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7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Ramaz Picks Eric Gross... · 0 replies · +1 points

In Detroit, Eric Grossman was there at a divisive time. I hear that under his leadership, he would not allow any non-orthodox rabbi to teach Judaic studies classes *ruining one of the best parts of their curriculum of comparative Judaism, and he changed the format of the trip to Israel in the senior year for the students.
The board had a tough reputation for being divisive while he was leader, but not sure if that was on the board or on Rabbi Grossman

Good luck to Ramaz with this rabbi. I hope his replacement succeeds in Detroit with little trouble. Detroit has a special Jewish community

7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Benjamin Netanyahu Has... · 0 replies · -1 points

When the relationship of US and Israel gets embroiled in party politics and with the Israeli election, no good can come of it. How in the world did Bibi think this could be a good idea to come to the US, speak to the US government, but not coordinate with the sitting US president? It is foolhardy and selfish, even if for a valid reason (Iran sanctions).

Democratic friends of mine are turned off by this and Bibi has alienated Israel from many in the nation who do and should support Israel. He has tweaked BO plenty of times, has lectured him publicly, and generally acted like a bratty kid brother. This is over the top and will serve nobody who cares about Israel any good. The message on Iran has been lost in the political morass created by the invite and acceptance. Shame on Bibi who should know better.

7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Journalist Chris Hedge... · 0 replies · +5 points

Nothing I can say to you will alleviate your hatred of Israel or give you a reason to believe it has a right to exist. The fact that the United Nations had a partition vote including the entire world body and that it passed by a healthy majority, including support (sort of) of land-controller Great Britain apparently bypasses your wide view.

Your use of terminology is telling as well. "Jews are terrorists. Palestinians are peaceful people. Israel is an Apartheid state. " Got any more lies to share? Any time people like you declare things like this as "truth" without seeing grey and room for discussion is a sad time frankly.

7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Journalist Chris Hedge... · 2 replies · +24 points

Hedges through the years has had disturbing views (as has Roger Cohen). I guess the basic thing you have to wonder about Hedges is what he thinks the problem is from. Is it because of occupation from the Six Day War? Is it because the founders of modern Israel (1948) created a refugee problem for Palestinians? (I am not thinking that is true--but I am trying to get inside his brain).

If Israel were to withdraw to Green Line pre 67, would that be enough for Hedges, because it wouldn't answer the refugee problem that he wrote about. Additionally, he conveniently ignores the mass killings that ISIS is creating, which were simply not done by the Zionist armies. I think a lot of nation building in 47-48 was nasty, awful, and stomach turning--I am not proud of what the militias did, but at the same time, did the Zionist armies act any differently than the Pakistani, Indian, British, french, and so on during that time? Yet, I do not hear him use derogatory terms toward those nations. That double standard is disturbing to say the least.

Good job, UPenn

7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Conservative Youth Gro... · 0 replies · +2 points

You can't marry somebody you don't date (outside the arranged marriage thing that is). But how is USY being consistent here? I think dating is a big issue--one which I've had discussion with my parents and now with my kids. And again--if you don't date somebody, you don't fall in love....

How about, "we won't kick you off the board if you eat non-kosher"? That doesn't appear. I think USY is being completely blind here. Yes, people who are leaders should act as "doogma" but how do you enforce religious laws? Isn't that between the individual and G-d? and what is non-Jewish? Is it having a mother who is not Jewish? Is eating vegetarian out still keeping kosher enough for the USy police? Is driving to synagogue observing shabat? What about driving to a synagogue that has instruments on the bimah? That wouldn't fly in most of NY, but is the norm in other large areas...

7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Conservative Youth Gro... · 2 replies · +4 points

As an ex regional board member, this makes no sense. First of all, mandating any observance goes against the norms of Judaism in Conservative movement. We live in a free society, full of choices. In one breath, you are told to "keep kosher" and "keep shabbat" (rule for board members), but then in the next breath "date who you want". Makes no sense.

USY leadership is beyond me and I think they are crazy. I personally started keeping kosher when I was elected board because it finally made sense to me--though after election it was Passover, during which I ate more pizza than I had ever eaten. Rebellion led to reason, I guess. Conservative Judaism, unlike Orthodoxy, is full of choices. There are mitzvot and so on, but you can't pick and choose. Interdating may be a reality, but there are even fewer kosher eaters, and that is not a choice to USY, is it?

7 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Benjamin Netanyahu Sla... · 0 replies · +1 points

Bibi is such a hypocrite. He wants the US to protect Israel when it's convenient, to leave them alone when it's inconvenient, and yet won't pick up a finger to advance cause of co-existence. (Note, I did not say peace because I don't think it's possible in our lifetime).

Each time he pretends to care about anything Palestinian related, he has a minister mess it up by announcing some policy intended to destroy it. I do not understand how anyone in Israel can even vote for this fraud. Talk about a "do nothing" PM.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Intermarried Couples R... · 0 replies · 0 points

Well, if you believe that Judaism is not a progressive religion, then you are right. But I believe that Judaism is alive, progressive, and has always adapted to its society and its population. They sacrificed back in the day, but alas, we don't do that now. Women used to have sit separately yet, there are many branches of Judaism where that is not true anymore.

And Tanah is actually an interesting point--they debated points endlessly and argued about minutiae which is beyond me. Yet, they were constantly reassessing, using modern points, etc.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Intermarried Couples R... · 2 replies · -2 points

There are different interpretations of the law as to whether Jewish lineage is passed only by matrilineal descent or also by patrilineal. YOUR version of Judaism apparently discounts reform (and many Conservative) Judaism. So long as you follow all the other laws to the letter, I will respect your interpretation but you really can't pick and choose if you are being so strict here. And why is it that matrilineal is the only way? Because you can't prove the father? Because of tradition? where is it written in the Torah that only mother's religion matters?

But you didn't address the gist of her op-ed. What did you think of that?

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Intermarried Couples R... · 0 replies · +8 points

Essentially, what Ms. Katz Miler has done is rationalize her choices by saying that's the best practice. I think her op-ed was very weak and sort of pointless, and it is almost like she is waving the flag saying, "look at me. . . . .see, I do some Jewish stuff, so i am really OK".

She makes her own choices, and that's fine (intermarriage, how she raises her kids, etc). But I think her rationalization is sort of puzzling. I personally believe in patrilineage--her Jewishness to me is no question--but if she was really all that interested in having a Jewish home and Jewish environment, she would have chosen differently who to marry. I am not judging her choice of who she married--only judging her "rationalization" which came off to me as disingenuous and whiny.