Why Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Will Determine the Fate of European Society


The future of Europe rests on how it protects the Jews and Muslims who live on the continent. The fate of the liberal political experiment in Europe, initiated in the 18th century and brought to the brink of collapse numerous times in the years that have followed, rests entirely on whether Jews and Muslims can safely walk the streets of Paris, London and Berlin. Is it possible for Jews and Muslims to experience full integration as members of the larger society? Can they practice their religions … [Read more...]

Please God, Help Us Bring About Your Third Temple: A Response to Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz


My friend and colleague, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, has written a provocative personal essay in the form of a prayer questioning the necessity for the restoration of the Beit HaMikdash, The Temple and its Divine service. I do not question the sincerity of his questioning or of his convictions. He is a man of integrity and is always one to express his genuine and heartfelt questions, challenges, declarations and points of dialogue. I feel compelled in this case to offer a response also in the form … [Read more...]

One Lesson From The Voyeur Rabbi Scandal: Women Must Be Part of Every Board Room

Rabbis Arguing

It has now been more than a week since the revelations occurred in the media of the alleged voyeuristic spying committed by one of the most influential and powerful Modern Orthodox rabbis in America, Rabbi Barry Freundel. If it was not horrible enough that women, most of them in the process of converting to Judaism, were violated in one of the most special and intimate ritual places in Judaism, it is now clear that the problems go back for years. Abuses of a sexual nature are often more about … [Read more...]

Muslims and Jews: What Happens to the News That Doesn’t Fit the Story?

Picture from 2014 Event

I read Matti Friedman's article on Tablet published last month and was deeply intrigued. In fact, I read it several times because the picture he provides in the way news reporters craft a story happened to me not long before he published his piece. The article, "An Insider's Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth," which was shared on Facebook more than 78,000 times, details how the major news agencies are more interested in crafting a story than they are reporting on the actual news. He … [Read more...]

Between The Parts: The Liminal Space Between Continuity and Assimilation


In the great epic story of humanity there has always been the forces that compel us to assimilate amongst each other and those that urge us to maintain our differences and to hold up the uniquenesses within the human family. The desire to blend in is strong and indeed is admirable. The unity afforded by blending in, by assimilating, cannot be overstated. When we collapse the contours that are the map of the human family into one straight path our journey becomes simple and uncomplicated. Yet, … [Read more...]

Say No To Sheilaism: A Reflection on Assimilation and Continuity (Guest Blog Post)

Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

Jewish identity.  It is quite the buzzword these days. It is the goal set by rabbis, practitioners, places of learning and other religious centers.  Jewish identity is the holy grail. The question asked is rarely about defining or making clear what this grand result would look like.  Everyone just wants to know how to get there.  Unfortunately, life is about the destination and the journey.  In terms of Jewish continuity, the destination cannot be reached without a meaningful journey. There are n … [Read more...]