Community News


Wagner’s ‘Ring’ Strikes a Jarring but Muted Chord in L.A.

By Rebecca Spence

When the Los Angeles Opera launches its most ambitious project to date — a 10-week citywide festival celebrating Richard Wagner’s “The Ring,” which will culminate in a massive production of the epic opera — not everyone will be celebrating.Read More


Harvard’s Muslim Chaplain Embroiled in Death-for-Apostasy Controversy

By Anthony Weiss

Remarks on apostasy and capital punishment under Islamic law by Harvard’s Muslim chaplain have become the center of a heated debate about whether Islamic and Western values can be compatible.Read More


Zvi Kanar, 80, Mime of Wonder and Shoah Horrors

By Itzik Gottesman

When Zvi Kanar, an internationally known mime and Yiddish writer, died April 18 in Tel Aviv, Israel, his friends were startled to learn that he was 80 years old. With his upbeat attitude and easy ability to be around the younger generation of Yiddishists and performers, it was assumed he was 10 years younger.Read More


Two Orthodox Groups Are Opposing Sex Abuse Bill

By Rebecca Dube

Two influential Orthodox organizations, Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah – The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, have come out against a New York State bill that would create a one-year window in which child sex abuse victims could sue their molesters, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.Read More


Rabbinic Job Market Tries Anxious Souls

By Rebecca Dube

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.Read More


On the Jersey Waterfront, Jews Return, But Jewish Community Still Struggles

By Anthony Weiss

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.Read More


When the Last Survivor Is Gone

By Michael Berenbaum

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.Read More


Leading Combatant in Gay Marriage Fight To Head Southern California Rabbis

By Rebecca Spence

When Denise Eger assumes the leadership of this region’s local rabbinic association, she’ll be making history — twice over.Read More


Skokie To Open New Holocaust Museum

By Lisbeth Levine

When former president Bill Clinton officially opens the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center later this month, the village of Skokie will stake its claim on history. Holocaust history, to be sure, but also — and perhaps more significantly — as the place where the seeds of the Holocaust education movement in the United States were first planted in response to a neo-Nazi march.Read More


Study: Young Jews More Spiritual, Yet More Divided?

By J.J. Goldberg

In a seeming departure from centuries-old traditions of American Jewish skepticism, interest in spirituality is markedly on the rise among Jewish young adults, according to a study released this month.Read More





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  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • 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."
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