Articles

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The Perfect Firestorm: What Triggered this Crisis Moment?

The Times of Israel

May 17, 2021

The conflict pitting Palestinians against Israelis is operating on various fronts. The scenes are taking place on the streets and in the towns of Israel as well as the West Bank and Gaza, as armies, mobs and terrorists play out their respective roles.
But the public relations battle is being waged thousands of miles beyond the State of Israel on Twitter, Facebook, and in the halls of governments, here we find this secondary conflict being carried out over history, ideas and public opinion.

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A Communal Journey: reflections on a half-century

eJewish Philanthropy

April 21, 2021

As I complete fifty years of service and study of the Jewish communal scene, it’s an appropriate time for reflection and assessment. Indeed, while the hundreds of articles that I have crafted for eJewishPhilanthropy and other national and local publications offer specific insights into the Jewish communal enterprise, what are some of its sustaining trends and takeaways?

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Rethinking Jewish LA

The Jewish Journal

April 1, 2021

This past week, the American Jewish University announced plans to seek tenants to fill its available space. This news came at the same moment that Hebrew College announced its decision to sell its property and to move into Temple Reyim in Newton, Massachusetts.

Across the country, in the wake of a radical shift to online triggered by the pandemic, Jews are witnessing the downsizing of various institutions, the mergers of others, the growing availability of commercial facilities and the presence of empty religious properties. Here in Los Angeles, we should seize this opportunity: Is this the moment for a realignment of Jewish institutional life?

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The Fifth Wave of Terror: Tribalism and Hate in the Twenty-First Century

The Jewish Journal

March 26, 2021

On January 6, 2021, the nation was roiled by the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. To many, this distinctive nationalist — even tribalist— form of political behavior seemed like an anomaly. But this anti-state violence is not unique, nor is it the first wave of modern terrorist behavior. We are currently in the midst of a new terrorist assault on this nation.

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Encountering the fifth wave of global terror: The new national tribalism

The Times of Israel

March 22, 2021

In 2004 UCLA emeritus professor, David Rapaport, one of this nation’s experts on terrorism published his “Four Waves on Modern Terrorism”:

Wave One: Anarchism 1880-1920

Wave Two: Anti-Colonialism 1920-1960

Wave Three: New Left 1960-2000

Wave Four: Religious 1979-2010

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Upending American Jewish security

The Times of Israel

March 11, 2021

We are living in a new American political environment, where a war against minorities in general, and Jews in particular, has been launched. This moment represents the single most significant threat to Jews since the Shoah. The scope of anti-Jewish expression is not bound by a broad increase in the number of anti-Semites but rather in the ability of these hate actors to actualize their beliefs and carry forward their plans. In many ways, social media has enabled these players to gain significant media attention and visibility.

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Building an American Jewish political typography

The Times of Israel

February 25, 2021

We are all creatures of our environment. Our respective political cultures reflect our particular social orbits, belief systems and particular loyalties. Our respective political identities are shaped and influenced by our broader general beliefs about our society and our place within it. Certainly, our cultural experiences, personal values, and historical encounters inform and help to frame how we see and engage with politics.

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The upending of reason and the rejection of truth: America, its Jewish problem

The Times of Israel

February 17, 2021

Reason and truth represent the essential ingredients for preserving social stability and ensuring continuity, yet today these principles are under attack. In some measure, the celebration of “truth” and an appreciation for “reason” appears to be passing from the contemporary scene.

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eJewishPhilanthropy (eJP) at 14: Reflections on Where We Are

eJewish Philanthropy

February 16, 2021

In 2007 Dan Brown, the founder and publisher of eJP, envisioned the design of this e-platform based on the mission of the now dormant ePhilanthropy Foundation and its role within the broader field of philanthropy. Dan reflected on how particularly helpful these folks were in conceptualizing this publication, along with the owners and operational team of CONVIO, an on-line nonprofit fund-raising platform.

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How the Great Jewish Families Shaped Philanthropy: Some Contemporary Reflections

eJewish Philanthropy

January 24, 2021

For significant parts of the last several centuries, the great Jewish families of Europe, Asia, and North America were central players in international business and commerce but also created the infrastructure and framed the norms for modern Jewish philanthropy.