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The Debate Over Jewish Achievement

By Steven L. Pease in, June 13, 2015

As a non-Jew, I’m fascinated that a people which constitute less than 1% of the world’s population has made such enormous contributions to humanity.

Jews have been part of my life in kindergarten, at Harvard Business School, and throughout my professional career. It was from those experiences that I developed the notion that Jews are the world’s most disproportionate high achievers.

A decade ago I began intensive research to test out the hypothesis. Now, after writing The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement, speaking on the subject, being interviewed on radio and TV, and soliciting criticisms and arguments to disprove the statement, I have come to believe it is simply true.

As a non-Jew, I am fascinated by the fact that a people which constitute 2/10ths of 1 percent of the world’s population and 2 percent of the U.S. population, has made such enormous contributions to the betterment of humanity. Read more »

Conservative Rabbi Backs Off on Intermarriages

Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz Backs Off Controversial Plan for Intermarriages

Prominent Cleric Would’ve Been Conservative Trailblazer

(JTA) — Within days of floating a proposal that woud have allowed Conservative rabbis to perform interfaith marriages, Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Mass., backed away from the controversial plan.

In a recent email, Gardenswartz asked congregants to consider a proposal for a new shul policy that would enable him to officiate at interfaith weddings in cases where the couple commits to a “Covenant to Raise Jewish Children.”

The shift would have made him the first prominent Conservative clergyman to break with the movement’s ironclad rule against rabbis performing intermarriages.

“Conservative clergy cannot officiate at or attend an interfaith wedding,” Gardenswartz wrote. “But I am worrying whether that response has grown stale, and whether a new response would better serve the needs of our families and of our congregation.” Read more »

Each of Us Has a Godly Spark

While some maintain that the human being is only physical form, the Torah, in one of its most important sentences, insists that every person is also created in the image of God — tzelem Elokim (Genesis 1:26,27). On the surface we see each others’ outward appearance, but if we look deeply, we ought to be able to perceive a little bit of God in our fellow human being. In fact, it is the tzelem Elokim which makes the human being unique. In the words of Pirke Avot, “beloved is the human being who is created in the image of God.” (Avot 3:18) Several fundamental ideas emerge from the tzelem Elokim principle. Bearing in mind that each and every human being is created with tzelem Elokim, it follows that all people — regardless of race, religion, nationality, age, mental faculties, handicap, etc. — are of equal value.

Human beings can relate to God “vertically” and “horizontally.” In the sense that we have the capacity to reach upwards to the all powerful God through prayer and ritual, we relate vertically. Additionally, when we relate to our fellow person, we connect to that part of God in them. If one hurts another human being, God is hurt. Similarly, if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous. Hence, a horizontal relationship exists as well. Read more »

Was President Lyndon Johnson Jewish?

A few months ago, the Associated Press reported that newly released tapes from U.S. president Lyndon Johnson’s White House office showed LBJ’s “personal and often emotional connection to Israel.” The news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969), “the United States became Israel’s chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.”

But the news report does little to reveal the full historical extent of Johnson’s actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

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Palestinians — Learn from Us

by Alan Bergstein

To the Palestinians:

I am a Jew who asks but a few minutes of your time to consider the following differences between Jews and Muslims. Learn from us.

Jews do not hate Muslims. They do not call for the death of Muslims nor do they pray to their G-d to destroy Islamic nations, their leaders or their people. Jews do not slip into Muslim homes to slit the throats of innocent men, women and children and then name streets, plazas and schools in honor of these terrorists. A Jew, Dr. Baruch Goldstein who slew 29 Muslims back in 1994, in an act of terror was defamed and dishonored by Israel, its leaders and Jews around the world. Terror is not our game. Learn from us. Read more »