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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. 

This Is a Grim Time for Diaspora Lovers of Israel

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in Haaretz | 0 comments

This Is a Grim Time for Diaspora Lovers of Israel

Whenever I think that Israel-Diaspora relations cannot possibly get any worse, I am proven wrong. The last 4-6 weeks have been, arguably, the worst period ever in the history of relations between Israel and world Jewry. Israel’s current government occasionally gets something right. It has done a good job, for example, in handling the difficult situation with Syria and Russia on Israel’s northern...

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Donald Trump Will Betray Israel on Iran

Posted by on Jun 21, 2018 in Haaretz | 0 comments

Donald Trump Will Betray Israel on Iran

As U.S. President Donald Trump’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic and grotesque, untethered to decency or truth, his right-wing supporters in Israel and the American Jewish community are getting a little nervous. At times, the president of the United States seems, in the words of Andrew Sullivan, to be simply “bonkers.” The latest round of Trump outrages, involving the...

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NRA on the Ropes: Winning the Battle for Gun Control

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Articles, By Eric | 3 comments

NRA on the Ropes: Winning the Battle for Gun Control

After the killing last week of 17 people by a disturbed student in Parkland, Fla., there are two things to be said about gun control in America. First, there is a glimmer of hope that things may be changing. It is at least possible that the day may be coming when the U.S. Congress will pass some commonsense gun control laws. Second, if this happens, Jewish Americans will be in the forefront of...

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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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Millennials Ask about Israel

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Articles, By Eric | 0 comments

Millennials Ask about Israel

“Is There a Generation Gap When Talking About the Jewish State?” Question: As a young person, I feel like there is often a gap between how I talk about Israel and how older Jews talk about Israel because of our differences in education. My mom, for example, is uncomfortable using the word “occupation” whereas I am not. My parents’ education focused a lot more on the promises of the Zionist...

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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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