Social justice

Insourcing Judaism

September 25, 2012

It is Friday afternoon and the Tel Aviv Port is hopping. The lounge chairs at the beach-front restaurants and pubs are packed as patrons fill up on seafood and down decadently prepared cocktails and imported beer. Joggers, roller-bladers and cycling enthusiasts whip around the curved wooden plaza, fashioned after the waves of the water below, […]

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Lost in Africa, Israel

August 15, 2012

We were on a guided tour of South Tel Aviv to get an in-person look at what dominated the news a few months back when my friend Eliot and I got lost. We were visiting the Central Bus Station and we had to use the bathroom. When we came out, our group was gone. As […]

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Hanukah, Extremism and Light

December 27, 2011

Hanukah is probably the most confounding holiday on the Jewish calendar. If we move beyond the toys and the gelt of 20th century Christmas catch-up, the story itself has been interpreted in so many ways that it’s difficult to get a lock on the pshat (the simplest understanding). For what is Hanukah? Is it the […]

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Darkness at the Edge of Town

September 7, 2011

As the darkness settled over us, I felt an unanticipated sense of panic. I had been expecting to be unsettled, startled, certainly disoriented; I didn’t realize it would bring up so many deep and hidden emotions. To set the stage: my wife Jody and I were dining in the Black Out Restaurant at the Nalaga’at […]

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A Capitalist’s Take on the Tent Protests

August 4, 2011

I’m not quite sure what to think of the tent protests that have taken over the country in recent weeks. On the one hand, the rising costs that have plagued Israel in recent years have hit our family quite personally. On the other, I remember the days before Israel’s so-called capitalist revolution, and I wouldn’t […]

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Lunch with Jack: From Sudan to Jerusalem

January 20, 2011

One of the hot topics in the news these past months has been the steady influx of refugees from Africa who have crossed the border between Egypt and Israel, and Israel’s subsequent response of building a fence to keep the Africans out. With 1,000 refugees arriving every month now, the issue is not trivial. It’s […]

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A Fat Pig Comes to Jerusalem

November 18, 2010

A play called “Fat Pig” doesn’t sound like a likely candidate for an evening of light entertainment. But that’s the point. Sara Halevi’s Way Off Productions, which is staging Neil LaBute’s weighty and award-winning work in Jerusalem through the end of November, is dedicated to using theater “as a tool for social change,” says Halevi, […]

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Why I’m No Longer Buying Croutons

August 26, 2010

One of my favorite condiments for Friday night chicken soup is croutons. So it is with a heavy heart that I’ve had to ban my beloved fried, garlic-infused mini-bread squares from my culinary repertoire. The reason: I don’t agree with the ideological goals of the organization that grants them their kosher certification. My problems with […]

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A Subversive Marriage Proposal

August 10, 2010

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David has a subversive proposal for young couples in Israel: don’t get married. At all. And with the recent directives to rabbis at the local marriage registrars that I wrote about previously, her approach is more timely than ever. Ner-David, one of the first (and only) women to receive Orthodox Rabbinic ordination, recently […]

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Cliff’s Air Conditioner, Climate Change, and the Jewish People

January 19, 2010

My friend Cliff called this week to say he was getting rid of an old air conditioning unit and would I want to take it off his hands…at no charge? Cliff knew that I had spent much of the summer sweltering in my top floor home office. I have an air conditioner already but, at […]

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