‘Look at the world through their eyes’

A recent article by Peter Beinart in the New York Review of Books headlined “The Jewish American Cocoon” has been sparking lots of discussion in our community. Beinart argues that American Jewish organizations are not willing even to hear, much less consider, Palestinian viewpoints and perspectives about what Zionism means. He does not argue that… Read More

Rohani’s Jewish arm candy

At the time this was written, Iranian president Hassan Rohani was planning to bring with him the only Jewish member of Iran’s parliament when he attends the United Nations General Assembly this week. Jewish arm candy can be very useful in certain sticky political situations. Rohani’s immediate predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was known for his claims… Read More

In Kotel conflict, recall ancient etrog riot

JERUSALEM — The scene is familiar to us all. Women of the Wall come to the Kotel to worship in the shadow of the Temple Mount. Haredi Orthodox worshippers respond by disrupting their prayers, sometimes pelting them with eggs and other objects. Underlying these clashes are modern issues — the conflict between liberal and traditionalist… Read More

Synagogues talk too much about money

The problem isn’t that synagogues have too little money and declining memberships. The problem is that they spend more than they can afford. The staff and lay leadership talk too much about money when they should be talking about their mission. When you sit down at the dinner table with your family, do you discuss… Read More

Keeping our eye on the ball: Iran

The Middle East, with all its hot spots of political unrest, civil war and terrorism, offers many reasons for American policy makers to pass sleepless nights in worry. But the center of all concerns, the most serious threat to American interests and allies, is Iran. Even the debate about Syria was really a debate about… Read More

J Street’s time to lead

Later this month, I will attend my third annual J Street Conference here in Washington. I’m going back because J Street is exactly what they say it is: “The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.” That means J Street supports the existence of the state of Israel as a democracy and a national home for… Read More

A message of women’s empowerment

NEW YORK — Each year when I sit in synagogue during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I’m struck by the complex stories we read about biblical women and by the wisdom these stories offer about ensuring the dignity of women and girls today. The past year was one of paradoxes. At a time when Sheryl… Read More