Embracing Coexistence

Religious freedom is a bedrock principle of American life, so much so that we frequently defer to houses of worship and other religious institutions, granting them exceptions from taxes and many workplace regulations. The freedom to worship as one pleases, enshrined in the First Amendment, is intimately linked with the freedoms of speech and of… Read More

Our Complex Relationship with Saudi Arabia

The U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia has always been complex. Founded on oil, the relationship flourished as America’s need for foreign energy resources grew and was fed by the Arab world’s seeming endless supply of oil. But the kingdom is dramatically different from Western democracy, and the alliance has made for very strange bedfellows. Saudi… Read More

Syria’s Insoluble Puzzle

“In the last 48 hours, we have had an average of one Syrian killed every 25 minutes. One Syrian wounded every 13 minutes.” That was U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura’s  assessment of the carnage, as the shaky cease-fire in the Syrian civil war collapsed late last week. In the divided northern city of Aleppo, a… Read More

How a United Community Can Still Work Miracles

Passover is a time for family, for tradition and for festive celebration. It’s also a time to fix a paradox. While we read the haggadah earlier this week, we reflected on our past travails and miraculous redemption as a Jewish people. But if we look only at the past we risk overlooking the incredible ways… Read More

‘Traditional’ Women Not Immune to Rape

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N..J., is no stranger to controversy. His statements have been condemned by the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America and the Anti-Defamation League. As a former judge on the Beth Din of America, he has held some of the most prominent positions… Read More

The Pawns of Gaza

International focus on the well-being of the residents of Gaza is cyclical. That concern reached a high point during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, when over the course of 50 days, Gazans were held hostage by their rulers. Those rulers sent rockets into Israel knowing that any Israeli response would lead to a… Read More

Blaming the ‘Liberal-Left’

Vice President Joe Biden used his appearance at the recent J Street Gala to voice the Obama administration’s frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu That was not news to anyone who has followed U.S.-Israeli relations during the Obama years. Nor is it a secret that the administration believes that “the present course Israel’s on… Read More

Changing the World While Counting the Omer

This Shabbat is the last day of Passover (Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17 and Numbers 28:25), and we can put aside (or throw out) any remaining matzoh and  return to our everyday lives. But can we really? Is the holiday truly finished? Yes, Passover is finished here in the diaspora after eight days, but it actually isn’t finished… Read More

Voter Registration, Clarified

Voter Registration,  Clarified I would first like to commend the JT’s Marc Shapiro for capturing our accomplishments during the contentious 90-day legislative session in “Looking Back on the Maryland General Assembly” (April 22).  I would like to clarify what was written on the Universal Voter Registration Act. As originally introduced, the bill would have automatically… Read More

Israel’s Water Pioneers

English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge might be frequently maligned through each iteration of the “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” quote — the slightly altered line from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” does not, unlike how its most invoked, refer to scarcity in the midst of abundance — but in a… Read More