A Scary General Assembly

As world leaders took the podium last week at the U.N. General Assembly, we were treated to a lot of bluster and some theater, but not much assurance that the world is heading down a peaceful path. And there were many offending speakers. In the case of President Donald Trump, had he been anywhere other… Read More

Netanyahu’s Slap at Diaspora Jewry

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likes to speak broadly about his long-term goal of Jewish unity. But his recent assertions with respect to Diaspora Jewry raise serious questions about his real commitment to that goal. Indeed, rather than leading as a unifier, Netanyahu is coming across as a cynical politician who will say anything to… Read More

Appalled by Defense of Trump

I was shocked, appalled and deeply saddened to read Bill Fox’s From This View article (“Trump a Racist? No Way,” Sept. 15). I can easily dispute everything said by Mr. Fox. I found it utterly frightening to see the neo-Nazis, skinheads and the Ku Klux Klan with burning torches shouting “blood and soil,” an anti-… Read More

Conservative Judaism Needs a New Brand

We are living at a moment of great disruption. We all sense it. We all experience it. It impacts every aspect of our lives — education, economics, politics, social society. Judaism is not immune to these forces. The institutions we built to sustain and nurture Jewish life for the last 200 years are crumbling while… Read More

A Time for Moral Accounting

Part of the American Jewish World Service’s Chag v’Chesed series The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is more than just a marker of the cycle of years and the passage of time. This annual “birthday” of the creation of the world is also an annual day of reckoning. The rabbis of the Talmud imagined God… Read More

When Will We Ever Learn? Parshat Ha’azinu

As we celebrate the new year, more and more of our relatives and friends are recovering from devastating disasters — a hurricane and flood in Texas and the Southeast, fires in the Northwest and, beyond our borders, an earthquake in Mexico and deadly monsoons in Bangladesh. Natural disasters are no longer something that only happen… Read More

They’re Playing ‘Hatikvah’

As the saying goes, we don’t expect Israel’s enemies to be playing “Hatikvah.” Yet there was the Bahrain National Orchestra, playing the Israeli national anthem. The occasion was an interfaith gathering last week at the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, where Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, son of Bahrain’s king, spoke to 400 guests,… Read More

The Possessions of Iraqi Jews

A year from now, the United States is scheduled to return to Iraq a trove of Jewish artifacts the U.S. military discovered in Baghdad after it overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003. Included within the historic materials are thousands of what were badly damaged holy books — the oldest from the 16th century — which were… Read More

People of the Book Isaac Bashevis Singer Told the Truth About Us

On Aug. 3, 2004, I was sitting in the expensive London garden of a rich Jewish friend from my father’s grad school, all too relaxed in her gorgeously lush English garden that overlooked one of the world’s loveliest public parks.  I’d spent myself broke three times that summer to engorge myself upon theater and concerts as… Read More