For years Olivia sent out its mailers covered up. For years my Jerusalem Report magazine arrived in my mailbox uncovered. And then for the last twen...
"The Jewish people invented circumcision." "Circumcision is a matter of Jewish identity." "All Jews circumcise." People often make such assumptions. But are the assumptions valid?
Philadelphia has a long history as an incubator for social justice activism, from the abolition of slavery to the Black Power movement. Moreover, with its high unemployment and poverty, low wages, and high incarceration rate, the city could become another Baltimore.
In the four decades that passed since Rabin's first term in office, Israelis have succeeded in creating a vibrant community for themselves anywhere from the banks of the Hudson to the coast of the Pacific.
That, more or less, is how the dominant model of Bar/Bat Mitzvah, in which leading services and/or chanting from scripture are the primary focus of both the ceremony and the educational journey toward it, was born.
It's high time we got practical and selfish about volunteering the way we have about every other aspect of our selfie-obsessed existence.
More than 300 rabbis have signed a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, calling for vigorous action to prevent worsening climate disruption, to seek eco-social justice, and to shape a world of shared sustainable abundance.
We know that journalism can impact attitudes and action. But it's rare to get concrete proof of that, as I did recently after publishing a blog post about the anti-Semitic content of traditional Good Friday performances of Passion plays and Passion musical compositions, many dating back to the Middle Ages.
I applaud Amnesty International's work to combat discrimination against Muslims and Christians and against discrimination in "all its forms," but I am concerned. Why does it appear that some religious groups in need readily earn Amnesty's attention, energy and resources but not others?
When we see people doing just and praiseworthy acts, we should honor them for their efforts. If we stand idly by and watch as the cynics work to find the negatives in positive situations, we are doing a disservice to society.
Despite more than 30 years of seclusion and censorship, the majority of Iranians seem to be curious, open-minded, and eagerly seeking connection with Americans.
As a young Jewish boy in the Bronx during the 1950s I grew up in the shadow of the European Holocaust. The extermination of six million Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II was in the background but not discussed.
We came to appreciate how much our respective faith communities could benefit from more curiosity and less judgment about the correct "formula" for clergy education, and more shared conversations with those from other faiths.
Catechism classes were part of the Catholic education I received. But regardless of how much we know about religion, isn't it the same truth that we all come to sooner or later?
I learned a lot from Peggy Coyne. Peggy was the CIA of sample sales, the Lois Lane of letters -- small town, simple and lethal.
Jewish people of a certain age who attended synagogue or religious school are sure to know the stories of the "Wise Men of Chelm". These classic Jewish folktales are told and repeated to this day on the pulpits, classrooms, and at the communal gatherings of the Jewish community.