JERUSALEM (JTA) – Lady Gaga said the White House assured her it would be safe in Tel Aviv when the American singer played there earlier this month. [Read more…]
Leonard Cohen, the great singer-songwriter, poet and novelist from Montreal, turns 80 this week. A decade ago (three years before I moved to Ottawa to work at the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin), I was asked to write a feature for the Canadian Jewish News celebrating Cohen’s 70th birthday and highlighting some of the Jewish themes in his work.
One of the works I highlighted was “Story of Isaac,” a song from the 1960s, which was inspired by the biblical story of Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son to God. The song is written in the first-person from Isaac’s perspective and ultimately, I noted, Cohen turns the song into a rabbinic-style morality lesson on the ethics of one generation sacrificing the lives of the next. [Read more…]
The summer of 2014 did not go as planned or expected. As a Federation and a community, we went from the optimism and enthusiasm of installing a new board of directors and passing a bold, fresh strategic plan at our annual general meeting in June, to unrelenting terror in Israel and what feels like a significant escalation in bold expressions of anti-Semitism around the globe. [Read more…]
The High Holy Days provide a meaningful time for self-reflection and introspection. Personally, while I, of course, think about family, friends and business, I also spend a great deal of time considering our community. [Read more…]
Just after 9/11, long before Hamas took power in Gaza, a media consultant was hired by a Jewish organization to discuss problems with Israel’s image in the world. The consultant began his talk holding up a photo of a Palestinian man holding a dead baby in his arms.
Fast forward to the present. While we know there is another side to the story, no matter how hard we try to explain it, the photos and video from Gaza this summer make it difficult to even have a rational conversation about the conflict – not just with the expected critics, but with so many people we come into contact with as we go about our lives. [Read more…]
Lynda Fishman, who wrote an acclaimed book about overcoming the tragic deaths of her mother and sisters, will be the keynote speaker at Choices, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa Women’s Campaign event. [Read more…]
If the current truce holds and Operation Protective Edge is indeed behind us, the next step will be rebuilding Gaza. [Read more…]
I am in a new community having just begun serving as interim rabbi at Temple Israel. As the High Holy Days approach, we reflect on the days and years past. I remember how I felt at this time several years ago and want to share what I wrote then. [Read more…]
(JTA) – A Jewish prayer book believed to be the world’s oldest will be exhibited in Jerusalem for one month. [Read more…]
With September upon us and the Gaza war behind us, university students may be anticipating Israel-on-campus discourse this semester with extra trepidation. I often hear Jewish parents wondering about how we can best prepare our kids to “face” Israel’s opponents on campus. Having once been an active Jewish undergraduate student, and now as a professor who specializes in the topic of Israel/Palestine, here are some of my thoughts about the best way to approach the topic of Israel on campus. [Read more…]