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The recent, highly anticipated New York Times “expose” of Chasidic yeshivah education in New York State did not disappoint. The lengthy, front-page article painted a disturbing picture of a deliberately deficient secular education program in Chasidic schools, fraudulent misdirection of gover…

The long, complicated and tragic relationship between Jews and Germany was front and center last week. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid made a brief, but intense, 24-hour visit to Germany as part of an effort to present Israel’s case against a renewed nuclear deal with Iran. But it was the …

Israel has a vexing problem. Under the uneasy status quo in place between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the PA has responsibility for oversight of portions of the West Bank, including responsibility for security issues, while Israel watches close by. But the PA under President Mahmou…

In the end, everyone was an Elizabethan. Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign ended quietly with her death last week. And with the accolades from across the globe came a sense of wonder that the 96-year-old monarch’s greatest contribution may have been her steadfastness in her role as wearer o…

We expect a public intellectual to take sides, frame arguments, articulate thoughtful analyses and help shape our thinking. Liberal journalist Peter Beinart is a public intellectual who fills very few of those expectations. Instead, he has shown himself to be overly focused on arguing agains…

President Biden’s announcement last month that the Department of Education would cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt (and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients) for each borrower earning less than $125,000 has stirred mixed reactions.

The midterm elections are now a little more than nine weeks away. What was once predicted to be a resounding Republican recapture of the House and the Senate is no longer quite so clear. But there are some interesting trends that were reinforced in recent primaries:  Republicans are voting f…

As Israel heads toward elections in November, it is hard to ignore a new reality: The country’s domestic political agenda has practically disappeared. Very little of the public debate in today’s Israel revolves around traditional domestic issues which helped define the differences between th…

Former President Donald Trump is facing a wave of civil and criminal investigations. The American people are not accustomed to such probing, public inquiries of the business and political dealings of their former presidents. Yet, in light of the almost daily drumbeat of allegations and taunt…

Israel’s brief air campaign against Islamic Jihad in Gaza, called Operation “Alot Hashacher” (Breaking Dawn) in Hebrew ended in a ceasefire brokered by Egypt. By now, the outbursts of violence along the Gaza border are nearly routine. This event lasted three days. We hope the ceasefire holds. 

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Jewish Agency for Israel office in Moscow. Here is what we know: Last month, Russia’s Justice Ministry called for the Jewish Agency to end operations in that country. Last week, a Russian court held a preliminary hearing on the Justice Ministry’s …

Last month, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and reversed 50 years of abortion rights jurisprudence, the dissent predicted that the court’s reasoning could be used to challenge other cases involving individual freedoms, including the right to use contraception and the right to m…

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska was in Washington last week, where she worked to reawaken awareness about Ukraine’s plight in its ongoing efforts to defend against an unprovoked, brutal Russian attack. She asked Congress for additional defense systems to block Russian missiles and spoke …

President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel last week, for the first leg of his four-day visit to the Middle East, reflected the remarkably strong bonds that have developed between Israel and the United States. Israel rolled out a warm and embracing welcome for their returning “brother Joseph,” an…

When Yair Lapid became the caretaker prime minister of Israel on July 1 — a position he will hold at least until the next round of elections scheduled for November — he offered a simple yet profound statement of his vision for Israel: “Jewish, democratic, liberal, big, strong, advanced and p…

Reports indicate that one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reasons for invading Ukraine was to prevent Ukraine from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance that the West had mostly forgotten about. If those reports are correct, Putin’s NATO calculation…

There is a school of thought that promotes a practical approach to problem solving: Once you identify the problem, skip the hand-wringing and recriminations and move directly to possible solutions.

Israel’s Knesset is expected to dissolve itself this week. Under the governing coalition’s rotation agreement, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will become the acting prime minister, and current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will become the alternate prime minister. New elections — the country’s…

The current Israeli coalition government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has exceeded everyone’s expectations. But it is now on the brink of collapse. With just 60 seats in the Knesset, and threats of resignation from members on both the right and left, …

Could Israel’s rightward-leaning parties — who have historically been the strongest advocates for the settler movement — find themselves in the position of causing Israelis who live in the West Bank to be under martial law? That actually might happen, as another politically challenging dilem…

Ghost guns are unserialized, unregistered and untraceable firearms that are bought in pieces and can be assembled at home. They are a worrisome addition to the growing arsenal of killing machines that plague our country. They are legal in 40 states. As crime rates soar, the quick spread and …

We have had enough. We struggle to find the right words. We simply cannot understand the insistence by gun advocates that civilians need access to automatic weapons fortified by high-capacity magazines, with the ability to kill dozens of people in seconds. Nor can we accept the argument that…

For decades, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) seemed like a relic of the Cold War era. Created in 1949 by the United States, Canada and several Western European nations, NATO was designed to provide collective security to member countries against the perceived threat of the Sovi…

We struggle to contain our indignation. The story is upsetting. The video is chilling. The apology was milquetoast. Lufthansa Airlines blew it. But very few seem to care.

Like the rest of the Western world, Israel wants to support Ukraine, in its fight to defend its democracy and right to self-determination against an unprovoked invasion from its more powerful neighbor Russia. But because Russia has a significant presence in Syria and has allowed Israel to co…

Across the globe, developed countries are experiencing decreasing fertility rates and aging populations. People marry later than in earlier decades, delay childbearing until later in life and have fewer children. One result is an aging population with fewer younger people to support the cost…

No, Elon Musk is not a Jew. And while his eye-popping $44 billion purchase of Twitter may turn out to be good for him, there are concerns that it won’t be good for the Jews — or for women, LGBTQ people, Muslims or other targeted and vilified minorities.

Egypt is considered one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. In 1948, the Jewish population of Cairo and Alexandria was estimated to be more than 75,000. In the 1950s, Egyptian authorities began expelling Jews and sequestering Jewish-owned property.

Title 42 is a federal health order that was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the Trump administration, which relied upon the coronavirus pandemic as a public health reason to stop people from entering the United States. Under the rule, migrants apprehende…

The visuals from last week’s Negev Summit were impressive. They were also historic. Leaders from Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and the United States met at Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev desert, where Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, lived and i…

In last week’s heart-wrenching reminder of Middle East volatility, 11 people were killed in Israel in three separate terror attacks. As a frightened civilian population grieves for the senseless loss of life, they worry about personal safety. At the same time, politicians and security person…

Madeleine Albright, who died last week of cancer at age 84, left a significant legacy. She was the first woman to serve as secretary of state at a time when politics was very much a man’s game, leaving the door open for Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, who both served in the role after …

Last week, a skirmish in the battle to promote Palestinian rights by delegitimizing the state of Israel broke out at the Sierra Club. The venerable environmental organization that is committed to defending the world’s most precious resources suddenly found itself uncomfortably embroiled in t…

Iran nuclear talks in Vienna have once again hit a roadblock. This time, they were derailed by Russia’s demand for sanctions relief in commercial dealings with Iran. All the while, Iran continues to develop its nuclear program, setting Israel and Arab countries on edge. Then, this past weeke…

We learn from the Purim story that leadership can be thrust upon an individual in unanticipated ways. In Ukraine, we see that theme playing out in real time.

With war raging in Eastern Europe, you could be forgiven for missing the news last week that President Joe Biden nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. The nomination is consequential – not because Jackson would be the first Black woman to sit …

In retrospect, politicians and pundits agree that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch an all-out attack on neighboring Ukraine was predictable. They point to Putin’s paranoid obsession with an ever-growing list of accusations of Russia-targeted expansion in Eastern Europe b…

The ancient Jewish practice of cherem, variously described as “ban,” “separation from the Jewish community” and “excommunication,” is rarely invoked today. But just last week the Board of Deputies of British Jews, U.K. Jewry’s mainstream umbrella organization, placed a cherem of sorts on Isr…

On Feb. 1, Amnesty International (AI) released a report entitled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity.” The predictable firestorm followed. For those who believe and preach that Israel can do no right, the AI report was undoubtedly a…

An increasing number of people within our community are struggling to manage their financial affairs. The causes for the problem are numerous. But the daunting combination of an unending pandemic, changing job market, volatile economy, rising inflation, social uncertainty and the challenging…

We’ve learned from too many tragic experiences that Jewish houses of worship, among other holy gathering places in this country, are increasingly targets for violence. Whether the attacks are driven by antisemitism, racism or other deranged thinking of a domestic terrorist with a gun, the th…

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, is a hero. He is also a mensch. He is the welcoming rabbi who offered shelter and a warm drink to a man who sought help, only to have the “guest” hold the rabbi and three congregants hostage in a bizarre effort by…

In 1957, at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered words whose wisdom continue to resound today: “For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. …

Jan. 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the United Nations-designated day that marks the anniversary of the Allies’ liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Holocaust Remembrance Day gives the international community an opportunity to mark, remember and mourn the horrific genocide that …

Late last year, something happened in the United Arab Emirates that never happened before in that Gulf state, yet it attracted little attention: A couple got married in a civil ceremony. The couple was Canadian. They are among the 90% of the UAE population that are residents, but not Emirati…

A year after a mob broke into the U.S. Capitol in an attack that overwhelmed law enforcement, posed a threat to lawmakers debating the presidential election results and led to the deaths of seven people, Americans seem more divided than ever about the 2020 election and whether the future of …

In a move early last week that attracted very little international attention, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that his government plans to invest 1 billion shekels ($310 million) in a plan to double the number of people living in the Golan Heights. Under the plan — which is…

For the pro-Israel community, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been a recurring problem. He opposes foreign aid and seeks to block or limit it at every turn.  Just last week he blocked a fourth attempt by the U.S. Senate to approve $1 billion in funding to replenish Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome …

Diaspora Jewry is frustrated by the Israeli government’s recurring delay in implementing the Kotel compromise. Like a driver pushing on the gas pedal of a car stuck in the snow, the wheels are spinning on the Kotel compromise but it’s not going anywhere. Instead, the much-celebrated agreemen…

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