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Reform Reflections

Thursday Apr 10, 2014
      Brandeis University, a Jewish-sponsored university and my alma mater, has withdrawn its offer to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  As reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, Brandeis changed its mind eight days after announcing the honor to Ms. Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia and served in the Dutch Parliament.  The President of Brandeis, Fred Lawrence, said in his announcement of the change...
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Tuesday Mar 25, 2014
    American Jews don’t realize it yet, but they will be spending much more of their time responding to what I refer to as the “Glick-Abbas proposal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    The Abbas in question is not Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, but his son, Tareq, a 48-year-old Palestinian businessman from Ramallah. In an interview in the New York Times on ...
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Sunday Mar 16, 2014
    The Jewish religious world is in turmoil. This is so in Israel, and it is true throughout the Diaspora as well.   Such turmoil is hardly new. For thousands of years, Judaism has been characterized by the absence of an established religious hierarchy, resulting in a significant measure of ongoing religious chaos. For the most part, this religious muddle has been a blessing for the Jews, giving rise to vigorous and creative...
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Thursday Feb 06, 2014
   American Jewish leaders agree that Jonathan Pollard should be released from jail.  What they do not agree on is why he is still there and the best way to get him out.     These differences have become public due to an editorial on January 16 in Tablet Magazine, a thoughtful, high-quality, on-line publication.      The editorial had both a strident tone and a jarring message.  I would summarize it...
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Wednesday Jan 08, 2014
  As these words are written, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the visionary and ferocious champion of the State of Israel, fights for life in his hospital bed, and Jews everywhere pray for his return to health—even as they know that the doctors offer little or no hope of recovery.   A fearless soldier and military commander, Mr. Sharon was a hero of four of Israel’s wars. A strong and controversial leader, he fought...
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