Category Archives: Featured

Here I am, Hineini

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September 1, 2011

This sterling silver buckle (created by master silversmith Ľudovít Martonyik, Košice, Slovakia, using the “David” typeface by Itamar David) and kittel belt (sewn by Silvia Koperdáková, Košice) were created for Zuzana Riemerová & Shawn Landres’s August 2001 chuppah, “the first full-scale, traditional Jewish wedding of a Kosice Jewish community member” since the Shoah. Landres writes, “I didn’t really expect the buckle More »

When Illegal Immigrants Are Jews

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June 1, 2011

Douglas Hauer Over the course of this year’s Sh’ma conversation on the ethics of immigration — and in the larger national discussion — there is a reflexive assumption that the debate is primarily about illegal Mexican and Central American immigrants who entered the United States for economic reasons. Some have defined illegal immigrants as strangers More »

A Stranger Seeks Asylum

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May 2, 2011

Jeff Goldman The United States Immigration and Nationality Act states that foreign nationals physically inside the United States are entitled to receive political asylum if they can establish that they have suffered “past persecution,” or have a “well-founded fear of future persecution, on account of … race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a More »

Desecrating the Kitchen Table/Restoring Its Sanctity

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March 1, 2011

Richard Litvak Oshek, to oppress the laborer, is forbidden by the Torah — as it is written: “Lo ta’ashok,” “You shall not oppress a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a stranger in one of the communities of your land. You must pay his wages on the same day, before the sun More »

Individual Rights and Collective Responsibilities

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February 1, 2011

Rachel B. Tiven On Saturday, December 18, 2010, Jews in synagogue read Parashat Vayechi, while in the U.S. Senate, the Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors Act — the DREAM Act — went down in defeat. Vayechi closes the story of Joseph, who was brought to Egypt as a teenager — not of his More »

Because We Are Jews

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January 1, 2011

Gideon Aronoff The results of the November elections did little to further the hope that comprehensive immigration reform is a realistic goal for the immediate future. For much of the 20th and all of the 21st century, this country has been living a conundrum as far as immigration is concerned. On the one hand we More »

The Right to Be Israeli: Race in Israel

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December 2, 2010

Karen Paul-Stern The Ethiopian aliyah to Israel that began nearly 20 years ago has posed ethical problems for Israel like no other immigration wave. With more than 100,000 Ethiopians living in Israel today, some already second generation, the community continues to face numerous absorption and assimilation challenges. First, there is the very question of who More »

Morally Offensive Enforcement Schemes

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November 1, 2010

Robert Rubin Jews support progressive immigration policies, but not just because we are admonished in Leviticus and Exodus to respect the stranger. Yes, as Rabbi Bonnie Koppell argued recently on this page, views on immigration can be visceral and “public policy must be based on more than what our hearts tell us.” But sound legal, More »