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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. 

Trump’s Sullied Presidency Won’t Contaminate a Peace Agreement

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Haaretz | 0 comments

Trump’s Sullied Presidency Won’t Contaminate a Peace Agreement

Those of us who are desperate for Israeli-Palestinian peace may not have the luxury of choosing the architects of peace, or its messengers. It may be that those who bring peace will not have clean hands and pure hearts. It may be that their motivations will be suspect, their character sullied, their backgrounds questionable, and their egos uncontrolled. We may not like their politics, their...

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Trump, the Middle East Peacemaker? Give Craziness a Chance

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Haaretz | 0 comments

Trump, the Middle East Peacemaker? Give Craziness a Chance

I hate to do it, but maybe it’s time to say a good word about Donald Trump. Against the advice of the Middle East experts, the think tanks, the foreign policy wonks, the international affairs scholars, and the America Firsters, President Trump has decided to push for an Israeli-Palestinian deal. My take: Good for him. It’s worth the risk. When everything else has failed, what exactly do we have...

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Religious Pluralism in Israel: Why North American Jews Should Care

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in By Eric | 1 comment

Religious Pluralism in Israel: Why North American Jews Should Care

In travelling around North America and giving lectures on Israel and the Middle East, I have discovered an interesting paradox: Some North American Jews are obsessed with the subject of religious pluralism in Israel while others are reluctant to discuss the subject at all. For those who care about it, I am happy to give my views. But what do I say to those who feel that this issue is not really...

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Liberal Religion’s Moment

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Huffington Post | 5 comments

Liberal Religion’s Moment

For those of us who are adherents of liberal religion in America, this is our moment. Liberal churches and synagogues—and all other religious institutions that share our ideals—must step up at this time of crisis for our country.  America is in peril, and we must take the lead in saving it, preaching a message of justice and compassion.  But we must do more than preach.  We must offer an action...

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The Religious Values of the Declaration of Independence

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Huffington Post | 0 comments

The 4th of July is almost upon us.  When it arrives, we will gather for barbecues, soft drinks, and beer, and enjoy the holiday with neighbors, family, and friends.  And most of us, amidst the food and festivities, will spend at least a few minutes talking about the state of our country and contemplating the meaning of the day. And while there is much that divides us, we will nonetheless find...

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What Are the Best Ways to Talk to Our Children and Grandchildren about Israel?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in By Eric | 2 comments

What Are the Best Ways to Talk to Our Children and Grandchildren about Israel?

We no longer know how to talk to our children and grandchildren about Israel. At one time, we did. In the early days of the Jewish State, we were overwhelmed by the miracle of Israel. This was Israel’s heroic period, and we viewed her in transcendental terms—more as a faith than as a place. In our eyes, every Israeli was a soldier-philosopher, a swamp-drainer, or a Zionist dreamer. But this...

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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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When Presidents Talk Religion

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Time | 2 comments

When Presidents Talk Religion

Fierce certainty is the enemy of religious belief. President Obama understands that. The religious right does not. In a remarkable address to a national prayer breakfast on February 5, Mr. Obama gave one of the better speeches of his presidency. The heart of his message was that “the starting point of faith is some doubt.” The major religious problem of our time, he suggested, comes from...

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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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