Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
Does anyone really believe that this spiritual spark happens in the typical afternoon Hebrew school or Sunday school? Is a spiritual connection with God going to be nurtured at a Federation fundraising banquet or an Israel-based political action committee? How many families spend consistent quality time together discussing God or Jewish history? How many families even make the unwavering commitment of having Shabbat dinner together every Friday night without interruption?
The time of life when we are most susceptible and open to spiritual nurturing is childhood. Virtually all children who attend 12 years of day school marry a fellow Jew, stay committed to the Jewish people and maintain a spiritual connection with God throughout their lives. There is no statistic anywhere in American Jewish life that can beat that. The sad tragedy is that most young Jewish families can’t afford to send their children to day school.
It is now the month of Elul and the High Holidays are approaching. Jewish tradition has set aside this time of year as a period of internal reflection on our past deeds and a time of resolutions for the future. At this holy and hopeful time of year, when Jews from all walks of life congregate in synagogue, we should commit to the concept that we will leave no Jewish child behind.
It is our responsibility to make sure that high-quality day school education is available, affordable, or, better yet, free, to all who seek it, irrespective of their level of religious observance or financial resources. Providing the opportunity for Jewish education for all of our children is the only guarantee that they will maintain the spiritual connection to Mount Sinai three millennia ago.
In 20 years, when the 2028 Pew Study comes out, we can only hope the statistics will show us to be the most vibrant, spiritual and religiously educated people in America. The way to ensure it is for the Jewish community to pay attention to the pintele Yid in each one of its children.
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Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier
The Gazans are now paying for the choices they have made.
As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.
Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.
UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.
People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.
Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?
It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.
Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”
The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.
Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.
So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.
King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.
It makes no sense. It defies logic. You’ve got two reliable statistics from two reputable sources and yet they stand in utter opposition to each other, like statistical non-sequiturs.
Released in 1987, Where’s Waldo? was the first of illustrator Martin Handford’s Waldo series of books to become a sensation. Where’s Waldo? introduces readers to the eponymous hero, a distinctively dressed young man who sets off on a worldwide journey. Waldo travels to everyday places, like the beach, ski slopes and the zoo, each of which is detailed by two-page illustrated spreads filled with people and activities. Somewhere amidst the intricately crowded scene is the camouflaged Waldo, and readers are asked to scour the detailed illustration to locate the lost traveler.
Nearly 52 years ago, on October 5, 1956, a newly released movie billed itself as “the greatest event in motion picture history.”
There is an allegorical story about a luxury passenger ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean that hits an iceberg and begins to sink. On the lower decks, the crew and passengers make a valiant but unsuccessful effort to plug the hole in the ship’s hull. On the upper deck, first-class passengers rearrange the deck chairs, sun themselves and play shuffleboard, seemingly oblivious to the disaster around them. Meanwhile, the ship’s band plays on.
Every year Forbes magazine publishes a list of the highest paid individuals in the world. This year Forbes informed us that the actor Johnny Depp made $92 million while Nicole Kidman was Hollywood’s highest paid actress, commanding an estimated $16 million per movie.
Every January, in an annual rite, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. About half of those will pledge eternal servitude to their new diet plans. Sometimes the diets work – in the short run. We drop a size or two, look younger, more svelte and bask in insincere gratuitous compliments from colleagues and friends. But two-thirds of Americans who lose weight gain it back within a year. Over 90 percent gain it back within five years.
Everyone is familiar with the age-old question: If a tree falls in the forest, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? To some, that may sound like a silly rhetorical quandary, but it actually provides a wonderful metaphor to describe a huge problem facing today’s Jewish community.
In Yiddish folklore, the real-life Polish town of Chelm was characterized as a legendary community of fools. According to this folkloric tradition, Chelm’s residents were exceedingly proud of their tradition of non-wisdom and convoluted insight into the world’s problems. They viewed themselves as brilliant.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/igniting-the-spark/2008/09/03/
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