In search of leaders

As the former director of Jews for Judaism, I used to view my Orthodox Judaism as a badge of honor. I was part of a group that was upholding the values of my ancestors, values that had fundamentally shaped civilization in the direction of justice and compassion and truth. I was a link to a… Read More

Loving your fellow as yourself

With the term refugee having become a pejorative in many quarters, this is an appropriate time to reflect upon the plight of our own people during the countless years when we faced situations that compelled us to leave our homes but had nowhere to go. When we took matters into our own hands and crossed… Read More

They even want to take away our history

Most of us — at least those of us who are willing to learn from history — know full well the incremental steps that led to the Holocaust, the Shoah. Despite centuries of discrimination, persecutions and pogroms in Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Slavic lands of Russia, and, regrettably, most places in between,… Read More

Nothing diplomatic about an Ambassador Friedman

The presidency of Donald Trump has opened with some alarming blunders. The administration released a sweeping immigration and refugee ban that was halted by numerous federal courts, most definitively the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And the president made the fateful decision not to divest personally from his global business empire, a stubborn judgment that… Read More

HIAS should return to its roots

Imagine you are an impoverished religious Jew living in Paris. You can no longer wear religious garb out of fear of being set upon by assailants from North Africa who will beat you to within an inch of your life, if not take it. Your children are bullied in school as their teachers ignore their… Read More

Washington’s words must ring true today

Often at our Shabbat morning service of President’s Weekend, I have read a few key excerpts from George Washington’s famous letter to the Jewish Congregation of Newport, R.I. Penned in 1790, it is a fascinating document — all the more remarkable because it profiles the values of tolerance and inclusion which our first president articulated… Read More

We need a better deal at the United Nations

People love to wax poetic about the United Nations and how its stunning Turtle Bay location on prime real estate in New York City is a jewel in the world’s crown. Indeed, schoolchildren across the United States are taught that the global body saved the world from nuclear annihilation. Perhaps that was the original intent…. Read More

Oy vey, Donald!

Full disclosure requires that I admit to voting for Donald Trump and fully supporting him as president of the United States. Of course my friends here in New York, especially the Jewish ones, thought I was absolutely meshugah for coming out of the conservative closet. However, I saw an extremely successful businessman, who I believed… Read More