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This week's editorial

One very small step for transparency

Such is the poor state of affairs with Israel’s Chief Rabbinate that its release last week of an index of approved Diaspora rabbis for performing divorces and conversions seems like a major step forward. It isn’t. The release of the list of some 70 “approved” Orthodox rabbinical courts came after a three-year battle by an Israeli advocacy organization. The list was grudgingly given and the rabbinate is clearly as entrenched and self-insulated as ever.
Wednesday 12/05/2018
Do we still have a democracy?
Posted: December 05, 2018

The midterms are behind us, and now it’s time to take a look at the challenges facing our democracy. Despite President Donald Trump’s allegations, there has been almost no voter fraud in our elections. There are, however, other serious threats to our democracy and our country’s ability to hold fair elections in which every eligible voter has an opportunity to cast a ballot.

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One very small step for transparency
Posted: December 05, 2018

Such is the poor state of affairs with Israel’s Chief Rabbinate that its release last week of an index of approved Diaspora rabbis for performing divorces and conversions seems like a major step forward. It isn’t. The release of the list of some 70 “approved” Orthodox rabbinical courts came after a three-year battle by an Israeli advocacy organization. The list was grudgingly given and the rabbinate is clearly as entrenched and self-insulated as ever.

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George H.W. Bush, a mensch
Posted: December 05, 2018

Former President George H. W. Bush is being remembered this week as a mensch, as well as a model of duty and service. His family and friends are even referring to him as the best one-term president in the history of our country. And while it may be that Bush was all of the above, there is no question that our fondness for the man has something to do with the healing effect of the passage of time since his presidency in 1989-1993, let alone with the more balanced public persona he projected in contrast to our current experience.  

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Wednesday 11/28/2018
Proposed rule change is reminder of grandmother’s fate
Posted: November 28, 2018

The Trump administration recently proposed a change to federal immigration rules that would significantly broaden who is deemed a “public charge” in the United States. For many of us in the American Jewish community, this proposal is a painful reminder of the dangerous consequences of such policies, as such rules were initially imposed to curb the number of Jewish immigrants in the years preceding and during the Holocaust. My grandmother was one of these immigrants. 

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Ten years later — personal reflections from Mumbai
Posted: November 28, 2018

It was 2007. I was studying at a Chabad yeshivah when an exciting opportunity came my way: I would spend my summer with Chabad’s “Roving Rabbis” program in India. We arrived at the Chabad House in Mumbai and were given very general tips for our goal of finding Jews in Bangalore and Auroville. With G-d’s help, our summer was successful, meeting dozens of Jewish families and cultivating what was to become the permanent Chabad Center in Bangalore.

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Stan Lee’s final essay on the Holocaust
Posted: November 28, 2018

Legendary comic book creator Stan Lee, who died this month, took a strong interest in the Holocaust in recent years. His final published essay appeared as the introduction to the recent book “We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust” by Neal Adams, Rafael Medoff, and Craig Yoe. “We Spoke Out” features Holocaust-related comic book stories, including superheroes from Stan Lee’s Marvel Universe, such as Captain America, the X-Men and Captain Marvel. Below is his essay. —Ed.

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Congress needs to step in with the Saudis
Posted: November 28, 2018

In the wake of the Oct. 2 disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, there were weeks of conflicting accounts and mind-numbing allegations. President Donald Trump initially took a cautious, wait-and-see attitude. As the full contours of Khashoggi’s fate were increasingly revealed, however, Trump expressed frustration at the lack of transparency from the Saudi government: “I am not satisfied with what I heard,” he said on Oct. 22 after a conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan. “We’re going to get the bottom of it.”

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Don’t sweat Airbnb
Posted: November 28, 2018

Airbnb’s decision last week to delist some 200 properties in Israel’s West Bank communities was certainly unfair. It’s an economic boycott focused on what the company calls the “discrimination” of Israel’s civilian and military presence in Judea and Samaria — some, including Airbnb, call it an “occupation” — while it ignores the long list of occupations and discriminations that are taking place elsewhere around the world. 

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Tuesday 11/20/2018
Anti-Semitism is alive and well
Posted: November 20, 2018

I watched in horror as developments of the heinous attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue unfolded on TV. This gut-wrenching, violent murder of innocent civilians hit me in a particularly personal way — I am an 83-year-old survivor of anti-Semitic persecution by the Nazis in World War II. The events of only 70 short years ago still seem like yesterday. It is only thanks to the heartfelt compassion of the courageous residents of a small Slovak village called Jelenec that my family survived the Holocaust. The Pittsburgh synagogue attack of Oct. 27 is a painful reminder that the centuries-old vile, bloodthirsty hatred of Jews is alive and well today. 

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Memories of my grandmother
Posted: November 20, 2018

Watching someone you love slowly forget everything about their life is hard to witness. So as my grandmother’s memories continue to fade, it’s important for us keep the good memories of her alive.

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Considering Pelosi’s future
Posted: November 20, 2018

When the Democrats take over the House of Representatives in January, the speaker’s gavel will probably be returned to Nancy Pelosi, the body’s top officer and the highest-ranking woman in American political history.

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