From Strength To Strength

Conservative Judaism has always prided itself on being a big tent. There are inherent challenges that go along with this approach, as sometimes trying to be everything to everybody diminishes one’s ability to take a particular stance or to define a specific vision. And yet, our movement’s commitment to the greater klal Yisrael is both… Read More

The Challenge of Being One

There are approximately 14 million Jews in this world, among whom about one million consider themselves Chasidic. The Chasidim are separated into 30 different sects, or dynasties. Three of the most significant dynasties — Satmer, Bobov and Vizhnitz — are split in half. Each one is divided within a family, whose leaders are either brothers… Read More

Uncompromised Commitment

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To grasp the Orthodox perspective on Jewish unity requires an appreciation of two fundamental Orthodox beliefs, one of which challenges our religious unity, the other of which strengthens our national unity. 1. “I believe with a complete belief in the divinity and the immutability of the Torah.” This is a fundamental religious assumption of Orthodox… Read More

Good Riddance

I just watched a video of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech 50 years ago (“Be Loving To Your Neighbor,” Aug. 23). … It is by far the best speech I have ever heard. His delivery was perfect, his content was perfect, and his message was perfect. I agree with every word he said and am… Read More

King Helped Cause A Jewish Spiritual Rebirth

For the Jewish community, the iconic image of our relationship to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the photograph of Dr. King marching from Selma to Montgomery on March 21, 1965, arm in arm with a man the children thought looked like Santa Claus, the pre-eminent Jewish theologian, Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel. About that day… Read More

Lost In Translation

When I was growing up in Baltimore, the modern State of Israel was the center of the Jewish universe. It was at the core of being Jewish, tucked inside the greater American Jewish identity. There were no contradictions. Jews were solid U.S. citizens, equally proud of their American heritage. But the brutal sting of the… Read More

Like A Community

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Last Thursday was the orientation barbecue at Johns Hopkins Hillel. Each year, this is an event everyone anticipates with excitement. The freshmen move in, and at the BBQ, they are still in shock about leaving home for the first time. The sophomores are excited to begin the year savvier than they were the year before…. Read More

House-Proofing Against Falls

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Jewish Holiday celebrations offer us the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones. For many, this means opening our homes to family members, many of whom are older. One false step down a staircase or in the shower has the potential to change the life of an elderly person forever. Falls are the leading cause of… Read More

Is Jewish Education Jewish?

When I enrolled my first child in Jewish day school almost 20 years ago, I was enthralled with the prospect that he would be educated “Jewishly.” I imagined that the wisdom of the Torah would illuminate his mind through a Judaic curriculum of Jewish history and Torah subjects. I believed that Jewish schools would reflect… Read More

What’s Your New Year’s Eco-Footprint?

Shifting gears out of summer mode is extra challenging this year due to the early arrival of the High Holy Days. As such, many of us will be looking for shortcuts to ease the scheduling mayhem.  But these shortcuts don’t need to come at the expense of our pocketbooks or the environment. Making mindful choices… Read More