Viewpoints

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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Op-Ed: France’s wake-up call

Op-Ed: France’s wake-up call

By Simone Rodan-Benzaquen PARIS (JTA) — The kosher supermarket was chosen deliberately. Men, women and children were shopping and preparing for Shabbat. Only two days before the attack, terrorists had left 10 of the best-known satirical journalists and cartoonists dead at Charlie Hebdo. Three French police officers were also struck down, one of them a(…)

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Demystifying the Va’ad

By Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle This Shabbat we will to begin to read and study the Book of Shemot. It is the book of slavery and of redemption, of Torah and of Mishkan — the beginning of Peoplehood. The Midrash attributes our redemption from bondage to our merit of maintaining a unique Jewish identity(…)

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An identity builder?

While I was a bit surprised to learn that the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project has expanded to offer trips for men (“It’s Birthright Israel — for Jewish moms,” Dec. 12, 2014), I was even more surprised to learn that “the women visit a group children’s home and attend a cooking workshop, while the men visit(…)

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A modern-day embodiment

Apparently the irony of Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) co-opting both the celebration of Hanukkah and the events in Ferguson, Missouri to promote their virulently anti-Israel agenda was lost on JTNews (“Jews in Seattle and beyond light Hanukkah candles for racial justice,” Dec. 19, 2014). Hanukkah is not just a celebration of the Maccabees’ victory(…)

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The Hanukkah hammer

The Hanukkah hammer

By Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals The Shabbat of Hanukkah was observed among Sephardim of the Ottoman Empire as “Shabbat Halbashah,” the Shabbat of providing clothing for the needy. Traditionally, the rabbi would deliver a sermon that day on the mitzvah of charity and lovingkindness. Beginning the following day, members(…)

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Let us reconnect

Federation CEO Keith Dvorchik echoed many of my feelings in his recent column (“As we mourn, let us stop the divisiveness about Israel,” Nov. 21). We, the Jewish people, are 0.2 percent of the world’s population. In today’s world, however, it’s easy to feel close only to those Jews who are like us, rather than(…)

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To security officials, Chabad attack underscores importance of preparedness

By Ron Kampeas, JTA World News Service WASHINGTON (JTA) — The stabbing of a rabbinical student at Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in New York underscores three things that Jewish security officials have been urging in recent years: Be alert for copycats, cooperate with law enforcement, and don’t stay away from shul. American Jewish community officials have been(…)

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The first and future Thanksgiving

The first and future Thanksgiving

By Rabbi Seth Goldstein, Special to JTNews One of my challenges as a rabbi is to make Judaism relevant across demographics. Part of the challenge comes from the fact that what necessitates how we teach Judaism to kids is different than how we teach Judaism to adults. And very often I find that people who(…)

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As we mourn, let us stop the divisiveness about Israel

As we mourn, let us stop the divisiveness about Israel

By Keith Dvorchik, Special to the Jewish Sound I read with horror this week about the attack in a synagogue in Israel that left five dead, many injured, and millions of Jews around the world demoralized and shaken. How did we arrive at such a place when the vicious murders we have seen in the(…)

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