by Erica Lyons Seemingly there is a real tension in Shanghai's Tilanqiao district. The tension is between competing interests: historic significance versus a rapidly growing urban population (in need of housing and basic communal amenities) versus businesses looking to expand and cash in on the plethora of potential opportunities. At the center of the debate over land use and redevelopment lies the fate of what was once the Shanghai Jewish … [Read more...] about When Past and Present Collide: Reshaping the Future of the Historic Shanghai Ghetto
by David Newman For many people in the Diaspora the connection with Israel comes in three forms. Either it is the constant barrage of media focusing on the conflict, or a once-in-lifetime bar mitzva or Taglit trip to the country, or the constant requests by Israeli institutions and organizations to donate funds. Fundraising has always been a big part of the Israel-Diaspora connection. It s often the basis for what is known, in the UK at least, … [Read more...] about Giving to Israel: an Alternative
by David Breakstone A beautiful summer day in Budapest by a tranquil park on the Danube. An incongruous backdrop to the harrowing account we are listening to of events that transpired here on a freezing winter day 67 years ago. In an excerpt from Yair Lapid’s biography of his father, Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, the 13-year-old future Knesset member is being marched out of the ghetto with his mother and hundreds of other Jews to the edge of the frozen … [Read more...] about Keep Dreaming: A Zionism with No Future
by Rabbi Jason A. Miller Like every other rabbi around the world I am currently hard at work on my sermons for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I've always enjoyed writing and public speaking, so this exercise is enjoyable rather than stressful for me. However, finding the right words to inspire the congregation during this time of year can be challenging. The basic themes of the holiday haven't changed in thousands of years: forgiveness, … [Read more...] about Do Politics Belong in Sermons?
by Yossi Prager Rosh Hashana is considered a Day of Awe, the result of it being a day of divine judgment. However, a little-known biblical story mandates that it is also a joyous day, for reasons that remain relevant today. The story begins some 2,500 years ago, on Rosh Hashana in 444 BCE, 70 years after the Second Temple had been completed (see Chapter 8 of the Book of Nechemia). A tall wooden platform was constructed on the Temple … [Read more...] about Why Rosh Hashana is Also a Day of Joy: A Personal Reflection