An opinion column in the New York Times by Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University, and currently serves as special envoy to the State Department charged with combating antisemitism abroad. In this column, Lipstadt contends that the fight against antisemitism is most effective when, rather than reacting to an antisemitic attack, Jews fully and openly embrace Judaism's values of ethics and justice. Written as Jews prepared to observe the High Holy Days, just prior to Rosh Hashannah, she exhorts Jews to celebrate their own culture and demonstrate solidarity with all persecuted groups and to focus on "how Jews, and anyone confronting persecution, live rather than how they suffer." Click on the link above to read the column.
An interview conducted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic Magazine with Judith Shulevitz about her book, "The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time."Shulevitz claims that the Sabbath is a radical concept in that it establishes the idea that "everyone, not just the upper classes, not just the priests and doctors and elites and the king have the right to rest in a regular way one day a week Indeed, she states, "[the Sabbath]...was so radically progressive that it even mandated that you had to give your animals the day off." Click on the link to read the interview.
In observance of Martin Luther King Day, The Forward republished an article about Thomas LaRue, known as “Der Shvartze Khazn” or, “the Black Cantor” in the 1920s. His mother was not Jewish and it is not clear whether or not she converted. However, she preferred the company of Jews to Christians and "she insisted he have a Jewish primary school education, be able to pray from a siddur [Jewish pray book] and have a bar mitzvah in his 13th year." LaRue was raised in a Jewish environment. Click on the link above to read the article.
Founded by Rabbi Stephen Wise as the Free Synagogue, the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue still adheres to the values of its founder, committed to social justice and to close ties to Israel. Click on the link above to see the Synagogue's homepage.