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Wandering In The Academic Wilderness

25 Adar II 5774 – March 26, 2014
During much of the 20th century, elite American colleges and universities carefully policed their admission gates to restrict the entry of Jews. Like its Big Brothers – Harvard, Yale and Princeton – Wellesley College, where I taught history between 1971 and 2010, designed admission policy to perpetuate a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite.

From Good to… Good Enough?

18 Adar II 5774 – March 19, 2014
I can testify from experience, however, that despite such experience and/or training, top-tier leaders often begin their tasks unprepared for the rigors of their new position, particularly when the experience and training focused on instructional leadership (such as classroom observation and curriculum) rather than organizational stewardship and management.

Real Simcha

11 Adar II 5774 – March 12, 2014
The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

70 Years Ago This Month: The Holocaust Comes To Hungary

4 Adar II 5774 – March 5, 2014
In the course of the ages there wasn’t a Jewish community more convinced of its capacity for survival than the Jewish community of Hungary in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Jonathan Halpert’s Bittersweet Goodbye

27 Adar I 5774 – February 26, 2014
Halpert doesn’t know why he was fired, and YU apparently won’t explain

America’s Earliest Jews

20 Adar I 5774 – February 19, 2014
The Newport Touro synagogue was never officially named "Touro" – the community called itself Yeshuat Yisrael. By the mid-19th century, however, the Newport synagogue was recognized, though never formally, as the Touro Synagogue.

The Presidents Conference: A United Voice For Jewry

13 Adar I 5774 – February 12, 2014
“To be a Jew is to open one’s tent on all four sides so that any stranger in need of food and shelter can enter from every direction. To be a Jew is to believe that the world can be redeemed. To be a Jew is to be carried by the current of the ancient Jewish river that keeps on flowing. The journey will continue.”

Israeli Scholars In The Left’s Cross Hairs

6 Adar I 5774 – February 5, 2014
What was unique about the MLA’s and the ASA’s approach was the breathtakingly Orwellian notion that not only was Israel itself guilty of the many alleged transgressions assigned to it by its libelers, but a boycott against Israeli academics was warranted because the academic establishment itself is complicit in Zionism’s excesses and a core element of the bemoaned occupation, oppression, and denial of Palestinian self-determination.

God Loves Our Lost Children – And So Must We

29 Shevat 5774 – January 29, 2014
The road back is paved with love, understanding, hugs, and honest communication.

Do Statistics Tell The Real Story? Reflections on U.S. Jewry

22 Shevat 5774 – January 22, 2014
This past autumn the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project released the findings of its survey of American Jews. “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” immediately won the attention of a good number of American Jews and became the focus of considerable media coverage.

‘No Lord, Not Me!’

15 Shevat 5774 – January 15, 2014
Humility is perhaps the least understood quality a person may possess. Often it is perceived as a form of meekness, a reticence that stems from a lack of self-confidence or an unwillingness to stand up and assert oneself. But that is far from what true humility is.

The Hidden Roots Of Redemption

8 Shevat 5774 – January 8, 2014
At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary "death" Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u'matar livrachah - dew and rain for a blessing - upon the earth.

Religion In America, Past And Present

1 Shevat 5774 – January 1, 2014
A president who today used the language of FDR or JFK would be derided. If he were a candidate, the media elites would bury his chances of winning the election. He would be a laughing stock to the aimless young people whose uninformed opinions on public affairs seem to matter more than they should.

The Disposable Student

23 Tevet 5774 – December 25, 2013
An educator must not be satisfied until that soul he refuses to handle, love, nourish and develop is registered in another school, one more caring and embracing.

You’re Jewish – But Do You Believe In God?

16 Tevet 5774 – December 18, 2013
Of course, believing in God doesn’t make one Jewish. Many people identify themselves as Jews for a host of reasons other than believing in the God of Israel, and they are just as Jewish as the most pious Jew. Being Jewish is a birthright, not a belief right. According to halacha, anyone born of a Jewish mother is Jewish. Period.

The Promised Land Of Paradox

9 Tevet 5774 – December 11, 2013
Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.

A Tragic, Shameful End

2 Tevet 5774 – December 4, 2013
Throughout the past week we have thanked Hashem for the improbable defeat of the powerful Seleucid forces by a small, untrained band of Jewish fighters. We also celebrated the story’s one open miracle, when the menorah’s lights burned for eight consecutive days following the Temple’s rededication.

Eclipses, Red Moons And Chanukah

25 Kislev 5774 – November 27, 2013
"Logically" speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

What Pew Means For Us

22 Kislev 5774 – November 24, 2013
Two months ago, the Pew Research Center issued a comprehensive study of American Jews and ever since the American Jewish community has been debating the findings. I have contributed my share to this debate, which concerns matters of critical importance.

The World’s Greatest Outdoor Museum

11 Kislev 5774 – November 14, 2013
Most areas of the city have a mix of peoples living in them who have daily contact with one another and who share the space. It just makes sense to have good relations with neighbors.

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