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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. 

The Struggle for Israel’s Future

Posted by on May 10, 2019 in Articles, By Eric | 0 comments

Israel is celebrating the 71st anniversary of her independence this week. I usually spend Yom Ha’atzma’ut in New York, but when the day comes, I am always sorry that I am not in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. I have been a proud pro-Israel activist all of my life, but the problem with being an activist is that when you spend so much time focusing on Israel as a cause, you sometimes lose touch with...

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Netanyahu Makes It Hard to Defend Israel in America

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in Haaretz | 0 comments

Netanyahu Makes It Hard to Defend Israel in America

And so it’s Bibi. God help us. American Jews, it should be said, admire Israel’s democracy, respect the will of Israel’s voters, and don’t believe that Israel is on the threshold of fascism or authoritarianism, despite the irregularities and excesses of this election. But make no mistake. They are dismayed by the outcome and deeply concerned about Israel’s future. Most American Jews saw Bibi as...

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Don’t Entrust Israel’s Future to American Evangelicals

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in Haaretz | 0 comments

Don’t Entrust Israel’s Future to American Evangelicals

I did not physically attend this year’s AIPAC policy conference, but I followed it on-line from beginning to end and solicited input from friends and colleagues of various political and religious orientations who were there. This is what I took away from a once-a-year extravaganza: AIPAC’s annual policy conference is not primarily a policy convention at all. It is a happening, a pep rally, a...

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A Reform Rabbi’s High Holiday Sermon on Israel: A Draft

Posted by on Aug 30, 2018 in Articles, By Eric | 1 comment

A Reform Rabbi’s High Holiday Sermon on Israel: A Draft

With the High Holidays only two weeks away, I decided that it was time to draft my sermon on Israel.  It might change, of course, but this is what I have so far: As you have heard from my previous sermons, God’s judgment and our repentance and God’s mercy and our self-renewal are the major themes of our High Holy Days. But before the holidays are done, I also want you to hear from me about the...

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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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