Being Jewish is more than bagels and lox and Seinfeld. But for many Jews, especially American Jews, the concept of cultural Jewry is often delineated from Jewish law and practice.
Despite how pleased we were with the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage, in many states, members of the LGBTQ community are still at risk of losing their jobs for their sexual orientation, lack protection from physical violence, or are denied rights to hospital visits with ill spouses.
My Muslim Iranian friends will take offense at this narrative or reject its veracity outright. They'll tell you that Persian culture is among the most tolerant, accepting and enlightened in history. They'll be right. That to be moved by the plight of the Palestinian people or outraged by the acts of the Israeli government is not the same as being anti-Semitic. That loving Iran and its people does not mean condoning the policies and practices of its current regime. That prejudice and fanaticism are not the sole domain of Muslims. They'll be right.
Human rights are coming to tomato aisles across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Ahold USA -- the corporation behind such local grocery stores as Stop and Shop, Giant, and Martin's, has become the first major American supermarket to sign onto the Fair Food Program.
For every Jewish man in New York in our database, there are 3.5 Jewish women. So think of it as a Shabbat dinner, where there are two single Jewish guys, and seven women vying for their attention.
The lessons we hand to our children, the messages we believe we are giving, and sometimes the very experiences that we all shared together, are not always seen and experienced the way we intended or believed they were delivered.
On Sunday of this week, I went with about 100 Jews associated with the Tag Meir Forum, to pay a condolence call to the family in the village in Duma in the West Bank.
So many of the people I met and befriended had either never met a Jewish person before in their life, or else there were two Jewish people in their high school/they once dated a Jewish guy and felt they understood the culture.
As an active member of the Washington, D.C. Jewish community, I want to express my indignation at the use of Jewish community institutions, locally and nationally, for the partisan political purposes of Prime Minister Netanyahu's government, and against the policies of President Barack Obama with regard to the Iran nuclear deal.
The Jewish community continues to scrutinize the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran deal. I have studied it. I have been briefed by its State Department architects and by Israeli officials who oppose it. And still I remain uncertain about it.
Some nights are so unforgettable the world stops for a moment or two. Old and new friends alike gathered at my dear friend's home, Diana, while we chatted, exchanged ideas and read passages from "The Burden of My Red Lips in Tehran."
I wear my crimson red string as a talisman; thought to have magical powers of protection and rewards of good luck. The tradition is popularly thought to be associated with Judaism's Kabbalah and the story of Rachel who gave to others and was blessed in return.
Unfurling her collapsible cane, Cynthia Groopman strides toward the door of her room. Once she's in the hallway, she feels around the lock with her fingers until she "sees" the slot for the key.
How does our Jewish community make a decision on an issue that is crucial to our own future and the fate of the world around us -- like the decision that faces us now about making sure that Iran adheres to its own claim that it does not intend to produce nuclear weapons?
It is both shocking and embarrassing that these extremists cite my Torah as the blueprint for their brutality. If we Jewish people are to call on Muslims to rail against Islamic extremism, then we in the Jewish community must heed our own call. We must stand in opposition against those who tarnish Judaism through their hate and bloodshed.
I landed back in Israel last Monday after having been abroad nearly two weeks for congresses with my students in South and North America, a (very successful) lecture in Queens, NY, and meetings with media personnel and opinion leaders.