June 23, 2005 |
For 41 years, the names James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were synonymous with the South's racial intolerance and the violence used to enforce it. Their names often blended into one, understandably. The three civil-rights workers were killed along the back roads of rural Mississippi in a crime that, until Tuesday's conviction of Edgar Ray Killen, remained unaccounted for, and they were lionized by a movement seeking sympathy for its cause. For me, as a child during those tumultuous years, Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner's names symbolized something else tangible and powerful: the alliance between blacks and Jews.
April 5, 2004 |
A line recited at the Passover table arguably is the most famous of all: "Why is this night different from all other nights?" That line again will be chanted around the world this week as Jews gather to mark this holiday, which celebrates freedom from Egyptian slavery. But this year, the question has a contemporary answer. This is the year of The Passion of the Christ, a film that has rocked the Jewish community and brought, in the view of many, what my grandmother would call tsuris - trouble.
June 22, 2003 |
"Jewish personalism," demographer Steven M. Cohen says, is one of the top challenges facing the institutions of American Judaism. Cohen recently surveyed "moderately affiliated" Jews. Here's what he found: "The individual feels entitled, with little guilt or hesitation, to decide what to observe Jewishly, and insists on a personal meaning for every observance. " The focus "is on practice rather than belief, home ritual rather than the house of worship. " Douglas Rushkoff, author of Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism, sees the same thing in his travels.
November 20, 2002 |
Tonight, more than 2,000 American Jewish leaders will convene in Philadelphia for their annual United Jewish Communities Federations of North America General Assembly. The keynote speaker will be Natan Sharansky, deputy prime minister of Israel. Sharansky will undoubtedly be greeted with warm enthusiasm. For many, he will bring back the memories of his arrest by the Soviet authorities in 1977 on trumped-up charges of treason and espionage, and the international campaign waged for his release.
January 27, 2002 |
Dick Dollinger is getting his number-punching finger ready, practicing his pitch, and polishing his best phone greeting. The 67-year-old retiree from Cherry Hill is preparing for next Sunday, when he and hundreds of other volunteers will spend the day making fund-raising calls on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. Working out of a phone bank at the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, callers will ring more than 15,000 Jewish households in Camden, Burlington, Gloucester and Atlantic Counties whose names are registered with the federation.
January 20, 2002 |
Resi Hirsch, a first-year student at Temple Law School, had already been to Israel four times before her most recent visit this month. There was no doubt that this trip was different. For one, Jerusalem, a city usually teeming with tourists, was vacant, many of its shops boarded up and its taxis idle. As Hirsch recalls, "When we went to the Kotel" - the Hebrew term for the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple and Judaism's most sacred place - "it was much less crowded than I have ever seen it during the day. And when we went at night, it was almost empty.
November 1, 2001 |
THE EXTENSIVE special report "Israel in the Balance" (Daily News, Oct. 24) by William Bunch and others, was a potpourri of opinions, thoughts and anecdotes from Green Bay, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Israel about a complex conflict that has been going on since at least the 1920s. The opinions reflected the heartfelt feelings of American Jews, Arabs and non-Jews. I agree with Bunch's statement, "When it comes to Israel, Americans are all over the map. " It has always been so. But some of the other facts and conclusions are open to challenge.
May 22, 2001 |
When I received a flurry of death threats in the past few weeks in response to my stance advocating an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank, I remembered a lesson we had learned in the 1960s: If your people are involved in brutality on the outside, the cruelty and hatred is certain to reverberate on the inside of your community as well. "You subhuman leftist animals should all be exterminated" ran one threat that was titled "Die Die. " Another began, "Someone will come to kill you - you should rot in hell.
October 12, 2000 |
An Israeli woman I know had a profound, disturbing dream in the midst of the recent violence in her homeland. In the dream appeared a man she has worked closely with for years. She, a Jew; he, a Palestinian. She's liberal, secular, worldly. So is he - a graduate of a major university, from an affluent West Bank family. In the nondream world, the two would have intense political talks. There was never complete acceptance - he declined her invitation to attend her son's bar mitzvah, saying he didn't feel comfortable at Jewish events.
September 11, 2000
Mixing of religion in the presidential campaign The growing murmurings of people uncomfortable with the religious comments of Vice President Gore, Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Gov. George W. Bush (Editorial, Sept. 2) prompt me to commend the following thoughts of one of our most revered military and political leaders, President George Washington: "The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states, of worshipping Almighty God agreeable to their consciences, is not only among the choicest of their blessings but also of their rights . . . and [they]