Forward Forum


A Word From the Pews

By Norman Levin

The news that the chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Ismar Schorsch, has announced his plans to retire has naturally created a lot of attention in the seminary community.There is far less commotion within the lay community — and that is as it should be.Jews don’t have a pope whose presence or absence defines a principle or anRead More


The Making of a Leader

By Jacob Neusner

The Catholics got it right. They choose a pope in secret. They mourn the last pope, collect the cardinals in seclusion, and poof — black smoke, black smoke, white smoke. Then everyone goes back to work.But choosing a pope for a billion Catholics is one thing; choosing a chancellor for a million and a half Conservative Jews is another thingRead More


Israel’s Tomorrow, Today

By Boris Sandler

More than that of any other country in the world, Israel’s fate is dependent on “tomorrow” — a tomorrow that comes closer day by day with the approach of August 15, the date set by Prime Minister Sharon to begin Israel’s planned withdrawal from Gaza.How does Israeli society look from afar during these critical days? Above all, split intoRead More


Looking ‘White,’ Thinking ‘Other’

By Bethamie Horowitz

‘Be a Jew in private and a human being in public.” This was the mantra with which a generation of American Jews was raised, and the idea was to keep the Jewish particulars to yourself and blend in to the American dream. But the quality of the American Jewish experience has changed in the past 50 years. For much of the last century,Read More


What If the Biblical Ruth Came to America?

By Arthur Waskow

If the biblical Ruth came to America today, what would happen? In the biblical story, Ruth was welcomed onto the fields of Boaz, where she gleaned what the regular harvesters had left behind. Boaz made sure that even this despised foreigner had a decent job at decent pay. When she went one night to the barn where the barleyRead More


Between Religious Equality and Liberty

By Marc Stern

Lawyers will be arguing for a long time about the practical effect of this week’s Supreme Court decisions in two cases related to the public display of the Ten Commandments. About the only thing that can be said with certainty is that the hope that the court would establish clear rules about religious displays to minimize divisive litigation hasRead More


Reformists, Conservatives and Other Iranians

By Zvi Bar’el

A sense of dread befell the world last Friday: New Iranian president Mahmood Ahmadinejad is an extremist, a lover of nukes, a Beckham-hater, a believer in the separation of the sexes. To cut a long story short: Prepare for war. One could sense the disappointment that crossed the ocean with the news that former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, theRead More


Unfinished Business at the Jewish Agency

By Jerome Epstein

Sallai Meridor’s surprise announcement on May 10 that he would relinquish his chairmanship of the Jewish Agency for Israel and of the World Zionist Organization caught many, including me, off guard. I can only hope that whoever is chosen to replace him later this month is committed to seeing through to completion the important workRead More


Build an Open Tent Instead of Guarding The Communal Gates

By Tobin Belzer, Amichai Lau-Lavie and Ronit Avni

A few months ago, Joshua Venture quietly closed down. We are proud that during its four-plus years of existence, our fellowship of Jewish social entrepreneurs piqued the interest of hundreds of unaffiliated young adults who had felt alienated by increasingly conservative and creatively stagnant Jewish institutions.We are proud, but we are alsoRead More


‘Green’ Nuclear Energy, in Black and White

By Lawrence Bush

As the Senate debates its bipartisan energy bill, it is obvious that nuclear power is slated to make a comeback in America. The bill includes an extension to 2025 of the Price Anderson liability protection law, which caps the damages for which the nuclear industry can be held liable in the event of a catastrophe such as a core meltdown.This is theRead More


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