Organizations are not simply web sites and platforms - they are also composed of people. by Robert Hyfler In a 2012 article I relayed what I described as “a real life midrash”: Early in my career, I worked at the Memphis Jewish Federation. At the time the most beloved community volunteer was Lewis “Red” Kramer, a secular Jew, regional Vice President of the Workman’s Circle and yet the membership chairman of what was then the largest … [Read more...] about The Exclusion of J Street and the Denial of Ourselves
by Yonatan Ariel In these days, there is a striking difference between being in Israel and not being in Israel. I feel it amongst my friends and colleagues. Those Jewish educators, rabbis and activists who live around the world - passionately committed to Israel as they are - often find it difficult to reshape their routines and regular social practices. Unlike their kindred spirits in Israel who overwhelmingly refrain from frivolous or … [Read more...] about Navigating Independence
This Yom haAztmaut, I celebrate the path of self-sovereign Jewish life in our ancestral homeland. But I also recognize that Israel needs to change its story from being the ONLY tale of Jewish life, to being ONE OF a few powerful ways to live Jewishly in the modern world. by Rabbi Mishael Zion Suddenly, at 1:00 AM, a knock on our door "Americans - get up. We have a Jewish state!” Such excitement. The dining hall was cleared of tables. Barrels … [Read more...] about Can We Tell a Tale of Two Zions?
by Rabbi Justus Baird As the State of Israel turns 66, I’m thinking a lot about Jewish life in the diaspora. The birthday of the Jewish State forces an existential question on us diaspora Jews: what is our compelling mission and purpose for Judaism outside of the land of Israel? Top Jewish thinkers and theologians have offered a dazzling range of meanings for Jewish life in Israel. The meaning of Jewish life in the diaspora deserves the same … [Read more...] about Israel and the Diaspora: Two Foci of a Single Ellipse
The “March” reminds us that the Jewish educational engagement of all Jews must remain an enduring goal. by Dr. Gil Graff For the third time over a period dating to 1996, I have joined thousands of Jews from dozens of nations around the globe in the experience of "March of the Living." Initiated by Israeli Jews, a "Holocaust to Redemption" theme is palpable: 70 years ago, Jews were, fundamentally, powerless and millions perished; today, … [Read more...] about Making Meaning of the March