I made a bet with myself that I could resist using the Star Wars craze as an analogy to write something about the state of the Jewish world. The moment I lost that bet was when I discovered, in Terror in the Name of God, Mark Juergensmeyer’s landmark book about religious extremism, the concept of “cosmic war.” Then I realized that, just as Darth Vader and Han Solo are involved in a cosmic struggle, so too are we. Sadly.Read more
In 1972, during Richard Nixon’s visit to China, Premier Zhou Enlai was asked what he thought about the French Revolution. He responded, “Too early to tell”. His answer is celebrated to this day as an illustration of the supposed Chinese ability—and the Western need—to take the long view of history.Read more
It all started with name-calling, demonization, and polarization. It ended in twenty centuries of tragedy.
We are now in a period that Jewish tradition calls “the three weeks,” marking the terrible times of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 C.E. The “three weeks” refers to the time elapsed between the first breach of the city walls (commemorated by the fast of 17th of Tamuz) and the destruction of the Temple on the 9th of Av.Read more
On July 1, 2015, we gathered for a special learning opportunity, organized by JFN, dedicated to Israel’s Haredi society.Read more
I consider myself to be an incorrigible optimist. I’m an eternal searcher for glasses half full and silver linings. Yet, there was a day on which I couldn’t find a glimpse of optimism or a spark of hope. It was November 4, 1995, when an assassin killed Yitzhak Rabin and ended one of the most prolific and transformational lives in the history of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.Read more
One of the more provacative titles for a panel at the 2014 JFN Conference was "Israel's Internal Ticking Time Bomb."Read more
A conversation I had with an American colleague, a board member and donor for one of Israel's leading cultural institutions, made me realize the dialogue between the Israeli- and non-Israeli philanthropists and activists was at a critical crossroad: She told me she wants to discontinue her involvement in Israel because, once again, she found herself on a board that included no Israeli donors. "Where are the affluent Israelis, and why don't they match our contributions,” she asked me indignantly.Read more