100 Blessings

Written by David Balto on . Posted in Opinion

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.

A Trade Policy Fashioned from Timeless Wisdom

Written by Steve Lamar on . Posted in Opinion

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 Opinion

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 Opinion

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.

Preparing Kids to Face Anti-Israel Rhetoric on Campus

Written by Editor on . Posted in Opinion

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.

America and the Moscow-Jerusalem Axis

Written by Dov S. Zakheim on . Posted in Opinion

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.

Is It Time for Fragrance-Free Synagogues?

Written by Betsy Combs on . Posted in Opinion

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 Opinion

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 Opinion

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.

Global Jewish Education Summit Explores How Israel Can Support Jewish Education in the Diaspora

Written by Alan Reinitz on . Posted in Opinion

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.

The Kite: Symbol of Freedom Used for Terror

Written by Tzachi Levy on . Posted in Opinion

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.