Twenty Years After: Reflections on 9/11

The Times of Israel

September 10, 2021

No event in our lifetime has so transformed America and its citizens as 9/11. The orchestrated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon would fundamentally disrupt this nation’s sense of security and forever change the character and content of our democracy.

Will the New American Jewish Orthodoxy Continue to Shape Jewish Life?

The Jewish Journal

August 3, 2021

There is a new American Jewish orthodoxy that has nothing to do with religious Jewish expression. The American Jewish landscape is increasingly characterized by strident expressions of political difference, with debates and arguments between Jews blossoming in both real and virtual spaces. While in some ways these fierce discussions emulate the character and content of the broader realm of political debate, there are certain features that are particular to the Jewish response.

Organizational change: How the pandemic is transforming our community

eJewish Philanthropy

July 27, 2021

During this pandemic, there has been an explosion of new resources available to organizational leaders concerning institutional governance and management. The underlying thesis of these many prescriptions argues that there is a fundamental shift underway in organizational practice resulting from the COVID experience.

Redefining Contemporary Hate

The Jewish Journal

July 12, 2021

We are in a new era of antisemitism. Multiple expressions of hate have converged to create a different and more dangerous scenario. Whereas antisemitic attacks in our era have typically been more indiscriminate, they have recently become more blatant and violent.

Not your grandparents’ antisemitism: The new models of hate

The Times of Israel

July 1, 2021

We are in a new era of global hate and American extremism. While we know that Jews have experienced these difficult times before in their complex history, we are encountering a fundamentally different American Jewish experience than we have known.
A number of factors have made this contemporary expression of hate distinctive and particularly dangerous. In other places, I have addressed some of the historic manifestations and triggers associated with various expressions of hate.

Why Jewish community relations is distinctive and essential: Framing the current debate

eJewish Philanthropy

June 28, 2021

American Jewry and its institutional actors are today in a different operational place. No doubt, conversations about the future of various agencies, services and programs are essential.
Where does community relations policy-making belong within the Jewish communal orbit? Should such national instruments as the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, (JCPA) be incorporated into the federation system or should it be permitted to remain an independent entity? At a time of such deep polarization around politics and policies, is there room for a communal public policy agency to articulate its independent message, when at times its viewpoints are seen as not reflective of the community’s power base?

First Steps: A Game Plan for the LA Federation and Our Community

The Jewish Journal

June 21, 2021

This is a critical, yet challenging moment for the Los Angeles Jewish community as we await the first population study since 1997 and anticipate the selection of a new executive leader of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. What do we want to see for our community going forward?

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.

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?

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?