Seth Cohen writes about networks and boundary-spanners who build strong movements that are both local and global.
Two worn-down train bumpers are bolted onto a rusty frame, the last stop on the old Jerusalem-bound train that, until recently, had lain dormant for decades, accumulating rubbish and weeds. Prior to its discontinuation in 1974, pilgrims, British soldiers, and other travelers boarded the historic line that once linked empires with the Holy City. Today,
We have a unique challenge today to balance the local and the global. It’s not easy to remain invested in both conversations. And while meta-connections provide gratifications and expectations that local Judaism rarely actualizes — that is, if I’m part of an exciting national and global conversation about the priorities of the Jewish people, why
I always knew I wasn’t a girl. In my early 30s, as a single lesbian (not really identified as a “woman”) I decided to become pregnant. I chose to parent as a single lesbian transsexual, aware that my child would face an array of challenges particular to our family construction. Because of this, I felt
In responding to the questions I raised about the future of Jewish neighborhoods, Jonah Pesner, Barry Shrage, Seth Cohen, and Aryeh Bernstein all agree that the changing landscape of American Jewish life raises a set of new challenges and opportunities. We all agree on the significance of the shift toward virtual networks, physical mobility, and
What makes a neighborhood Jewish? What makes a place a neighborhood? Many people are more mobile today, moving from job to job, town to town. What roots them in a place? Can we develop shared histories and connectionsthat transcend place — that transcend a specific and shared geography? Is being rooted in a Jewish community
“The Torah was commanded to us from Moshe; its inheritance is the community of Jacob’s.” — Devarim 33:4 Near the end of the Torah reading cycle, we are reminded that this holy, rich, and complex text is the inheritance of “kehillat Yaakov,” the community of Jacob. An interesting mashal, or tale, in VaYikra Raba explains
We hadn’t planned to start a new community in Beer Sheva, Israel. Our original aliyah plan had us joining a large group of new immigrants from the United States moving to Carmit, a new mixed secular-religious yishuv 20 minutes northeast of Beer Sheva. As liberal Zionists, we wanted a diverse community inside the green line.
Let’s begin with ourselves. I have been broadcasting a national talk radio show for more than 25 years. The vast majority of my listeners are non-Jews. They know that I am a religiously committed Jew, but they also know that they are free to say anything to me about Jews. One call I will never