It’s a fact of life that some Jewish and pro-Israel college students will encounter anti-Semitism or anti-Israel hostility on campus. We want to prepare our children and grandchildren to face this ugliness with courage and certainty; so, wherever possible, we instill in them a strong sense of Jewish identity and connection to Israel. We arm them with the facts because those facts are essential.
Last month, I joined 150 educators from 31 countries for the first-ever Global Jewish Education Summit. The five-day seminar sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, took place in Jerusalem July 8 - 12. Although contemporary Diaspora Jewry is currently confronted with many serious religious, political, and cultural issues, this seminar was entirely devoted to next-generation Jewish identity and Jewish education in the Diaspora. I participated in the seminar on behalf of SOS International, a Rockville, Maryland-based nonprofit dedicated to enriching next-generation Jewish identity and values.
A few months ago, my family and I participated in our first Blossom Kite Festival in Washington, D.C. Although it was not a windy day, we managed to get our kites into the sky. I am 41 years old, but once I hold a kite, I immediately feel like my son Oz, a happy, carefree 10 year old.
Illegal immigration is a hot-button issue that flares up every so often. During the last few weeks, “think of the children” has been the battle cry of many on the political left, with a few allies from the right jumping in to voice their condemnation of the alleged mistreatment of illegal aliens that have entered our southern border. Those politicians and their fellow quislings in the mainstream media have waxed poetic on several different platforms, lambasting President Trump and his administration for enforcing current U.S. laws, some of which date back to the Clinton era (e.g., family separation).
The Republican Party’s view on free trade between the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations was encapsulated by Larry Kudlow on CNBC: “We believe that free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity.”
Peace is not the mere cessation of hostilities. America does not have peace with New Zealand, for instance — it just doesn’t know where it is. Lack of fighting does not mean peace, either: The fact that you don’t argue with your cleaning lady does not mean you have more peace with her than your spouse.
It has not escaped everyone’s attention that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is now as frequent a visitor to Moscow as his Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Netanyahu’s latest meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin took place just before the Russian president met with President Trump. In light of the remarks that both presidents made at their joint press conference, it is clear that Netanyahu’s message, to get Iran out of Syria, was one that seemed to resonate with both men.
I came to the U.S. from Russia when I was 11 years old. At the time, the Soviet Union was falling apart, the door to leave was wide open, and anyone of Jewish descent did their best to get out before it shut again.
The history of how we got here is instructive.
In the mid-2000s, two offsetting trends in unauthorized immigration to the U.S. occurred. At the turn of the millennium, the overwhelming majority of unauthorized immigrants apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Border Patrol were Mexican — 1.12 million out of 1.24 million in 2003, for example. By the end of the decade, however, immigration from Mexico had dropped by half. Even though immigration from the “Northern Triangle” countries — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — virtually doubled during this time period, the drop in unauthorized immigrants from Mexico resulted in a historic net decline in total unauthorized immigration to the U.S.
In its recent ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that “religious hostility on the part of the State” is impermissible. Some have commented that this decision does not resolve the tension between First Amendment rights and anti-discrimination laws; yet its impact may be far-reaching if it deters courts from second-guessing religious practitioners’ understanding of their own faith.
The relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on May 14 marked the fulfillment of decades of promises by U.S. presidents and others to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. For those of us at the Orthodox Union (OU), May 14 marked a triumphant conclusion to a hard-fought quest that spanned 46 years.
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- Marching Through the Gates of Hell With Holocaust Survivors and Israeli Soldiers
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- Arming Teachers Isn’t a Bad Idea
- Arm Teachers? Thanks but No Thanks
- Recent Shabbaton Demonstrates the Impact of Inclusion in Halachic Discourse
- Seeing the Best of a Community
- Empower the Disabled Community and See Our Mutual Value