Commentary  On My Mind

Expert analysis and personal insights on today’s Jewish topics.

 A major lawsuit filed last month in federal court both exemplifies and seeks to redress a grievous instance of justice delayed and denied; one that spans two decades and all the way from Israel to Chicago. 

There is an intense debate going on in Israel, and around the world, about whether we can be, at once, the nation-state of the Jewish people, a democracy, and a country with a commitment to the human rights of all who live in it, Arabs as well as Jews.  

For four years JUF News readers have followed the latest legal proceedings of Rasmea Odeh, the twice-confessed and twice convicted Chicagoan of Palestinian descent.  

The recent wave of bomb threats targeting JCCs, organizations, and Jewish schools, coupled with a spike of anti-Semitic vandalism and leafleting -- has shaken our well-deserved sense of communal security. 

 The new year is in full swing, and I see newly engaged couples everywhere, exuding romance and optimism as they look forward to married life. They have no idea what they are in for.  


 During those intense years of early motherhood, when my other new mom friends and I gave and gave and then gave some more, we were laying the foundation for friendships that were so close they grew into love. 


 The Talmud tells Jewish parents that one of our main obligations to our children is to teach them how to swim. This instruction is both literal and metaphorical, conveying that it’s our duty to ensure our kids know how to survive in the world without us. 

He had no concept of himself as a special person. He told me repeatedly that he didn’t understand why I was wasting so much of my time interviewing him. I knew he was a great man, a great rabbi, but he didn’t believe it for a second.


Members of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom learn from each other, affirm our common humanity and commit to standing up for each other when necessary.

Rachel Weiss

Whether desire for Jewish knowledge at a young age was an indicator of my career path back to JRC I can’t say, but what I do know is this: I have always felt welcome here.

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