The morning after AIPAC

The list of high government officials who will speak at the AIPAC Policy Conference, which opens Saturday night in Washington, is long and impressive. It includes Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). The presence of these and other notables… Read More

Fragile hope for Ukraine

With breathtaking speed last weekend, the embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s agreement to enter a national unity government with the opposition was swept aside by his country’s Parliament. The legislative body then quickly dismissed Yanukovych from office, ending, at least temporarily, the popular uprising set in motion by the president’s rejection of a trade deal… Read More

Enjoy the Jewish experience

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Tom Steyer, it seems, is making a play for the libertarian and politically active Koch brothers. Speaking to National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” earlier this week, the California billionaire investor spoke of his plans to invest $100 million to influence the debate surrounding the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada’s Tar Sands… Read More

A Lesson in Communal Relations

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Please indulge me as I reveal a not so well-kept secret that I don’t mind professing to the world, or at least to this small corner of the global Jewish community: I love my family. I love my wife, Suzy. I love my kids. And in our particular home, we dispense a lot of love…. Read More

When We Are God’s Witnesses

I am writing this on a bitterly cold day. It was 3 degrees when I left for the gym before sunup, and now, at noontime, it is not noticeably warmer. I cannot stop thinking about those who do not have a warm, comfortable home as their refuge in this kind of adverse weather. Homeless shelters… Read More

You Want Their Parents to Hear You’re a Rabbi

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I often get asked how I find people in my work. Who are these young adult Jews we know to be roaming the secular gathering spaces of Baltimore but aren’t showing up in shul? It’s surprisingly easy to identify unaffiliated Jews here in Baltimore. That said, there definitely are certain tactics I rely on to… Read More

Why the Need for a Nation-State?

Rev. Chris Leighton’s wording about “the Jewish yearning for their own homeland” was meticulously chosen (“The Presbyterian problem with Israel,” Feb. 14). In the clash of narratives percolated by the Arab-Israeli conflict, spin and fact often seem interchangeable. Amid this epistemological morass, however, there abides the following historical truth: There is nothing in the traditional… Read More

An escalating stalemate in Syria

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The second round of Syrian peace talks ended in Geneva last weekend with very little progress reproted. In recognition of that failure, the U.N.’s Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, sent an apology to the Syrian people: “I am very, very sorry, and I apologize to the Syrian people, [whose] hopes were very, very high,” that… Read More

Finding Rest Amid Creation

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We rest on the Shabbos because G-d rested on Shabbos. What does this mean? When G-d created the world he created it ex nihilo, something out of nothing. Before creation there was absolutely nothing besides G-d. With each of the 10 statements of creation (“Let there be light,” etc.), G-d brought our world and everything… Read More

Uncomfortable Conversations Valuable

Congratulations to Janet Kurland and Gail Lipsitz from Jewish Community Services on their article that appeared in The Associated insert Jewish Boomer (“5 Key Conversations With Your Parents,” Jan. 31). Their advice and observations are right on target and something we encounter every day with visits from families considering a move for their loved ones…. Read More