Viewpoints

A final letter from the Jewish Sound board

Dear Subscribers and Members of our community, As the final chapter of this 91-year-old newspaper comes to an end, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the board and staff of The Jewish Sound (a.k.a. JTNews and The Jewish Transcript) for its unwavering support and commitment through the good times as well as(…)

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When it comes to Israel, let’s at least try to get along

By Joel Magalnick, Editor, The Jewish Sound As this 91-year experiment in community outreach comes to a close, I have a question: Can we talk? I mean, really talk? In particular, I want to talk about Israel, because it seems like nobody else is. When I mean talk about Israel, I mean with each other,(…)

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Mourning for a venerable friend

Mourning for a venerable friend

By Diana Brement, Jewish Sound Columnist Please hand me that freshly sharpened stylus. I need to etch this in cuneiform on my clay tablet. When it’s dry, I’ll call the Pony Express to carry it to my editor. Then a typesetter will set my words, one letter at a time, into trays of type and(…)

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The sparks of a radiant tomorrow

By Rabbi Olivier BenHaim, Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue Our tradition assumes the possibility of four different levels of interpretation to any text, from the literal to the esoteric. One of these levels, the allegorical level, allows us to understand our Biblical stories as universal archetypes relating to the human spiritual journey. The opening verses of(…)

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‘J Street Challenge’ film draws criticism from J Street rabbis

By Avi Goldwasser, Special to The Jewish Sound In response to Rabbi Anson Laytner’s article “Challenging ‘The J Street Challenge’” in the March 12 Jewish Sound, it was disheartening to read Rabbi Laytner’s critique of ‘The J Street Challenge,’ a film produced by the non-profit educational organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT). APT has(…)

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Rediscovering you

By Rabbi Mark Spiro, Living Judaism   Obese Ohio man found fused to chair he sat in for 2 years A morbidly obese Ohio man was in the hospital Tuesday after police found him fused to a chair he had not moved from in two years and were forced to cut a hole in the(…)

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Challenging ‘The J Street Challenge’

By Rabbi Anson Laytner, Special to the Jewish Sound After the Washington Coalition of Rabbis, the umbrella body for non-Orthodox rabbis in our state, wrote a letter criticizing the showing of “The J Street Challenge” here in Seattle because it potentially would sow seeds of mistrust among Jews here, we each received a complimentary copy(…)

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What billionaires owe the Jewish community

By Jay Ruderman, JTA World News Service BOSTON (JTA) — In the past decade, a new class of Jewish mega-givers has emerged, reshaping the Jewish philanthropic landscape. This has been, without a doubt, a tremendous boon for Jewish life. Super-donors are facilitating the expansion of the Jewish enterprise. With their largesse, more young people are(…)

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For Ukraine Jews, Purim holiday merely a respite

By Alan H. Gill, JTA World News Service NEW YORK (JTA) — Jewish perseverance, and more than a bit of chutzpah, lies at the heart of the Purim holiday we celebrate this week. It is one of the reasons we are instructed to mark this raucous holiday with boundless joy and why thousands of Ukrainian(…)

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UW’s Simpson Center puts Israel in the dock

By Edward Alexander, Special to the Jewish Sound “In the modern world, the Jew has perpetually been on trial; still today the Jew is on trial, in the person of the Israeli—and this modern trial of the Jew, this trial which never ends, begins with the trial of Shylock.” —Philip Roth, Operation Shylock (1993)  (…)

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On the backs of those who most need our help

By Rabbi Seth Goldstein, Temple Beth Hatfiloh Here is a scenario: A synagogue is faced with a tight budget. Examining its options, the board of the congregation decides not to do any additional fundraising, but instead decides to just cut programs. Doesn’t sound too realistic? As a congregational rabbi myself, I understand that there is(…)

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Joan Peters: An Appreciation

By David Shayne, Special to The Jewish Sound “In other cases, the more or less universally used description of ‘eligibility” [to be considered ‘refugees’] included those people who were forced to leave ‘permanent’ or ‘habitual’ homes. In the case of Arab refugees, however, the definition had been broadened to include any persons who had been(…)

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What will you do for the Jewish people?

By Rabbi Shaul Engelsberg, Derech Emunah Seattle Jewish Girls High School My wife’s grandfather, Mordechai Szimonowitz, survived World War II. When the Nazis forced all the Jews of Budapest, Hungary to move into the ghetto, Zeide — as we called him — was able to procure false identification papers and remained outside the ghetto walls(…)

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Why Jewish families should vaccinate their kids

Why Jewish families should vaccinate their kids

By Jamie Rubin, Kveller.com (Kveller via JTA) — Since the news of the recent Disneyland measles outbreak and the subsequent chatter on Facebook began, I discovered I have at least four Facebook friends (and likely a few more) with healthy, non-immunocompromised, vaccine-aged children who have decided, for non-medical reasons, to not vaccinate. For some of these friends(…)

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What Selma means to the Jews

What Selma means to the Jews

By Susanna Heschel, JTA World News Service HANOVER, N.H. (JTA) — The 50th anniversary of the 1965 march at Selma is being commemorated this year with the release of the film “Selma.” Regrettably, the film represents the march as many see it today, only as an act of political protest. But for my father Abraham(…)

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Mayim Bialik’s reflections on the Paris attacks

Mayim Bialik’s reflections on the Paris attacks

By Mayim Bialik, Kveller/JTA World News Service I grew up in a public school that had enough Jewish kids that I felt represented. I went to Hebrew school twice a week and had a chavurah, or fellowship, through my Reform synagogue with kids my age. A portion of my family was Orthodox. I was surrounded by Jews. I(…)

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On Martin Luther King Day, Jews must acknowledge their privilege

On Martin Luther King Day, Jews must acknowledge their privilege

By Maital Friedman NEW YORK (JTA) — The events of the last few weeks have shaken me to the core. Beyond the devastation I felt over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, I was heartbroken to learn that the police officers involved would not stand trial. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and “I can’t(…)

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