Tag Archives: Israel
Exterior Supreme Court

Supreme Court Happenings

In light of recent Supreme Court decisions, and more opinions expected to come down this morning, it feels like an appropriate time to recap what the nine justices have been working and opining on.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, upholding a constitutional ban on affirmative action in public university admissions in Michigan 6-2 (Justice Kagan recused herself). Interestingly, Justice Stephen Breyer concurred with the conservative wing of the Court. The New York Times notes that “justices in the majority, with varying degrees of vehemence, said that policies affecting minorities that do not involve intentional discrimination should ordinarily be decided at the ballot box rather than in the courtroom.”

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Drifting from Israel, per Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s most recent piece in Ha’aretz, the Israeli daily, makes the case that young U.S. Jews are not all that enamored with the Jewish state, and goes on to explain why. Read more…

Talking to Teens about Israel

Yesterday evening, I was invited by Temple Sinai of Washington, D.C. to speak to their seventh grade students about my connection and relationship to Israel as a part of their culminating class on their Israel unit.  One of my favorite parts of my job is working with young people, so I was especially excited for my “official” workday to end and to get to speak with the seventh graders of Temple Sinai.  The coordinator of the program emailed me and the other speakers ahead of time with the worksheet that each student would fill out after hearing each speaker.  It included four questions (appropriate as we head in to Passover, I think, but unrelated to our upcoming seders!): Read more…

Rabbi Rick Jacobs Responds to Harsh Critique of Zionism

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the Union for Reform Judaism, published a piece yesterday in response to “Zionism Unsettled,” a recent publication produced by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  “Zionism Unsettled” is a congregational study guide which asserts that cause of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians is the “pathology” of Zionism. Publication of the piece, which uses language befitting Israel’s harshest critics, has created a rift between Presbyterians and Jews in advance of the June conference of the Presbyterian Church at which the denominational body will vote on whether to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

Rabbi Jacobs’ piece addresses two issues discussed in “Zionism Unsettled”: the relationships of religious denominations and Israel and the relationship between different religious groups.

In response to the publication’s harsh narrative of the history of Israel and its inhabitants, Rabbi Jacobs wrote: Read more…

A 16-Year-Old’s Epiphany at the Western Wall

This post originally appeared at ReformJudaism.org

This past November, I traveled to Israel as part of a NFTY delegation team in honor of the 25thanniversary of the Women of the Wall. Today, nearly three months later, I still don’t know how to describe the trip in a way that will do it justice. How can I talk about the most impactful week of my life in just five minutes or 500 words? Although I can’t capture the whole trip in one sitting, I can describe the small but powerful moments that caused me to feel immense pride — and question my beliefs — in the hope that listeners will learn from my experiences and pass it on to educate others. Read more…

Israeli-Palestinian Negotiation Deadline Approaches

President Obama has met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House this month.  The April 2014 deadline to develop a framework agreement between Israelis and Palestinians is fast approaching.  The White House sees March as a critical month to advance the peace talks that have been ongoing since July 2013.     Read more…

Anat Hoffman on International Women’s Day

Every day feels like women’s day at the Israel Religious Action Center.  Yes, this is because 20 of our 24 staff members are women and there seems to be a never-ending line to our bathroom.  But mainly because the work we do is intrinsically linked to the status of women in Israel.  IRAC’s issues are women’s issues.

The only organization in Israel that empowers Haredi and Reform Jews alike, we have changed the social fabric of Israeli society since last year’s International Women’s Day.  What has happened to women’s rights in these past 12 months?  Let us take stock of some of these accomplishments. Read more…

JDAM: Spotlight on Israel

As we near the end of the sixth annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month in the United States, we remember that people with disabilities live all throughout the world—some 650 million people worldwide are living with a disability, around 10% of the world’s population. One study from October 2012 from the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute and Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics provides us with valuable information about people with disabilities in Israel, including: Read more…

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