An Open Discussion on the News with Rabbi Charlie!
Second Thursday of the Month @ 10:00AM
Next Meeting Date: March 14 ON SITE
This event is free for Or Hadash members. Non-members are welcome, and donations to support our programs are appreciated.
Discussions From Previous Meetings:
February 8, 2024
This week we will discuss an important newsletter of the Focus Project, “a joint initiative from a broad coalition of U.S. Jewish institutions.” This was shared from Mercaz U.S.A., the Zionist Organization of our Conservative Movement. The newsletter covers a number of subjects of concern to the Jewish community.
We will, in particular, discuss its lead story, “Hatred Against Jews Flows Down From Campuses to Kindergartens.” It seems that not only a college campus but also a local school board can be a dangerous source of Antisemitism. A few other articles on this subject:
January 11, 2024
It is difficult to narrow down a topic when there is so much happening in the Jewish world. It is a difficult and frightening time, and sadly, will likely get worse.
This week we will listen to a Hartman Institute podcast, “Israel At War – The Hague.” (https://www.hartman.org.il/israel-at-war-the-hague/) Even as Israel seems to be entering a new stage of the war in Gaza, the threat from Hizbollah in the north continues, The United States (and its allies) confronts the threat from the Houthis in Yemen, and commentators around the globe warn of a spreading conflict, Israel faces yet another, perhaps even more serious threat than its military challenges: hearings in the International Court of Justice in the Hague on South Africa’s accusation that Israel is committing genocide. I encourage you to listen to the podcast ahead of time so that we can have a fuller discussion during our session. I want to hear your thoughts!
Here are some related articles that you may wish to read as background:
December 14, 2023
There is so much to discuss! The on-going war in Gaza raises so many issues: the horror of the Oct. 7th attack, the inability/failure of so much of the world to acknowledge Jewish pain & suffering and to condemn the brutality and sadism of Hamas, the strength, heroism, and unity of the Israeli people, the very real suffering of the people in Gaza as their home becomes a battlefield (and the suffering they have endured under Hamas), the future of Netanyahu & his government, and what will happen “the day after.” However, I have already shared many resources, we do have a page of resources on our website, and the situation is constantly changing. I’m sure we will be discussing the situation for some time.
I would like to do something a little different and look at who we are as a Jewish community in the United States on how we understand our Jewish identity in general and in America specifically. Therefore, we will be listening to a podcast on this subject during our session, but I strongly recommend that you listen to it ahead of time, to reflect on it, so that we can have a deeper discussion. Here is the url: https://danielgordis.substack.com/p/american-liberal-judaism-became-a?utm_source=podcast-email%2Csubstack&publication_id=296307&post_id=139327955&utm_campaign=email-play-on-substack&utm_medium=email&r=ho7k7
Lest you think that I am ignoring the elephant in the room – the disappointing, disturbing, and frankly unbelievable testimony of the three university presidents before Congress and its fallout – let me recommend Bari Weiss’s column: https://www.thefp.com/t/bari-weiss (the piece, “How to Really Fix American Higher Education”) . It is important to read all the articles she references. I also recommend the story of my colleague David Wolpe’s resignation from Harvard’s Antisemitism advisory https://www.jta.org/2023/12/08/united-states/rabbi-david-wolpe-resigns-from-harvard-antisemitism-committee-over-presidents-painfully-inadequate-testimony-on-campus-antisemitism (the story is found on a number of outlets, including video clips of interviews). Both Bari Weiss and Rabbi Wolpe point out that many of our universities have serious culture issues that go beyond the foolish and ill-conceived testimonies of the university presidents.
March 9, 2023
We are all aware that Israel seems to be spinning out of control. Palestinian terrorism, massive demonstrations against the government and its proposed judicial reforms, on-going concerns over – and strong measures against – Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Jewish incitement and violence, vicious and hateful rhetoric from all sides all point to very difficult and painful times for the Jewish nation, and, indeed for the Jewish people. We must do our best to understand the complex issues that Israel is facing.
Here is an article that outlines the many fissures within Israeli society:
How are North American Jews dealing with all that’s going on:
When does protest pass from legitimate to illegitimate: