Muting and Unmuting

People ask me, every day, what were the hard parts of this last year for me as a rabbi. I have to tell you that while this has been a very difficult year for all of us, I have lot less to complain about than many others. But I do want to tell you about an issue that has affected me as a rabbi every single day and night of the last year, that continues to puzzle me: the issue of muting and unmuting. (more…)

Comments Off on Muting and Unmuting

Israel Matters! – May 2021

The 2021 Israeli Election: Too Much Democracy?

The 2021 Israeli Knesset (parliament) election took place on March 23, yet as of the date of this correspondence, we still do not know who won. Well, actually we do know how many candidates from each of the contesting parties were elected to the Knesset, but we do not know who the next Prime Minister will be, or even if a government can be formed at all. How can this be? To understand the current political stalemate in Israel first requires understanding how Israeli elections are conducted. As we will see, a fair argument could be made that in Israel, voting is too democratic! Alternatively, one could argue that the election results are just an accurate reflection of Israel’s divided society. (more…)

Comments Off on Israel Matters! – May 2021

April 2021: President’s Message

I have to begin this month’s message with a note about last month. We had a very successful Passover Dinner Pickup and Zoomed Second Seder. I want to thank David Margolis and his committee for organizing and distributing the 145 dinners and Passover necessities. It was very well received by those who participated. (more…)

Comments Off on April 2021: President’s Message

Israel post-COVID-19: Haredi integration or end of liberal democracy?

This is the fourth and final installment in a series of in-depth articles examining key aspects of ultra-Orthodox society and its role in and influence on the country today.

HUNDREDS OF haredi protesters gather outside the IDF recruitment office in Jerusalem’s Mekor Baruch neighborhood to protest IDF induction, in 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

HUNDREDS OF haredi protesters gather outside the IDF recruitment office in Jerusalem’s Mekor Baruch neighborhood to protest IDF induction, in 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Passover 2015, I was in the midst of my term as Canadian ambassador to Israel, facing a dilemma that so many do, particularly those finding themselves without a home or family. (more…)

Comments Off on Israel post-COVID-19: Haredi integration or end of liberal democracy?

The Last Class in Munkacs

The Munkacs Hebrew Gymnasium was among the most progressive experiments in the history of Jewish secondary education.

Bob Bahr – September 18, 2019

Students of the Munkacs Hebrew Gymnasium in 1941 on a holiday outing.

Students of the Munkacs Hebrew Gymnasium in 1941 on a holiday outing.

It was one of the most progressive experiments in the history of Jewish secondary education in Eastern Europe. The Munkacs Hebrew Gymnasium, in a major Jewish community in the Carpathian Mountains, was established in 1925 as a school where every subject in a modern high school curriculum was taught in Hebrew. Young Jewish men and women studied alongside one another as equals. Historians have described it as the most prestigious Jewish high school east of Warsaw. (more…)

Comments Off on The Last Class in Munkacs

Race Against Hunger

In memory of a beloved TBS member, Diane Kaplan, the TBS Social Action committee is supporting the Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare 5K Race Against Hunger walk, April 5-April 11, 2021.

Diane was an ardent supporter of the Connecticut Food Bank Race and in her memory the TBS Social Action Committee has made an initial donation of $200 to get TBS started. (more…)

Comments Off on Race Against Hunger

The Four Stages of One Child

Parents and children. If you’re a parent, you think all the time about your kid and your relationship with him or her. Parents and children work hard at getting along with each other and some times are better than others. But it’s always a big deal in our lives. (more…)

Comments Off on The Four Stages of One Child