Ariel Beery


Our Free Rider Problem

By Ariel Beery

In October 2007, I was invited to the third Professional Leaders Project ThinkTank. The conference took place in Santa Monica, Calif., where, as I recall, close to 200 young Jews were received warmly at a top-flight hotel with beautiful sushi spreads and told that we were the future leaders of American Jewry.Read More


Let the Light in From the Periphery

By Ariel Beery

Much like the events that led up to Hanukkah more than 2,000 years ago, a new empire has arisen in our time, stamping the known world with its particular brand of world-encompassing universal philosophy. Unlike the Greeks and the Hellenistic age, America’s brand of humanist universalism is truly a global phenomenon — spreading through nongovernmental organizations to the deepest reaches of the East, and through McDonald’s and Starbucks to create consumers in the farthest regions of the South.Read More


The General Assembly’s Youth Deficit

By Ariel Beery

Upon entering this year’s General Assembly of United Jewish Communities in Los Angeles, one is immediately greeted by colorful pictures of young Jews hugging beside the slogan of this year’s gathering, “One People, One Destiny.” The slogan reflects both the G.A.’s focus on the aftermath of Israel’s war with Hezbollah as well as widespread concern following studies reporting that there is a marked decrease in the younger generation’s identification with Jewish peoplehood.Read More






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    • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
    • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
    • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
    • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
    • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
    • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
    • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
    • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
    • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
    • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
    • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
    • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
    • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
    • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
    • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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