Thoughts From a Conservative Jew in 2018

Written by David Kravitz on . Posted in Op-Ed

President Donald J. Trump is the most powerful person alive. He is single-handedly responsible for everything that transpires in America. His power lies not in the uniformed army of which he is Commander in Chief, but rather in the white, straight, cisgender guerilla fighters scattered throughout the nation, whom he can summon to action with a single tweet. No man’s voice holds more influence than President Trump’s. He alone has the power to inspire a man to pick up a gun and shoot up a school or a synagogue.

You Can’t Blame Trump for Anything Except Trump

Written by Jake Kohn on . Posted in Op-Ed


President Obama after Newtown. President Bush after 9/11. President Clinton after Oklahoma City. None of those presidents were to blame for those terrible atrocities. What they were responsible for were their words and actions after the events took place; how they handled the aftermath of those tragedies and their attempts to comfort and provide leadership for the nation.

We’re Running out of Time to Reduce Climate Change — Let’s Do it Anyway

Written by Editor on . Posted in Op-Ed

On Oct. 8, the world’s leading climate scientists put out a warning that there are only a dozen years for climate change to be kept at a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius (about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the tipping point after which major climate and earth system disturbances will occur. The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a full copy of which is available online, say that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented change in all aspects of society” are needed to reach the target.

A Trade Policy Fashioned from Timeless Wisdom

Written by Steve Lamar on . Posted in Op-Ed

Headlines and tweets regularly scream about our economic differences with other countries and the need to bring about greater “fairness” in trade deals. President Trump has been particularly active in this regard, picking fights and slapping tariffs on products imported from our major trading partners.

How Do the ‘Tribulations of Trump’ Affect My Life?

Written by Nathan Lewin on . Posted in Op-Ed

I am a seasoned Washington criminal defense lawyer who has represented former president Richard Nixon, then-Attorney General Edwin Meese, Idaho Congressman George V. Hansen, New York Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, and many others. Fortunately, I have not been drawn into the current maelstrom surrounding President Donald Trump; but, because I am Jewish and have been a resident of the nation’s capital for more than half a century, the remarkable events of the past year have significantly affected my personal life.  

Remembering John McCain

Written by Lloyd Green on . Posted in Op-Ed

John McCain was an American patriot, hero and politician. As the Vietnam war raged, he was held for five years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi’s main Hòa Lò Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.” Offered an early release by the North Vietnamese because he was the son and grandson of four-star navy admirals, McCain declined. He put his country and men first, and now he is gone.

American Democracy Motivates and Inspires Hungarian Jewish Students

Written by Daniel Kallo on . Posted in Op-Ed

I am a Jewish teenager from Hungary, a post-socialist country with a totalitarian government. As a result of our historical experiences with soft dictatorships and the current regime’s rhetoric, Hungarian society is suffering from a strong level of passiveness, a general attitude of being disengaged, and not raising one’s voice. Meanwhile, political and civic organizing are slowly being banished from the country, through stigmatization in both official rhetoric and legislation.  

100 Blessings

Written by David Balto on . Posted in Op-Ed

I am a chaplain in a 900-bed inner-city hospital in Washington, D.C. As a chaplain, blessings are the substance of my spiritual day. I love to bless and recognize blessings, and once a year we go to all the units and bless the hands of scores of nurses.

Is It Time for Fragrance-Free Synagogues?

Written by Betsy Combs on . Posted in Op-Ed

One of my fondest childhood memories is being the star of a Chanukah play at my religious school. The director was the principal’s daughter and also my dance teacher. I was given the starring role: the shamash candle. Eight children stood with their backs to the audience. As the shamash, I danced up to each “candle” and tapped them gently on the head, and each candle turned to face the audience, now “lit” with fiery-red makeup on their faces. After all eight were lit, I turned, pale-faced. Even as a 6-year-old child, I would not let anyone near me with face paint or cosmetics.

Real Life, Not Fake News, Will Decide the Midterms

Written by Jake Kohn on . Posted in Op-Ed

The Trump supporter’s response to the Muller probe or another Trump associate pleading guilty is that it doesn’t matter. And they’re right.

Working opposition research teaches you that listing the horrible facts about a candidate isn’t the most effective way to swing a potential voter. Political attacks can be easily dismissed as “fake news” or rationalized as “well, the other side is just as bad.” You need to lay out facts, explain why they’re important, and most importantly how it directly affects the voter.

Insights From a Former Neo-Nazi

Written by Rachel Kohn on . Posted in Op-Ed

As a former far-right extremist, Shannon Martinez has first-hand knowledge and experience of the dynamics of radicalization leading to violence. Today, she is program manager at the Free Radical Project, a global disengagement platform that aids individuals and their families or communities in exiting hateful and violence-based extremism. In addition to her role with the Free Radicals Project, Martinez is also the U.S. regional coordinator for AVE (the Against Violence and Extremism Network), the largest network of former violence-based extremists and survivors of extremist violence in the world.