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Rabbi Eric Yoffie is a writer, lecturer, and President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism. His latest articles are below. 

We Thought anti-Semitism Was No Threat to U.S. Jews. We Were Wrong

Posted by on Jan 1, 2020 in Haaretz | 3 comments

We Thought anti-Semitism Was No Threat to U.S. Jews. We Were Wrong

Pittsburgh. Poway. Jersey City. Monsey. Anti-Semitism is back. Jews everywhere in America are concerned, and Jews in the New York City area are in some cases fearful or even terrified.  As of October, 52 percent of the hate crimes in New York targeted Jews.  Reports of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city rose 63 percent this year compared to 2018. In some sections of Brooklyn, Jewish parents...

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Can Trump, Bigoted and Near-Fascistic, Protect the Jews?

Posted by on Dec 18, 2019 in Haaretz | 1 comment

Can Trump, Bigoted and Near-Fascistic, Protect the Jews?

It has been a week since Donald Trump issued his executive order on anti-Semitism – and American Jews are still agitated, confused, and divided by Trump’s actions. The most polarizing president in U.S. history, who has a bizarre obsession with Jewish Americans, has once again succeeded in sowing chaos in Jewish ranks. Not only is the Jewish right arrayed against the Jewish left, but the...

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American Jews:  Unite Against Iran

Posted by on Oct 11, 2019 in Articles, By Eric | 0 comments

American Jews:  Unite Against Iran

President Trump has betrayed the Kurds, a moral indecency of monumental proportions.  In the process, he has bolstered Iran’s strategic position throughout the Middle East, advanced the interests of Turkey’s autocratic leader, strengthened Russia’s position in Syria, and dealt a terrible blow to Israel’s security and political standing. Three comments on the implications of our President’s...

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Religious Issues in Israel’s Election

Posted by on Sep 11, 2019 in Articles, By Eric | 2 comments

Religious Issues in Israel’s Election

For the first time in a long time, there is a modest possibility that, as a result of next week’s election, the religious realities of Israeli society might actually change for the better. Such an outcome is far from certain.  Nonetheless, the campaign has developed in such a way that Israeli voters have been reminded of something that they have long known but rarely discuss:  The Haredim are...

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Funeral Fiascos: Should Jews Rethink How We Honor the Dead?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Huffington Post | 3 comments

Funeral Fiascos: Should Jews Rethink How We Honor the Dead?

A friend of mine recently attended the funeral of someone he had known for many years. About a dozen people got up to speak. Most of them spoke badly. Often the eulogizers ended up talking not about the deceased but about themselves. When the funeral was finally over, at least an hour and a half later, my friend was frustrated and angry. “I cared about this person,” he said, “and she deserved a...

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We Will Not Give Up on Gun Control

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in Huffington Post | 0 comments

We Will Not Give Up on Gun Control

This article was published on April 18, 2013. Sadly, it is very relevant today Our leaders have failed us, again. And I don’t know about you, but as a religious person, I’m angry. Approximately 90 percent of the American people believe that their fellow Americans should undergo a background check before they are permitted to purchase a gun. But the legislation mandating those...

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Why I’m Thankful for America’s Immigrants and Religion

Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Time | 0 comments

Why I’m Thankful for America’s Immigrants and Religion

These reflections on the 4th of July, written in 2014 for Time Magazine, seem even more relevant in the Trump Era. The Fourth of July is nearly upon us. As always, we Americans will barbeque in our backyards, watch fireworks, and celebrate America. And there is much to celebrate. Americans are informal and down-to-earth. We introduce ourselves by our first names to practically everyone. We say...

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The Problem With No-Share Parenting

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Time | 1 comment

The Problem With No-Share Parenting

A child who is 3 or 4 can be conditioned to share, to empathize, and to be generous. Don’t force your toddler to share. In fact, don’t encourage it all. It’s not even good for your child. Parents who insist that their kids “take turns” and give up their toys to other children on the playground are doing it mostly because they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of other parents. In short, we...

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Six Shared Values and the American Jewish Future

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Jerusalem Post | 0 comments

Six Shared Values and the American Jewish Future

American Jews are a fractious lot.  Our religious differences are real and important.  Our community, after all, is known for its passionate pluralism, which in many ways is a blessing and a source of strength. I recently read an interesting take on these differences in a blog post by David Strulowitz published on the Wexner Foundation site.  Mr. Strulowitz provides a fascinating and...

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Stop bashing America

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Jerusalem Post | 3 comments

Stop bashing America

American Jews are apoplectic. While they watch in astonishment, Israel’s leaders are doing everything they can to disrupt and degrade Israel’s relations with her most important ally, the United States of America. Jewish leaders are not only dismayed but genuinely puzzled.  Why in heaven’s name, they wonder, would Israeli officials do things that are guaranteed to undermine the goodwill so...

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