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The coronavirus has shaken the world. It has brought us worry, fear and helplessness. While sheltering in place, we have been searching for a better understanding of the virus, and anxious about prospects for resolution. These concerns have heightened our need for leadership, guidance and a …

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It almost sounded like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s message to the Israeli people was something like: “Be careful what you wish for.” Instead, what he said in his Knesset speech as Israel’s 34th government was sworn in was: “The public wants a unity government and this is what the pub…

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The first jolt of the coronavirus pandemic hit young people just as the country was learning the scope of the danger. Schools were closed. Malls were closed. Extracurricular activities were canceled. And kids were forced to distance from their friends.

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Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty. The promise of religious liberty and religious freedom. American Jewish history begins with these images and concepts.

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The coronavirus pandemic has prompted serious review by governments, businesses, organizations and communities of various aspects of their day-to-day operations, as each seeks to innovate or adjust in an effort to protect public health and safety.

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There’s a good reason why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank is being criticized by friends of Israel on the left, right and center. That’s because it’s a bad idea. As described in a New York Times op-ed by Daniel Pipes, one of Israel’s more forceful rig…

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India has been called the world’s largest democracy. With its billion-plus citizens, it was founded as a secular democracy to be shared by a multiplicity of groups, languages and religions.

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Joe Biden, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, has a problem. Those competing in the vice-presidential sweepstakes to join the Biden ticket as his running mate have a problem. Most of all, the Democratic Party has a problem. What the Democratic Party has touted in t…

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The emergency government agreed to last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz promises to free Israel from the political paralysis it has endured for more than a year. With no majority coalition achieved by either leader after three elections, and with COV…

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None of us has ever seen anything like COVID-19 before. So we have no handbooks to tell us how we should respond to something so debilitating that demands intense initiative and creativity. Fortunately, there are organizations and individuals within our communities that have responded with e…

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The London Jewish Chronicle used to bill itself as “The Most Widely Read Jewish Newspaper in the World.” That was true. The Chronicle was founded in 1841, and was the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper anywhere. After the advent of the internet, it struggled like other publicatio…

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In the last several days, noisy demonstrators appeared in various state capitals, including Phoenix and Annapolis, calling for governors to lift stay-at-home orders and allow people to go back to work. The underlying sentiment is understandable. Everyone wants to get out of lockdown. And we …

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Frida Wattenberg led an extraordinary life before her death in Paris on April 3 at 95. She was a teenager when Nazis invaded her homeland of France, and not even 20 when she began the dangerous work of smuggling Jewish children out of France into Switzerland. After World War II, she served a…

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With the breakdown in coalition negotiations last weekend between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz’s Blue and White, Israel faces another period of political uncertainty. But no matter how things play out, it is clear that Israel’s historic founding L…

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While there are encouraging signs of international cooperation in dealing with strategies to contain and efforts to treat COVID-19, there is no clear international leadership orchestrating the global defense effort. Instead, it falls to each country to assess the situation, learn from the ex…

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It’s hard to believe that just four weeks ago, as we celebrated Purim, our schools were working through a particularly rough flu season and synagogues were running full programs and services. We knew a little about the novel coronavirus, but not much. And we certainly didn’t know what to expect.

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The unity government being negotiated in Israel is both a response to the coronavirus pandemic and the need to avoid a fourth national election in the period of a year. And while the political partnership between rivals Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud and Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party …

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It is often said that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They include hair salons, restaurants, dry cleaners, convenience stores, accounting and law firms, and many businesses in

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Over the past several weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed our lives. With schools, houses of worship and most retail shuttered, and with so many cities and states on lockdown, we all look for new routines and rituals that can approximate a sense of normalcy. That’s not easy to…

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Benjamin Netanyahu — Israel’s caretaker prime minister who has now been through three elections in less than a year, and still presides over a fractured governmental structure — ended last week with an offer to opposition Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to join in a national unity deal wit…

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At the beginning of last week, Jews were celebrating the festive holiday of Purim — with only limited COVID-19 concerns. But by week’s end, things got a lot more serious. State and local governments and the CDC issued edicts restricting communal gatherings; schools and synagogues announced t…

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The coronavirus — or COVID-19 — is an equal-opportunity villain. The medical world doesn’t yet know how lethal the flu-like virus is, nor is there a vaccine to prevent or mitigate it. The virus continues to spread, and the worldwide death toll rises. While every life is precious, it is still…

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Last week, the World Health Organization raised its global health assessment of the spread and impact of COVID-19, or coronavirus, to its highest alert level. New cases are confirmed every day, the stock market is struggling, and dust and surgical masks are sold out. As of press time, the de…

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Three months ago, Benny Gantz turned down an offer to join a unity government with Likud, under which Benjamin Netanyahu would be prime minister for three months, followed by Gantz as prime minister for the following two years. Had he accepted, Gantz would have been the prime minister of Isr…

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It’s still too early to know whether either Bernie Sanders or Michael Bloomberg, two Jewish candidates in the Democratic primaries, will win the Democratic nomination or whether one of the other candidates will, but at this point having a Jewish candidate for President is a realistic possibi…

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Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas make an odd couple. One hasn’t been prime minister of Israel since 2009, the other is still president of the Palestinian Authority even though his term of office ran out that same year. 

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In some circles, the name Leslie Wexner has been synonymous with uniquely generous philanthropy in support of the development of Jewish leadership and learning. The Wexner Foundation has, for years, underwritten a suite of fellowships focused on the development of Jewish professional and vol…

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February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), a time that allows us to explore the complexity  of the Jewish belief that every person was created in God’s image. Although each of us is clearly different from one another, we all resemble the Creator, and no one is great…

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The tragedy in Syria has reached another milestone, as the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad advances on the rebel-held territory of Idlib in the northwest. Most of the rebel fighters belong to the extremist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a former al-Qaeda affiliate. But the 3 million civilians living…

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As we go to press on the eve of Wednesday’s expected Senate vote for acquittal of President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, we can’t help but reflect on the deeply unsatisfying process that has been the singular focus for so many members of Congress and the press, even as it has been …

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When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the word “peace” has largely lost its meaning. Nonetheless, we hope that the Peace to Prosperity Plan that President Donald Trump unveiled on Jan. 28 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side will move the parties toward a mutually …

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A strong argument can be made that the center of the Yiddish world is on West 16th Street in New York City. That’s where the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is located. It is one of the jewels of the Jewish world, with some 23 million items. Its library has nearly 400,000 volumes and cont…

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When the plans for last week’s World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem were first announced, they were met with great excitement. Linked to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the event at Yad Vashem was viewed as an opportunity for serious discussion and meaningful introspection,…

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With the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump beginning in the U.S. Senate this week, our country enters a solemn process under the Constitution that requires care, seriousness of purpose and fairness. The Senate is obligated to get it right. All 100 members of the Senate have the …

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According to a recent report, the majority of anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area — nearly two thirds of them — have been carried out by young people. Within the dark cloud of the distressing increase in such attacks, there are those who see a ray of hope — the possibility of sensitizi…

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Very few people in the Western world mourned the recent targeted assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the chief mastermind of Iranian aggression and terror efforts. But there was widespread questioning in the midst of bellicose finger pointing and threats, seeking to understand where…

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The fires that have been raging through Australia are devastating. And they have been the focus of much discussion about climate change and the need for vigilance, careful planning and an increased focus on ecological issues. Nonetheless, there are still those who refuse to acknowledge the e…

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The assassination last week of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the chief mastermind of Iranian aggression and terror efforts, caused little sorrow among those who have watched Iran’s expansion and its heated threats against Israel, the U.S. and Western allies. But after learning that Sol…

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Jews often observe that “our” New Year comes in the fall, not on Jan. 1. But Jan. 1, 2020, became a very special day of Jewish celebration — not of the Earth’s annual trip around the sun, but of something that goes to the core of Jewish culture and identity. At MetLife Stadium in New Jersey …

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Within our tradition, there are a number of ways of looking at Judaism. It’s founded, of course, upon a belief system with religious components, but it’s also composed of social, cultural, intellectual, political and national characteristics. Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan pulled them all together w…

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The Washington Post recently published The Afghanistan Papers — hundreds of interviews collected by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction and obtained by the Post after a three-year court battle. The bottom line, according to Richard Boucher, an assistant secretary of …

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It was an off-the-cuff comment during the Q&A portion of a recent Jewish leadership program. The event featured a panel discussion on media and narrative, but the opening question to the panelists was "How has anti-Semitism affected you?" In the course of the discussion, panelists talked…

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The executive order that President Donald J. Trump signed at the White House Chanukah party last week is designed to protect students from an increasing number of disturbing acts of anti-Semitism on campus by withholding federal funds from colleges and universities that do not prevent or inv…

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Last week, two gunmen killed four people, including two Chasidic Jews, at a kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey, continuing the onslaught of horrific anti-Semitic events that have victimized and traumatized our community. Shortly after that targeted shooting, The Atlantic published a pi…

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Israel’s secular founders believed they were making the state more inclusive when they ceded authority over religious observance issues to the new state’s small Orthodox community. As the country’s haredi population has grown, however, and its control over religious rules in the state have t…

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We subscribe to the view the justice must be tempered with mercy. That holds true for decisions made by judges, by government and by each of us. And it means looking carefully at the collateral impact of decisions that affect people’s lives, and taking those consequences into account.  

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The Holocaust not only took the lives of millions of Jews, it also took their assets. More than 70 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, many survivors have still not recovered what they are owed under their families’ insurance policies that covered property, accounts and tangibles which w…

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Our Jewish community has focused heavily in the past several years on safety and security issues. With the rise in anti-Semitic incidents here and abroad, and mounting concerns about the reach and influence of purveyors of hate and discrimination, we need to be vigilant and proactive, and pr…

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As we go to press on Monday, four days after Israel’s attorney general indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for corruption, Netanyahu remains defiant, calling the charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust an “attempted coup.“ And now, Israel’s longest-serving leader is searching fo…

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When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week a pivot from the international consensus that Israeli settlements violate international law, we got another indication that the Trump administration’s still-secret Middle East peace plan will not promote a two-state solution. Official r…

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