Complaints over Israel’s conduct on Palestinian land are well-known. Less commonly heard, however, is the accusation that Israel is actually removing the land.
After five years of rabbinical school, Benjamin Berger was looking forward to leading the life of a pulpit rabbi: getting to know his congregation, sharing his love of the Torah and leading a community.
The traditional Jewish blessings over wine and bread, the Kiddush and the Motzi, echoed through the sanctuary at 10 HaRav Kook Street in Jerusalem. It was a room of striking simplicity — with just one small cross in brown wood.
Aside from a few buckets to catch water where the roof leaks, Congregation B’nai Jacob in Jersey City, N.J., looks much as it did 40 years ago, when 900 people would show up for High Holy Day services and the Hebrew school was packed with 175 students. But the Hebrew school has been closed for years, and the Conservative synagogue’s aging membership, though still devoted, has dwindled to about 90 families, most of them elderly.
Two years ago, an MBA student whom I mentored wrote her thesis on how major Holocaust organizations were planning to deal with the inevitable — the fact that soon, all too soon, there would be no survivors.