Irony of the Maccabees

In “Chanukah: Creating a Light That Will Be Meaningful” (Dec. 4), Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz emphasizes that “what interested [assimilated Jews] was the Greek gymnasium, the contemporary sports … .” This cult of the physical body epitomized what the Maccabees resisted, opposed and actively fought against. How ironic then — and hyper-assimilationist! — that in… Read More

Got It Wrong

You are very mistaken about Judge I. Marshall Seidler being the “County’s First Mensch on the Bench” (Dec. 4), and it is an insult and a lie to so state. Judge Marvin Land was appointed to the District Court in 1971, and Judge Paul Alpert was appointed to the District Court a year later.

What a Farce!

I don’t know what the big fuss is concerning Donald Trump. During World War II, the American consul in Bern, Switzerland, Breckenridge Long, was an out-and-out anti-Semite who made every effort to keep Jews from entering the U.S. When the Evian Conference was called, nobody was willing to accept Jewish children; some survived, but others… Read More

URJ: We Are All God’s Children

On Nov. 5, delegates to the Union for Reform Judaism’s 73rd biennial convention unanimously adopted a resolution on the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. It was a moment of great pride and celebration, tempered by the knowledge that just two days earlier — and  reflecting how much work remains to be done to… Read More

Chanukah: Creating a light that will be meaningful

Chanukah is the one holiday that is known to practically every Jew. It is also the only holiday that is not  mentioned in the Bible. In the centuries just before the start of the Common Era, the ruling Greek empire pressured the Jews to assimilate into the Hellenistic world. A small group of Jews, truly… Read More

Why No Facebook Filter in Solidarity with Israeli Victims?

“Show your support for the people of Paris by temporarily updating your profile picture with this new template we created,” read the Facebook-sponsored text promoted not 24 hours after last week’s terror attacks in Paris. The social media giant invited users to overlay their profile picture with the blue, white and red colors of the… Read More

Looking Forward to a Strong Jewish Future

FTV_Terrill_Marc

Twenty years ago, a group of Associated Women, led by Brenda Brown Rever and a few other visionary leaders, recognized the tragedy and prevalence of domestic violence in our Jewish community. It was these leaders and dedicated system professionals, working both with and outside The Associated system, who helped establish a place where women and… Read More

Turkey and Gravy with a Side of Economic Justice

Thanksgiving is all about celebrating bounty — the bounty of family and friends and of the fruit of hard work. For millions of women and their  families, however, that celebration is muted by hardship and the effort it takes to survive without the wages and benefits that middle-income Americans take for granted. For those families,… Read More

Settlement Amnesia Afflicts Martin Indyk

A form of amnesia must be affecting the Obama administration’s former chief Mideast negotiator, Martin Indyk. It is, however, a very selective kind of amnesia — he forgets only concessions that Israel has made. Speaking recently at a conference in Tel Aviv, Indyk declared that the only reason there are no peace talks between Israel… Read More

Smaller Numbers, Steady Engagement

Steven M. Cohen

When delegates to the biennial  convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative  Judaism met last week near Chicago, they sought a way forward for a movement challenged by numerical decline but holding steady in Jewish engagement. These are the main overall trends that emerge from a comparison of two national studies of American Jews  conducted… Read More