidential primaries have been intense. There is, of course, a lot at stake. And while some may have hoped that the shouting, finger pointing and recriminations might abate as the field of contestants narrows, the sudden passing last Saturday of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia changed all that. Scalia, an iconic figure… Read More

Bernie Sanders and the Jewish Question

Thanks to Bernie Sanders’ strong showing in the early Democratic presidential primary races, America is finally having its Jewish moment. While American Jews are relatively well-to-do and integrated into the country’s social, political and economic fabric, the Vermont senator’s predicted win in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary has raised questions of what role his being a… Read More

A Building Block at the Kotel

Controversy still surrounds the Western Wall, even with the compromise. (Deror Avi via wikimediacommons)

You can tell that a true compromise was reached on a matter by the number of people on both sides of the issue who are dissatisfied with the result. And so it is with the agreement on egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall compound below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. While hailed as a breakthrough… Read More

Steps in Restoring Justice

Today, there are an estimated 100,000 Americans in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. Ten thousand of them  are federal inmates. A fraction of those federal prisoners will benefit from President Barack Obama’s recent executive order to remove the most vulnerable from solitary  confinement. The president’s directive is an important step but just a start, in… Read More