Is Jewish education Jewish?

When I enrolled my first child in Jewish day school almost 20 years ago, I was enthralled with the prospect that he would be educated “Jewishly.” I imagined that the wisdom of the Torah would illuminate his mind through a Judaic curriculum of Jewish history and Torah subjects. I believed that Jewish schools would reflect… Read More

Will they return?

Will they return? The organized Jewish community often asks this question about Jews in their 20s and 30s. And we are right to ask. Today’s young adults are much less likely to join organized Jewish life and have more opportunities, both within and outside the Jewish communities, where they can become involved in spiritual life…. Read More

What should Israel do about Europe?

On Israel’s popular morning radio station, Reshet Bet, broadcaster Aryeh Golan recently interviewed Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin about the latest demands by the European Union, that its research and development grants not be applied to territories beyond the 1967 lines. Since mid-July, there have been reports of new EU guidelines that are expected to… Read More

Find your moment

The greatest casualty of my rabbinate has been my spiritual life on the High Holy Days. I have often joked with people that I became a rabbi so that I would have something to do all day on Yom Kippur, but the fact is that “multitasking” may have been a term invented to describe what… Read More

Racial profiling must end

I grew up in Baltimore and attended Baltimore City public schools. When I was in elementary school, students were denied their full rights because the public schools in Baltimore were segregated by race. I remember with great sadness how discrimination was not only condoned but, more often than not, actually encouraged against blacks, Jews, Catholics… Read More

‘Equal Justice Under the Law’

In late June of 1989, Stephen Frederick Rosenfeld, a former United States Marine, went for a hike in the beautiful Judean Hills near where he lived. Two Arabs approached him, and they began to engage him in a pleasant discussion. Within a short amount of time, they ended up stealing a pocket knife from his… Read More

Fixing injustice could pay spiritual dividends

It wasn’t easy leaving my wife and three young daughters to do miluim (reserve army duty) twice a year in my 30s and 40s. But like most secular and modern Orthodox Jews living in Israel in the 1970s and ’80s, I understood that the Jewish state couldn’t exist surrounded by enemies sworn to its destruction… Read More

The do-less Congress

If Harry Truman thought he was dealing with a “Do Nothing Congress” in 1948, he’d think that one was actually hyperactive compared to the one we have languishing on Capitol Hill today. Not only is this the least productive in history, it may be the one to have taken the most vacation days as well…. Read More

In peace talks, watch what Bibi does

In Israel’s history, hawkish leaders have often ended up advocating tough concessions for the sake of peace. Think Menachem Begin at Camp David, Yitzhak Rabin and the Oslo Accords and Ariel Sharon who at the end of his career found himself mulling a withdrawal from the West Bank. Add Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizmann to… Read More