Politics

Roman vs. Jewish Law: What Happened to Patrilineal Descent?

January 28, 2015

My January 9, 2015 column in The Jerusalem Post generated a higher than usual number of comments, many of which were not particularly complimentary. In the piece, which addressed the United Synagogue Youth (USY) teen leadership’s decision on relaxing the group’s policy on “interdating,” I posited that since assimilation is natural – indeed inevitable – in […]

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USY language change on interdating not a yiddishkeitastrophe

January 9, 2015

The headlines screaming across Jewish newspapers worldwide were an Orthodox kiruv professional’s wet dream. For a Jew whose job it is to bring other Jews closer to Orthodox observance, the dopamine rush of delight must have been overwhelming. Because if it’s your business to convince wandering Jews to become frum (religious) and one of the […]

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The Evolutionary Inevitability of the Jewish State Bill

December 18, 2014

It’s already hard to remember, with election fever raging all around us, what triggered this expensive, unnecessary mess we’re now in. I’m talking about the “Jewish State” bill, of course. It wasn’t the only culprit, but it was a big one. What’s most interesting about the Jewish State law is not whether it was a […]

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Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty

November 30, 2014

When we made aliyah 20 years ago, did we come expecting that there would be war in our future? On a certain level, I suppose we knew that we were moving to a dangerous neighborhood and that conflict was probable. But we repressed that kind of thinking. You had to – why would we willingly […]

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July 22, 2014 – The Day Everything Changed

August 10, 2014

July 22, 2014. Remember that date. It will be recalled in history books yet to be written as the day the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians changed completely. That’s because it’s the day that the war in Gaza transformed from just another in a series of “operations” to an existential threat to the Jewish […]

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Why’d You Want to Live Here, Anyway?

July 25, 2014

An article a few weeks ago in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz questioned why someone would ever want to make aliyah from a comfortable country like the U.S. Especially these days – with the murders of the Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Shear and Eyal Shach still on our minds, the revenge killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khaider stinging at our […]

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How I Met Ehud Olmert

May 13, 2014

I was nearing the end of an interview with an Israeli business executive for an article I was working on when there was a surprise guest at the door: Ehud Olmert. This was after the point when Olmert, one of Israel’s most veteran politicians, a former prime minister and mayor of Jerusalem, was convicted on […]

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Who Needs Peace Talks? Musical Coexistence in Jerusalem

April 9, 2014

As the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were breaking down last week, the Old City of Jerusalem was an unlikely spot of musical coexistence. And nowhere was that more pronounced than in a hard-to-find back alley called Muristan Square where two performances demonstrated that the situation doesn’t have to be as bleak as […]

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Haredi Nation vs. Startup Nation: JNext and the Irony of Sunday’s Protest

March 4, 2014

The irony was almost too delicious – and at the same time dreadfully serious – to avoid. The hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews who rallied on Sunday essentially against integrating into Israeli society nearly sabotaged an event across town meant to position Jerusalem as the “capital” of the Startup Nation with all the jobs […]

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Must the Mayor of Jerusalem Speak English?

October 9, 2013

It was meant to be a relatively simple, if snarky post to Facebook. I’d received an email in English that Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion would be speaking at the OU Center, a venue that caters nearly 100% to English speakers…but not in English, rather in “easy Hebrew.” I found this rather ironic and commented […]

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