A Modest Case for Civil Marriage Equality (Two Years Later)

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The Supreme Court may very well transform the landscape of marriage rights in the United States this coming June when it offers its decision on Obergefell v. Hodges. The questions are many and the answers are contradictory and confusing. For those of us who cannot officiate same sex marriages in our faith traditions, what will be our legal liability if the Supreme Court rules that it is a Constitutional right? How will the right of people to marry who they love interact with the right to freedom … [Read more...]

Is There A Future For Jews In Europe?

Germany Hanukkah

A young girl's bat mitzvah is cut short. The life of a volunteer security guard is permanently cut short. The Jewish community of Copenhagen is only the latest in Europe to face the rising tide of anti-Semitic violence. It is almost impossible to comprehend how a community that still within living memory experienced the most systemic attempt at their genocide in history, now once again, faces the fear of terrorist attacks. This time though it is very different. Despite the strong emotional … [Read more...]

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

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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

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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...]


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