Allen: Aron, I still remember meeting your friend who was saddled with the unenviable task of teaching public school Jews Hebrew spelling. Hopefully he’s by now recovered from the diatribe he received at our place. You and I both argued at the time that Hebrew schools make a serious mistake in devoting fruitless hours to language drilling… Read More The Half-Dead Language
Allen: The de facto segregation of the New York City public schools is a moral embarrassment. Consider some statistics. White children are underrepresented by 200% in city schools. Of those whites who do attend public school, more than half are concentrated within 7% of classrooms. Two-thirds of black students attend schools that with less than ten percent… Read More Jews in the Public Schools
Allen: Our society’s recently undergone a momentous transfer of power representing an abrupt shift from the longtime norms of democratic leadership. I’m referring, of course, to the new director of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Rabbi Ethan Linden. I’ve heard only good things, though you and I are both a bit removed from the camp scene… Read More Camp Ramah: The First 100 Days
Allen: Dear Mr. Borans, My name is Allen Lipson; I affiliated with Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Iota Chapter at Columbia University from 2011 to 2013. Despite my decision to leave the fraternity my third year of college, I’ve not figured out how to unsubscribe from your emails, your magazine, or your generous (yet alas, still unaffordable) Brooks… Read More Fraternally Yours: An Open Letter to Andy Borans
Earlier this week, we argued that clergy should take a clear stand on President Trump’s executive order on immigration, even at the cost of courting controversy. On Monday, 20 rabbis did more than that. In an act of real moral courage, they submitted themselves for arrest by blocking traffic during a 200-person T’ruah protest against the travel ban. One… Read More Update: What the Rabbis Did
Aron: Over the past few months, I’ve heard a couple of rabbis say that they didn’t want to be overly partisan. For some, it’s a matter of practicality: they argue that appearing moderate is a useful took for convincing their conservative congregants to oppose illiberal policies. A rabbi I spoke with the other day said that unless… Read More What’s a Rabbi to Do?
Allen: Aron, at some point I’d like to turn our focus to the basics of Jewish thought– partly because discovering the nature of our human experience is a worthwhile goal in itself, and partly because, as I’ve suggested before, any progressive religious movement needs solid doctrinal ground to stand on. Beliefs matter. We want to feel… Read More David Friedman and the Parting of the Ways