Comment

A mentor, example, hero, and friend

By Michael Gove, January 20, 2016

George Weidenfeld was one of the men of the century.

In his life and work the tumult and triumphs of the last hundred years found their witness and their shaper. It has been one of the privileges of my life to have been able to call him a friend. But he was much more — a mentor, an example, a hero.

More..

Confession of an Israel first-timer

By Rosa Doherty, January 13, 2016

"Do you know any Arabs?" the El AL immigration officer at Heathrow asked me.

I had been warned about the security checks. They will question you for ages, friends had said. But this was my first trip to Israel and I had done my homework. I was ready with my answer.

"Does my friend Sandy count?" I said. "She's an Iraqi Jew - she's an Arab."

More..

We should be free to ban haters like Trump

By Tulip Siddiq, January 7, 2016

I feel lucky to live in a country where the right to speak one's mind is valued highly. Our vibrant media is relentless in promoting the range of views that British society has to offer. The result is a healthy, if heated, debate over where we draw the line between what is free speech and what is hate speech.

More..

Limmud has something for everyone (but me)

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

When the assignment was first handed over, I kicked my desk and unleashed a torrent of expletives. It was my turn to cover the annual Limmud conference - and no tantrum would get me out of it.

Nor would a family wedding in Tel Aviv or an offer to holiday at a penthouse in New York over the New Year.

More..

Orthodox participation at Limmud? Don't just count the rabbis

By Raphael Zarum, January 7, 2016

I've been going to Limmud for over 20 years. My first time was a bit of a shock - such a range of people and sessions, such a passion for learning, such a joy at "doing Jewish". I was hooked.

Limmud is a novel take on the Yarchei Kallah, an ancient Jewish institution. It was a bi-annual study convention for Jewish scholars in Babylon. In various forms it has continued to the present day.

More..

Grisly days for city that knows normality

By Noga Godein, January 7, 2016

On sunny Fridays, Dizengoff Street, the heart of Tel Aviv's proudly scruffy strip of cafés and saloons, hosts long afternoons of coffee and light drinks that gently carry its patrons towards a night of partying.

Last Friday, the languor was interrupted by the rat-a-tat of a semi-automatic weapon that left two people dead and the city on edge.

More..

It’s older than the US itself — New York’s go-to shul

By Zaki Cooper, January 6, 2016

Of the many beautiful shuls around the world, there are not many that house communities older than the countries they are in.

But that anomaly applies to the ornate Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

More..

In muddy French refugee camp, Torah ethics live

By Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, January 6, 2016

"Compulsory tea break". The call goes around the huge warehouse five minutes' drive from the refugee camp universally known as "The Jungle" outside Calais. During the pause, a woman in a beret eyes my kippah: "Are you here over Shabbat?"

People wheel in loads of donated clothing.

More..

Let's boycott dictatorships, not Israel...

By Elisabeth Perlman, January 4, 2016

Earlier this month, two Welsh councils reversed their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The government recently announced plans to prevent local councils launching politically motivated boycotts of Israel.

More..

The extraordinary story of why I owe my life to Irma

By Franz Leichter, January 4, 2016

Franz Leichter made a name for himself in US politics with his liberal-minded passion for social issues. A practising attorney, he cut his teeth in the New York State Assembly, before a lengthy career in the Senate. Yet all that might never have been, had it not been for the courage and bravery of Irma Turnsek – who has just been recognised as a Righteous Among Nations.

More..