July 5, 2014 |
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, 89, father of the Jewish Renewal movement and a towering figure in Philadelphia's Jewish community for 20 years, died Thursday, July 3, at his home in Boulder, Colo. He had endured bouts with bladder cancer and other illnesses, and had been battling pneumonia. He died in his sleep, said Rivkah Walton of the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Known to friends and followers as "Reb Zalman," he was born in Poland but fled Hitler with his family, coming to America in 1941.
July 1, 2013
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. " - Martin Luther King Jr. A century ago, the Anti-Defamation League began with a simple but noble mission: "to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike. " It remains the nation's most prominent Jewish civil rights group, fighting discrimination, racism, and anti-Semitism. The ADL was founded in Chicago in 1913 by a group of prominent Jewish leaders who wanted to stop the mistreatment of American Jews at a time when it was shamefully commonplace.
June 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Israel cannot afford to wait to make peace with its Arab neighbors, Secretary of State John Kerry argued Monday, saying that demographic forces and rising militancy are working against America's top ally in the region. "What happens in the coming days will actually dictate what happens in the coming decades," Kerry said, referring to whether Israeli and Palestinian leaders will try again to broker peace. "We are running out of time," he said in remarks to the American Jewish Committee.
May 10, 2013 |
YOU'D expect a movie about a song that has become the Hebrew "Hokey Pokey" to be playful. And "Hava Nagila (The Movie)" is that, in spades. That wedding, party and bar mitzvah staple, a song that the whole world knows and virtually no one knows anything about, is a ready punch-line, a musical eye-roller for some and a no-brainer for any band or singer that works the wedding circuit - Jewish or gentile. But Roberta Grossman's cute documentary gives weight to the tune, tracing its lineage to a town - Sadagora, in the Ukraine - and the 19th century.
September 11, 2012
STATE SEN. Anthony H. Williams was telling a story about his first visit to Israel, about 15 years ago. While waiting to clear security at the airport, he noticed a group of black men waltzing through. Taking them to be African tourists, he asked why they didn't have to wait in line. "They're Israelis," he was told. "That's impossible," he responded. "Jews don't look like that. " He prefaced the story with an admission that his information about Israel at that time was "limited" and "ignorant.
February 23, 2012 |
New Jersey's Gov. Christie said something that caught my attention the other night at an event sponsored by a pro-Israel group. He paraphrased a Franklin D. Roosevelt quote - "I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made" - and then said: "In that same spirit, I would like to say to all of you tonight: I admire Israel for the enemies it has made. " It was an acute observation, and one made not often enough. It is sometimes difficult, given Israel's missteps, to remember that it is a democracy whose enemies are among the world's most dangerous people.
November 4, 2010
As two of the legislators who first wrote letters to Lincoln University condemning the anti-Semitic statements of professor Kaukab Siddique, we feel that Mahmoud S. Audi's misleading letter ("Denying truth about Palestinians and Israelis," Monday) demands a response. Audi says that those objecting to Siddique's statements are from "the extreme right. " As progressive Democratic legislators, it is our hope that every reasonable person would passionately reject the sort of venom spewed by Siddique.
June 9, 2010
Helen Thomas' sudden retirement as a White House columnist is appropriate given her recent offensive and bigoted statements on Israel. On May 27, during a White House celebration of American Jews, Thomas was asked if she had any comments on Israel. "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," she can be heard replying in a video widely seen on YouTube. And go where? "Go home," Thomas said. "Poland. Germany. And America, and everywhere else. " Jews have been living in what is now Israel and the occupied territories for thousands of years.
October 15, 2009 |
Young Jacob Rappaport's struggle to figure out his identity is not particularly novel. Except when that struggle and its many facets play out in a historical novel called All Other Nights, the tale of 19-year-old Rappaport and American Jews, north and south, during the Civil War. Who knew that Philadelphia was a hub of espionage in those days, or that American Jews, like Philadelphians in general, were divided over slavery and the war, said...
February 4, 2008
Welfare indicators I'm tired of hearing about indicators of our economy such as the Gross Domestic Product or the Dow Jones industrial average. Economists love to throw these numbers around, but what do they really mean? The purpose of an economy is to distribute resources (such as food, shelter, health care, education and the like) to the population. Therefore, the only way to measure how well the economy is doing is by measuring the welfare of the people the economy serves.