What should we do about Pew?

Now what? On Oct. 1, the Pew Research Center released “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” an exhaustive survey of the American Jewish community with more than 3,500 respondents. Within only a few weeks, hundreds of articles and blogs have been written and dozens of conference calls held, along with countless hallway conversations on what it… Read More

Jimmy Obama

Comparisons of Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are not meant as a compliment to either man. But it is inevitable to compare them, especially when examining their foreign policies. These two presidents share a perspective on America’s role in the world that is at odds with the idea of strong, confident American leadership. Both… Read More

Let’s keep news and opinion separate

A recent sub-headline on the front page of Washington Jewish Week read: “J Street policy conference rallies youth, falls short on moving the conversation forward.” I sighed, not because I work for J Street but because it was yet another example of a newspaper violating what used to be a key rule of good journalism,… Read More

How to stop killing in the name of God

Belief in God is at the core of my being. But that belief is sometimes challenged by the scores of innocents killed in God’s name, from biblical times to the present day. Last month, dozens were killed at a shopping mall in Kenya by terrorists demanding to know if those they were confronting were Muslim…. Read More

Muslim Russia?

The stabbing murder on Oct. 10 of an ethnic Russian, Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, apparently by a Muslim from Azerbaijan, led to anti-migrant disturbances in Moscow, vandalism and assaults, the arrest of 1,200, and brought a major tension in Russian life to the fore. Not only do ethnic Muslims account for 21-23 million of Russia’s total… Read More

Looking forward and back

Thirty years ago, my wife’s aunt sent me an advertisement from the Baltimore Jewish Times for a job opening at B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville. That congregation took a chance on hiring a young, 25-year-old synagogue administrator from Los Angeles, reuniting me with my childhood rabbi (Matthew Simon) and allowing me to experiment with “new”… Read More

Heaven’s comeback

Several things have happened recently that cause me to think heaven could be making a big comeback. First, the recent Nobel Prize awarded to scientists who discovered the Higgs boson, commonly known as “the God particle.” Thousands of scientists who spent countless hours of research, supported by billions of dollars, discovered the definite existence of… Read More

Bibi’s heavy-handed campaign

Benjamin Netanyahu is right to be skeptical, very skeptical, about Iran’s nuclear intentions, but his heavy-handed campaign to portray the new Iranian president as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” out to build a bomb under cover of negotiations could blow up in his face. He could be right, but as usual his over-the-top approach doesn’t… Read More