Celebrate Freedom with Fair Trade Chocolate

A few movies have affected me so deeply that I knew a new journey was opening for me. One of those was “The Dark Side of Chocolate,” which I saw at the Fair Trade Federation conference in fall 2010. It explicitly documents child labor’s role in the cocoa fields of the Ivory Coast. I was… Read More

Times Gets It Wrong on JNF and Bedouin Arabs

In a March 1 op-ed for The New York Times, “The Two Israels,” Nicholas Kristof made a rather broad accusation stating that Jewish National Fund plants forests on land owned by Bedouin Arabs. Unfortunately, Kristof chose to subscribe to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement’s diatribe against Israel and used JNF as a straw… Read More

Twisted Logic

In political arenas, both domestic and international, logic does not always prevail. In fact, emotion, wishful thinking and just plain spinning the facts to meet one’s needs seems to have become more and more prevalent. A case in point is the Armenian diaspora’s insistence that Jews throughout the world publicly support Armenian claims related to… Read More

Together as One, Forever United

“Together as one, forever united.”The importance of these words has recently, in the face of constant anti-Semitism, stood out to the global Jewish community. During Presidents Day weekend, more than 2,000 Jewish teens from around the world gathered in Atlanta for BBYO’s annual International Convention to demonstrate how, when taken to heart, these words have… Read More

Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy

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Rarely has a speech given by a foreign international leader received such a voluminous ocean of words, warnings and dire consequences as that given to ally and friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. He is only the second leader — the first was the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill — to have addressed… Read More

Time to Diversify

I am optimistic about the American Jewish future. But I am worried about the future of extant Jewish communal institutions, primarily because of what I see as limited examples of adaptive leadership. While the synagogue is the most ubiquitous of all American Jewish institutions, it too is vulnerable and at risk. The synagogue does not… Read More

Countering OPEC’s Power

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is $2.41. For this, drivers can mostly thank the highest level of domestic oil production in four decades — more than 9 million barrels per day. With American energy production booming, it’s difficult to imagine a return to the shortages that characterized the 1973 Arab oil embargo…. Read More

Our Legacy, for Better or for Worse

Sustaining evolution or submitting to extinction? This isn’t a line for tree-hugging environmentalists.  This is about you.  And me.  And whether we have a vested interest in our learning and our future or if we are resigned to acquiesce to the fate of our complacency and greed. The advantage to being human is that we… Read More

Our French Connection

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As I rushed into our local kosher market to pick up the remaining items I needed for Shabbat, my thoughts turned to Sophie and Sandy who were among the Jews held at gunpoint in the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris on Jan. 9. I could not help but think about the connections made and… Read More

Time to Reconsider Jewish Love Affair with Buildings

The halls of the Omaha Jewish Community Center are often empty, but not because there is no Jewish life here. Quite the contrary. On any given day, we have an impressive number of Jewish activities for a community of 5,500 Jews. So why the empty hallways? Because we have invested considerably more in our buildings… Read More