Governing by leadership

Addressing West Virginia Democrats last month, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered a thinly veiled critique of his former boss, the president. “In our democracy, we govern either by leadership or by crisis. If leadership is not there, make no mistake about it, we will govern by crisis and, right now, we largely govern by… Read More

Confronting suicide

I stood at a graveside in Pittsburgh this past summer and listened as an experienced pulpit rabbi eulogized a young Jewish suicide victim. In the gray storm light, the rabbi dizzily groped for words, ultimately confessing that she had no frame of reference for this kind of death. “Unless you’ve been personally touched by suicide,… Read More

The resilience debate

Resilience can be taught. That was the hopeful message Michele Borba, the educational psychologist, author and Dr. Oz Show contributor brought to a packed auditorium at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital (JPDS-NC) Sunday night. Borba was the keynote speaker of the school’s first annual Ari Zymelman lecture on parenting. She is… Read More

On the media, cognitive dissonance and ignorance

Maureen Dowd turned her trademark snark on Brandeis University, Haverford College and Rutgers University when, in a May 17 column for The New York Times, she reported how those institutions of higher learning disinvited their commencement speakers due to protests from students opposed to hearing from them. In particular, Dowd lamented Rutgers’ snub of Condoleezza… Read More

Let slip the dogs of war

My mother, Linda, woke up last week to the sight of blood – on her bedroom floor, in the hallways of her house in Pittsburgh and on the stairs. Her two year-old Havanese, Sasha, was nowhere to be found. Following the trail of blood to my stepfather’s study, she found Sasha, still bleeding, the result… Read More

A study in contrast

President Obama’s remarks last week following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 over Ukraine by suspected pro-Russian rebels were unusually eloquent, even for this president. Noting that there were some 100 AIDS/HIV researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference in Australia on board the exploded plane, Obama deplored the loss of men and… Read More

Stepping out of the shadows

In a recent Torah portion, Hukkat, Moses is punished for conflating his authority with God’s. Instead of telling the restless and thirsty masses that God would produce water for them from a rock, he says: “Listen you rebels, shall we get water for you out of this rock?” For the sin of self-deification, wrote Joshua… Read More

The limits of language

After two weeks on the job as editor-in-chief of Washington Jewish Week, I have started to receive phone calls and letters about our articles. I am grateful for both the cheers and the jeers; you are clearly reading our work and reading it intently. One of those critical, close readers, an Israeli native living here… Read More

The right to privacy

The Supreme Court of the United States ended its current term with a flurry of headline-grabbing decisions concerning free speech and the free exercise of religion, two of the five pillars of the First Amendment. Political reporter Dmitriy Shapiro writes about the Hobby Lobby decision on the front page this week, a case concerning a… Read More