Thank God, Sanders Doesn’t Want to Talk Religion

At a campaign event in Virginia last week, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders invoked his Judaism in response to a question about Islamophobia in the media. The exchange drew widespread attention, in part because Sanders has mostly avoided discussion of how his religion informs his politics. The contrast between his approach and that of other… Read More

Women Rabbis: Saints or Vixens?

It happened … once again, and not in a very subtle, nuanced deliberation. The RCA, the Agudath Yisrael of America, hard-lined leaders of Orthodoxy in America, combined forces, both verbal and strategic, to denounce, reject, and neutralize the existence of a growing Modern Orthodox trend that accepts women clergy in synagogue leadership roles. The attack… Read More

Today’s Civil Rights Issues, Yesterday’s Heroes

As Baltimore faces unresolved racial issues, we who love this city can draw inspiration from two local Jewish heroes of the civil rights movement. To Baltimoreans of the 1960s, Malcolm Sherman and Rabbi Morris Lieberman exemplified the ethical teachings of Hillel. “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am… Read More

The Times’ ‘Big Lie’ About the Temple Mount

Two weeks ago, I opened The New York Times to Rick Gladstone’s article, “Historical Certainty Proves  Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place,” happy that the newspaper of record would explain to its audience the  historical context of this embattled piece of real estate. As I read on, I was horrified. “The question, which many books and… Read More

The Politics of Death, Anti-Semitism and Jewish Paranoia

It was a sobering, sad and tragic month — and that’s before I approach the subject of Israelis killed and wounded in Israel. Let’s examine the facts: Saudi Arabia: Close to 1,800 people were killed during the Hadj, when uncontrolled forces created a surge of such intensity and fear that left an astronomic number of… Read More

Henkin Murders: What American Jews Can Do

The heartbreaking murder of Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife, Naama, gunned down by Palestinian terrorists in front of their children, will generate tear-filled eulogies and anguished recitations of Psalms throughout the Jewish world. As they should. But then what? The depressingly familiar post-terrorist attack ritual is already unfolding before our eyes. The Obama administration… Read More

The Drive to Inspire Kindness in the World

In this day and age, doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. Although the concept of tikkun olam is rooted in Jewish texts and traditions, its importance and application transcend the Jewish community and can be applied to achieve change in the world at large. Every fall, during the holiday period, I find… Read More

How to Change a Life

Whose life will you change today? We all have the power to do it. Sometimes it’s the simple act of reaching out to a friend in need at precisely the right time. Or perhaps it’s the kindness you show a stranger during a chance encounter. What if you could change thousands of lives with a… Read More

What I Saw on the Migrants’ Road to Budapest

As our car rolled slowly toward Budapest, we saw a huge group heading in the opposite direction on the highway just outside the city: Hundreds of people quietly walking in the breakdown lane, marching toward freedom and peace. I couldn’t tell if the other drivers were lifting their heads or not, but I couldn’t look… Read More

A Missed Opportunity for Healing

I read with interest the “Personal Statement of Apology” made by Rabbi Barry Freundel in the Sept. 11th Balitmore Jewish Times. As a social worker with 30 years of clinical experience, I had hoped the rabbi might have explained, especially to the victims and the Jewish community in which he was revered, what drove him… Read More