Jewish ethics – Jews For Morality http://www.jewsformorality.org/ Sun, 02 Oct 2022 01:21:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 http://www.jewsformorality.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-09T151402.937-150x150.png Jewish ethics – Jews For Morality http://www.jewsformorality.org/ 32 32 Searching for ‘his’ tree in Israel, Canadian filmmaker unearths troubling issues http://www.jewsformorality.org/searching-for-his-tree-in-israel-canadian-filmmaker-unearths-troubling-issues/ Sat, 01 Oct 2022 22:44:00 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/searching-for-his-tree-in-israel-canadian-filmmaker-unearths-troubling-issues/ Like many North American Jewish children celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah, Jason Sherman received a certificate that a tree had been planted in Israel in his honor. In the case of Shermans, it was in 1975 and he no longer thought of the certificate issued by Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael – Jewish National Fund (JNF) […]]]>

Like many North American Jewish children celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah, Jason Sherman received a certificate that a tree had been planted in Israel in his honor.

In the case of Shermans, it was in 1975 and he no longer thought of the certificate issued by Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael – Jewish National Fund (JNF) until he first visited Israel in 2012 at the age of 50. He wondered exactly where this tree was – a physical manifestation of his connection to the Jewish homeland – and how it had grown over the decades.

Back home in Toronto, playwright and filmmaker Sherman rummaged through memorabilia boxes and perused photo albums and Super 8 films from his bar mitzvah. But there was no sign of the certificate. It might no longer exist, but the tree itself would probably still be standing, Sherman thought. So he hired a cameraman, booked another flight to Israel in 2015, and set out to find him.

It seems simple enough. But it wasn’t long before Sherman learned that the task would be anything but simple.

Sherman documented his quest — and a thorny Pandora’s box of moral, political, and environmental issues it opened — in his film “My Tree.” It premiered at the Hot Docs International Canadian Documentary Festival in May 2021 and is now streaming on various online platforms.

Both in the film and in conversation with The Times of Israel from his home in Toronto, Sherman pointed out that the main obstacle he faced was the JNF’s refusal to speak to him for his film. He was blocked during his stay in Israel, and also when he tried to get an interview on camera with someone in NJF Canada affiliate office in Toronto.

A second trip to Israel for additional filming was canceled for several reasons, including the cancellation of meetings by JNF after initially agreeing to cooperate, according to the filmmaker.

The JNF still isn’t interested in talking to Sherman about his tree or his movie.

Approached by The Times of Israel, a JNF spokesperson said: “With regard to the allegations raised by the filmmaker, we regret that one can identify a deliberate bias intended to harm the JNF by transmitting baseless misleading and defamatory information. Therefore, we have not seen fit to respond to the spurious claims raised by the film’s creator.

Jason Sherman with his parents at his bar mitzvah in Toronto, Canada, 1975. (John Minh Tran)

Planting roots in Israel

Most Jews around the world associate the JNF with planting trees – 240 million and cash. Since its inception in 1901, it has also been involved in the purchase of land for Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, and in a wide variety of agricultural, development and environmental projects. The JNF owns and custodians 13% of state land and is a wealthy organization, as evidenced by its budget 2022 of NIS 1,257,985,534 ($366,720,067).

“I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to talk to me about their most promoted program, which is the reforestation of Israel,” Sherman said.

However, with the JNF unwilling to cooperate, Sherman turned elsewhere. “I needed to talk to someone about the trees,” he said.

With the help of an Israeli researcher, he determined that his tree must have been planted in Canada Park (also known as Ayalon Park), a seven square kilometer wooded recreation area north of Route 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Canadian Jews raised the funds for the park, and it was established during Sherman’s bar mitzvah era.

While walking among the tall pines in Canada Park, Sherman realized that it would be impossible to tell which tree was his – if it had been planted at all.

Archivist Orit Fooks helps Jason Sherman search the Central Zionist Archives for records on the tree that was planted in his honor in Israel after his bar mitzvah in 1975, as seen in the documentary film “My Tree.” (John Minh Tran)

Sherman learned that the JNF planted pine forests in Canada Park because they grow and cover areas quickly. The filmmaker interviewed arborists who said the pines are not native to the area and are susceptible to wildfires and a host of other issues.

In the film, a representative of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel takes Sherman to an open grassland area in southern Israel and complains that the JNF plans to plant a forest there, altering the environment and endangering wildlife.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, MK Alon TalChairman of the Knesset Subcommittee on Environmental and Climate Health Impacts and a prominent Israeli environmental activist and scholar, objected to this claim.

“It is an extremist opinion. The JNF does not defile the natural landscape and no wildlife is harmed,” he said.

MK Alon Tal attends a meeting of the Education, Culture and Sports Committee in the Israeli parliament ahead of the opening of the new school year, August 16, 2022. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

According to Tal, who does not appear in the film, the JNF is reversing the overgrazing that has occurred over the centuries by planting trees. Forests are also key to preserving nature recreation areas in a small country that loses 30 square kilometers a year to urban development.

“There is an important place for these forests in a country that is becoming more and more populated. And with climate change, carbon sequestration from forests to the ground is vital,” Tal said.

Tal pointed out that Sherman’s focus on pine forests is misplaced and misleading. While pine trees were the JNF’s way of quickly covering land in Israel’s early years, it has been many years since these trees fell out of favor.

“Nothing is left to chance now. For decades, detailed plans have been drawn up and the JNF takes great care in the various species that are planted today,” Tal said.

Uprooted lives?

As interesting as the discussions of pine trees are, Sherman was much more concerned that his tree was ostensibly planted where Palestinian families once lived.

Canada Park was built on the ruins of the Palestinian villages of Imwas and Yalo. The villages were captured by Israel from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War. They were razed and their inhabitants expelled on orders from Israeli leaders, who wanted to expand the Jerusalem Corridor.

A representative of Zochrotan organization that exhibits and disseminates historical information among Israelis about Palestine Nakbahposits in the film that the purpose of planting the pines in Canada Park was the rapid elimination of the remnants of Palestinian villages.

“Was I made an accomplice to a cover-up?” Sherman wondered.

It is absurd to think that a 13 year old in faraway Canada could be guilty of anything related to the realities of war in the Middle East. However, Sherman – now a 60-year-old – is now questioning the ethics of the JNF’s alleged lack of full transparency with donors.

He wonders if his parents, loved ones, or congregational leaders (whoever donated) were fully informed of the land Canada Park was planted on – and if they would have cared.

Filmmaker Jason Sherman (left) in conversation with Rabbi Miriam Margles at the Danforth Jewish Circle in Toronto, as seen in the documentary film ‘My Tree’. (John Minh Tran)

Now that Sherman knows the history of Parks Canada, he wonders if he has to make amends. If so, how? For him, “his” tree is not just a tree but rather a symbol of his relationship with Israel. This trip has complicated it.

Seeking answers to his moral dilemma, he has heart-to-heart conversations with a Toronto rabbi and an Imwas-born Palestinian American who now lives in Arizona.

Sherman also interviewed Canadian Jews who ardently support the JNF and for whom there are no ethical or moral issues. The administrator of the synagogue where he did his bar mitzvah reports that she always presents bar and bat mitzvah teenagers with tree certificates.

A woman nicknamed “the lady of the trees,” who for decades was responsible for typing and sending the certificates, is moved to see how much her trees in Israel mean to her now that she can no longer travel there.

In a tense scene, a former president of JNF Canada who was instrumental in the design and implementation of Parc du Canada doesn’t have much sympathy for ‘Ahmed’ who ‘left’ his village ‘voluntarily’. on the instructions of the leaders of the attacking Arab nations.

Jason Sherman visits the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev, Israel, as seen in the documentary film ‘My Tree’. (John Minh Tran)

Cinema goes further

Sherman said he repeatedly pushed current JNF leaders in Israel and Canada to answer some tough questions.

“Believe me, I wanted the JNF to participate. I still do. I would even recut the movie if they talked to me,” Sherman said.

It’s doubtful, however, that the JNF has anything to say to Sherman given that “My Tree” goes far beyond his personal pin. The film introduces viewers to one of many Bedouin communities in the Negev in legal disagreement with the JNF over land disputes, and a former US JNF board member who resigned angry after learning that the organization was involved in the eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

If Sherman’s scuttled second filming trip had taken place, he probably also would have added in “My Tree” something about the JNF controversially investing in Jewish settlements across the Green Line.

In response to a request for comment from The Times of Israel on the organization’s relationship with the Israeli government, a spokesperson for the JNF said: “As a forest authority, KKL-JNF will continue to plant sustainable forests. and high quality for the welfare of the residents of Israel. He added that “as an independent organization, [we] from time to time, cooperate with the government to actualize the goals and values ​​on which our organization was built and established.

Jason Sherman (right) visits Palestinian-American Mohye Abdulaziz, a former resident of Imwas who now lives in Arizona. (John Minh Tran)

Watching “My Tree,” it doesn’t seem like Sherman is going to balk at all the good the JNF has done for Israel and Jewish-Israeli diaspora relations over the past century. But with authoritative and current pro-JNF voices like Tal’s conspicuously absent, the film is unbalanced.

Ultimately, it’s a tale of how a sapling planted in the name of a 13-year-old Canadian Jewish boy can grow to the point of shaking the roots of his relationship with Israel.

“I feel like I was, literally and figuratively, an accomplice in a cover-up. It shouldn’t have happened and it shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

]]>
Racial tensions erupt at Schenectady City Council meeting – The Daily Gazette http://www.jewsformorality.org/racial-tensions-erupt-at-schenectady-city-council-meeting-the-daily-gazette/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 21:50:57 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/racial-tensions-erupt-at-schenectady-city-council-meeting-the-daily-gazette/ SCHENECTADY — Long-simmering tensions between city council members boiled over on Monday when several lawmakers accused each other of racism following the last-minute cancellation of a public meeting scheduled for last week. Monday’s public fallout is the latest in a series of incidents that have highlighted the racial divide between the all-Democratic council that dates […]]]>

SCHENECTADY — Long-simmering tensions between city council members boiled over on Monday when several lawmakers accused each other of racism following the last-minute cancellation of a public meeting scheduled for last week.

Monday’s public fallout is the latest in a series of incidents that have highlighted the racial divide between the all-Democratic council that dates back to last year’s election, and marks the second time this year that a member of the practicing council of color accuses a white colleague of being racist.

The latest incident dates back to last Friday, when the city issued a notice of postponement of a public meeting scheduled weeks ago to hear residents talk about housing issues, just hours before the meeting was to start, in due to “unforeseen circumstances”. .” The notice said the meeting had been rescheduled for October 5, during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Shortly after the notice was published, Councilor John Polimeni issued a press release criticizing the postponement and the rescheduled date, accusing Council President Marion Porterfield and members Carl Williams, John Mootooveren and Damonni Farley of having moved the meeting at the last minute because they either wanted to exclude fellow legislators and community members from attending, or because they forgot the meeting was scheduled.

The statement said Polimeni and board members Carmel Patrick and Doreen Ditoro were “surprised” the meeting was postponed without their input and said the postponed Yom Kippur holiday date showed a “gross lack of inclusiveness.” and respect”.

“It appears the town hall was canceled to prevent owners and/or council members from present, or simply because council members Williams, Farley, Porterfield and Mootooveren forgot the meeting,” the statement read. “Once again, the lack of leadership and intentionality from board members Williams, Farley, Porterfield and Mootooveren is appalling. The public deserves far better.

On Monday, Williams, who has championed holding town hall for months and was the main organizer of the event, read a prepared statement taking responsibility for the confusion created by the postponement, which he said was necessary because he and his 15 month old child were sick and his wife was out of town.

But he lambasted Polimeni for his statement, which he said misinterpreted the reasoning behind the meeting’s cancellation and only served to banish members of the colored council, which, he said. said, Polimeni has done so repeatedly in recent months.

Williams, Farley and Porterfield are black and Mootooveren is Guyanese. Council members Polimeni, Patrick and Ditoro are white. The council has been split into two factions in recent months, with lawmakers of color representing the more progressive wing, while white council members represent a more moderate faction.

“It is truly unfortunate that the events surrounding the recent cancellation of Friday’s town hall have been grossly misrepresented by Councilor Polimeni, who continues his narrative of banishing people of color from council,” Williams said. “It ironically seems that the individual most opposed to this event happening is now the loudest voice and criticism of this cancellation.”

Williams has pushed the idea of ​​holding quarterly city council meetings outside city hall since January, an idea opposed by Polimeni, Patrick and Ditoro, who have argued that meetings should be held at the center of city government. the city. It was Polimeni who suggested holding a community town hall instead.

Polimeni fired back in a self-prepared statement, in which he criticized a statement Williams had released a few days earlier on Talk1300 AM, in which Williams allegedly said Polimeni disputed that a majority of the board was made up of people of color. .

The daily gazette was unable to obtain a recording of the comments and Williams declined to provide a copy of the statement to the newspaper on Tuesday. He, however, said his comments were “misinterpreted”.

“I prefer to put this incident behind me and move on to a bigger issue that our residents have entrusted to us,” Williams said.

Polimeni, meanwhile, called Williams a liar and demanded a public apology.

He said he’s had enough of Williams accusing other lawmakers of being racist every time they disagree with his ideas, which he says will stunt economic development, make the city less safe and will increase property taxes for residents.

Polimeni pointed to how the board has allocated millions of dollars to American Rescue Plan Act funds in recent weeks as an example of bad policy and an excuse for how Williams has sought to deflect blame.

Polimeni criticized the ARPA process, accusing some council members of funding their political allies with the funds instead of advancing repairs to the city’s infrastructure.

“All your antics only incite racism that must be eliminated from this land,” he said. “Your actions are disgusting. One day, like all of us, you will have to answer to your creator. My ethics and my morals dictate it. I know where I am. I sincerely hope that you will make atonement for your despicable deeds.

Polimeni also apologized to Farley and Mootooveren for saying they were involved in the cancellation of the meeting.

Tensions between city council members have been apparent for more than a year and first emerged in the run-up to last year’s election, which was shrouded in racial overtones, accusations of oppression and discrimination. calls for a new party leadership.

Earlier this year, Mootooveren told the Daily Gazette he believed white council members were fueling racist incidents at city council meetings, pointing to an incident last year when a group of candidates of color made an announcement of campaign and were disrupted by a group of white candidates.

Porterfield also addressed the incident on Monday, saying the contestants — including herself, Mootooveren, Farley and Williams — never asked for an apology for the incident. She also said someone on the council told her they “shut down” whenever racial issues were raised, although she did not name the individual.

“We all have different feelings about different things,” she said. “But I don’t want it to be misinterpreted that only people of color have a problem in this council because that’s not what’s happening here.”

Since last year’s election, the Board has mostly adopted procedural items and has yet to address any substantive matters apart from the allocation of ARPA funds, which has been widely criticized by community members for its lack of transparency.

There have been discussions about lowering the speed limit, stabilizing rents, and cracking down on noise and litter, but no formal legislation has been approved.

City Republicans, meanwhile, released a statement on social media calling the meeting an “embarrassment.” Several members of the organization, including Claudia Cavanagh and Vice President Tom Kennedy, have come out in favor of Polimeni.

“Last night’s City Council meeting highlighted racial and political divisions among Democrats,” the committee wrote on Facebook. “Overall it was a disgrace.”

Patrick, meanwhile, said she was disappointed by Williams’ “unfounded accusations” against Polimeni, which she said extended to other white members of the Council.

“I’m thoroughly tired of Mr. Williams subtly and not so subtly playing the race card. Although his comments were directed at Mr. Polimeni, I too feel personally betrayed,” Patrick said. personally attacked, and I feel frustrated that a majority of this council acts as if it were the only one representing all the people of Schenectady.”

Ditoro called for unity among lawmakers and said council members must put aside their differences to move the city forward.

“All I know is we’re all good, man. We are all fine,” she said. “So let’s start acting like we’re good. Let’s start working together. Enough is enough is enough.

But Farley defended Williams’ comments, saying Williams’ statement is not just an opinion, but rather an opinion based on facts, adding that the Polimeni’s decision to accuse lawmakers of color of conspiring to canceling last week’s meeting was just the latest example of racism being demonstrated. These last months.

He also said Polimeni’s past comments calling people of color “colored” and accusing lawmakers of using ARPA money to fund political allies demonstrate a pattern of behavior that must be called out. Polimeni on Tuesday said he had never used the term “colorful” and said Farley was repeating a claim that was not true.

“We have four women on our board. We have two colors – people of color – and we are very fortunate to have such diversity on the council,” Polimeni said during a State of the City address two years ago, while touting the diversity of the city council.

He later apologized for what he called “mispronounced words” saying his “brain got ahead of his mouth”.

“You can’t use the terms you use, you can’t make the accusations you make, and you can’t associate all people of color with a situation that you think is inappropriate because it’s problematic, and yes, it’s racist,” Farley said. “And those around you who don’t tell you allow it.”

He added: “All of us – none of us are perfect and none of us should be afraid to be better. But what you did was wrong. What you did was racist and you have to stop and you have to control yourself.

Mayor Gary McCarthy, meanwhile, urged lawmakers to put aside their differences and work to move the city forward.

“We have a pretty impressive record in this city,” said McCarthy, who is also a Democrat. “People come here to see what is being done in the police department. Things that are done in the fire department. Some of the engineering stuff that we do, some of the smart city stuff.

“I’ll tell you right now, there’s no one calling the city to see how the city council is run. I would ask you to collectively reconsider some of the things that you are doing, to leverage your strengths, your talents, and to develop an agenda to move us forward and chart things out.

Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

More from The Daily Gazette:

Categories: Email Newsletter, News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

]]>
Universal Ethical Truths Are Central to the High Jewish Holy Days | Conversation http://www.jewsformorality.org/universal-ethical-truths-are-central-to-the-high-jewish-holy-days-conversation/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 14:02:37 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/universal-ethical-truths-are-central-to-the-high-jewish-holy-days-conversation/ Country the United States of AmericaUS Virgin IslandsU.S. Minor Outlying IslandsCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth ofCuba, Republic ofDominican RepublicHaiti, Republic ofJamaicaAfghanistanAlbania, People’s Socialist Republic ofAlgeria, People’s Democratic Republic ofAmerican SamoaAndorra, Principality ofAngola, Republic ofAnguillaAntarctica (the territory south of 60 degrees S)Antigua and BarbudaArgentina, Argentine RepublicArmeniaArubaAustralia, Commonwealth ofAustria, Republic ofAzerbaijan, Republic ofBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladesh, People’s Republic […]]]>

]]>
In Apology 9 Months After Ethics Report, CCAR Notes Changes But Says More Work To Be Done – eJewish Philanthropy http://www.jewsformorality.org/in-apology-9-months-after-ethics-report-ccar-notes-changes-but-says-more-work-to-be-done-ejewish-philanthropy/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 09:23:00 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/in-apology-9-months-after-ethics-report-ccar-notes-changes-but-says-more-work-to-be-done-ejewish-philanthropy/ When the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinical association of the Reform movement, published a survey of its ethics complaints process last December, it came up with a long checklist of proposed changes. Last week, almost nine months later, the CCAR published a long apologies, as well as a table detailing its progress in […]]]>

When the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinical association of the Reform movement, published a survey of its ethics complaints process last December, it came up with a long checklist of proposed changes.

Last week, almost nine months later, the CCAR published a long apologies, as well as a table detailing its progress in reforming its code of ethics. The table indicates steps taken to address many, but not all, of the reforms recommended in the report.

“With sincerity of heart and intent, CCAR apologizes for the harm our organization and ethics system have caused,” the letter read. “We recognize that there have been times when we failed to live up to our own high standards and we are deeply sorry.”

The apology also acknowledges something the report did not cover: allegations of discrimination against women and LGBTQ rabbis in the organization’s job placement system, which is crucial in helping rabbis secure pulpit positions.

“We recognize that women and LGBTQ+ colleagues in particular have reported experiencing implicit and overt bias in the past,” the letter reads. “We apologize for this pain and continue to reflect on this difficult story. Although our investment system has evolved significantly in recent years, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the past. »

The CCAR investigation, which was conducted by the women-led law firm Alcalaw LLP, was one of a trio of such inquiries launched by the three main bodies of Reform Judaism. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which includes the movement’s rabbinical seminary, released a investigation in November 2021, while the Union for Reform Judaism, which oversees the movement’s congregations and camps, released its own report the following February.

The CCAR investigation detailed the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct and other abuse against high-level Reform rabbis, and included testimony from rabbis who said they felt discouraged from reporting allegations out of fear. that this may harm their career prospects. Two people described CCAR as an ‘old boys’ club where they would face backlash if they complained.

“[T]there is always a network of old boys and no matter how good the ethics process is, I believe – and women understand – that there are placement ramifications if you file an ethics complaint against a chief rabbi” , one person told investigators. “All these rabbis talk to each other, and then it becomes a difficult and unsettling thing.”

Now, Rabbi Hara Person, director general of CCAR, said eJewishPhilanthropy that it believes that significant progress has been made in improving the ethics system in accordance with the changes recommended by Alcalaw. Recent changes include a public list of all rabbis who have been suspended or expelled, as well as training on trauma-informed best practices for the ethics committee. Additionally, the code now includes the grooming of minors as an offense and sets minimum disciplinary measures for what it calls “violations of sexual boundaries.”

“We can’t go back and reevaluate the past,” Person told eJP. “What we can do is hear the pain of people who have been hurt, and we can create new policies, procedures and systems so that this kind of harm… doesn’t happen again.”

But Person acknowledged that the scope of CCAR’s authority is limited. “Our relationship with our members is very nuanced because we’re not the employers,” Person said. “We are the membership organization, so we can say to our members, ‘Here are the standards we expect you to meet. If you don’t follow them, there is a process that will hold you accountable. ‘”

One area where CCAR wields some power over the jobs of new rabbis is its placement system, now called Rabbinic Career Services. In the past, this division selected who took over to send to which congregations, and was the process by which rabbis often found their first job. This had the effect of disadvantaging the first generations of female rabbis, as well as other minorities.

Because the Alcalaw report was limited to the ethics system, it did not address placement — which Rabbi Mary Zamore, executive director of the Reform movement’s Women’s Rabbinic Network, saw as a flaw.

“In the past, the system didn’t work properly,” Zamore told eJP. “People’s careers have certainly been stunted by the lack of a level playing field.”

But Zamore believes the apology acknowledged this wrongdoing and reforms to the placement process have made the system fairer — including allowing any candidate to submit a resume to any synagogue, requiring synagogues to post pay scales for positions and providing training on implicit biases for synagogue search committees.

“Some of the changes have already happened,” Zamore said, adding that the movement’s career services are “working to create a more equal playing field for people of all identities.”

One recommendation of the report that does not appear directly in the CCAR’s reform charter is to establish better coordination of ethical processes between the movement’s three central institutions. Work on that front has begun, Person said, as the three institutions collaborate on a series of repentance videos ahead of the major holiday. In addition, CCAR has recently hired an Ethics Intake Officer who will forward relevant complaints to the URJ or HUC-JIR.

But she added that at this point, each of the three institutions is focusing on its own ethics process. “We have a lot of conversations about how the work is going to converge and where the different areas of collaboration and cooperation are, but in the short term we’re immersed in individual work,” she said.

Zamore’s organization has been in communication with CCAR as it changed its ethics process, and she is encouraged by what she has seen, although she added that there is more to be done. She particularly appreciates that CCAR has continued to ask victims of sexual misconduct to come forward.

“For me, it’s a process that frankly has no end,” Zamore said. “The victim-centered approach means that the victim-survivors decide the timeline. So if someone isn’t prepared to talk to CCAR…that’s okay. But if that victim-survivor is ready in five years, then the organization and perhaps the abuser need to be ready to have that conversation when that person is ready.

One person told eJP that CCAR receives around two sexual misconduct complaints a year and agrees there is still work to be done. She said CCAR is “absolutely” committed to implementing all of the recommendations of the Alcalaw report. So far the organization, which has an annual budget of around $6 million, has spent nearly $1 million on the report itself and created a three-person department to work on it. the ethics system. The group will vote on changes to its code of ethics at a meeting in December.

“It’s a long and continuous process,” she said. “We always have to improve… We’re going to keep learning and keep making changes, and keep improving, and once in a while we might make mistakes, and we’ll keep learning.”

]]>
THEATER REVIEW: The Doctor is Well Worth a Visit http://www.jewsformorality.org/theater-review-the-doctor-is-well-worth-a-visit/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 04:00:00 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/theater-review-the-doctor-is-well-worth-a-visit/ I don’t like going to the theater to be “lectured” at all, but very occasionally one comes across a play that provokes thought and greater enlightenment. Critically acclaimed Robert Icke’s The Doctor, currently on tour at Bath’s Theater Royal until Saturday 17 September before moving to London’s West End, is one such play. At the […]]]>

I don’t like going to the theater to be “lectured” at all, but very occasionally one comes across a play that provokes thought and greater enlightenment.

Critically acclaimed Robert Icke’s The Doctor, currently on tour at Bath’s Theater Royal until Saturday 17 September before moving to London’s West End, is one such play.

At the end of the first act, a Jewish doctor denies a Catholic priest access to a young teenage patient against her parents’ wishes. From this singular action, the following four acts retrace the political and institutional repercussions that ensue.

Based on the bones of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1912 play Professor Bernhardi in the adaptation of Icke, the Jew doctor Bernhardi becomes a wife, Ruth Wolff.

The Doctor begins with a fairly simple examination of medical ethics, but the issues become much more nuanced and problematic, with the black Catholic priest being played by a white actor (John Mackay) and the girl dying of sepsis after a self-abortion. -administered sloppy. .

Icke quickly expands The Doctor into an intense exploration of whether medicine can be the basis for a rational, humanistic worldview in which the current climate of “woke” identity politics is irrelevant.

It features a renowned medical institution torn by religious and racial differences, by anti-Semitism, careerism and political intrigue, though some of the issues are explored with too much emphasis.

As the social media storm gathers pace, Wolff is accused of wrongdoing by her fellow doctors and is persuaded to appear on a trial entertainment TV show.

Here she is accused of employing a disproportionate number of Jewish women in the institute she founded to treat dementia.

Juliet Stevenson as the Doctor gives a heartfelt performance as she reprises her lead role in the five-star London production of Icke, which was originally seen at the Almeida Theater in 2019.

On tour with a partly renewed cast, this new production is by turns overwhelming, disturbing and wonderfully provocative. He certainly had Tuesday’s audience clutching their seats.

It deliberately mixes gender identity and racial ethnicity, leaving audiences slightly confused at times. It certainly left me with a better appreciation for some of today’s awakening issues.

The Doctor has designs by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Natasha Chivers and sound and composition by Tom Gibbons and is well worth a visit.

Tickets are on sale at the Theater Royal Bath box office on 01225 448844 and online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk

]]>
Good agreement for pastry | Opinion http://www.jewsformorality.org/good-agreement-for-pastry-opinion/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:58:44 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/good-agreement-for-pastry-opinion/ Dad absolutely loved hamantaschen. You know those triangular pastries for the Jewish holiday of Purim? I don’t think he cared much about the type of filling as long as these delicious triangles were from one of his favorite bakeries. He loved Leon’s Bake Shop on Knapp Street in Sheepshead Bay and also Teena’s Cake Fair […]]]>

Dad absolutely loved hamantaschen. You know those triangular pastries for the Jewish holiday of Purim? I don’t think he cared much about the type of filling as long as these delicious triangles were from one of his favorite bakeries. He loved Leon’s Bake Shop on Knapp Street in Sheepshead Bay and also Teena’s Cake Fair on Ralph Avenue, which was much closer to home. While I’m sure Bubby baked mandel bread and sugar cookies, I can’t remember if she ever baked hamantaschen. But I have a little memory that she did for a while. And, of course, they would be his ultimate first.

A plate of hamantaschen, a cup ready for hot black coffee and a pack of cigarettes, a lighter and an ashtray would be on the table all around the dates of Purim. If not on the kitchen table, surely on the snack table in the den next to his chair in front of the TV. That’s how I knew it was Purim in our family. When I saw the telltale signs. We never had lessons on the subject of vacations, nor on why these triangles were called hamantaschen.

What we learned about, however, is which liquid went with which pastry. Hamantaschen was a food that went with coffee, of course. Dad had lots of cafe desserts like mandel bread, fruit pies, and his forever favorite, cheesecake. But he considered coffee to be totally the wrong pairing for some of his other beloved desserts like Ebinger’s Blackout Cake, which made an appearance at our house on special occasions. Such a royal cake would require nothing less than a very cold glass of milk. Anything with chocolate was actually a milk dessert, he professed out loud as if he were in front of a huge conference room. The chocolate cream pie was also perfect with milk.

Dad wasn’t a big tea drinker, so I can’t remember if he assigned a dessert to this drink. But maybe there was. And now that I think about it, I wonder if he had an inner struggle deciding what to drink with chocolate babka. The babka part of the cake would surely be associated with coffee, however, once the chocolate aspect was introduced – well, who knows. I wish I could ask him.

(Dorothy Dworkin/Courtesy)

I remember we were also discussing how we liked our eggs. When I was a teenager, he taught me the fun of using ketchup with scrambled eggs. I don’t have it anymore, but it used to be a thing for me. Then a debate would ensue over what condiment to use with the salami and eggs. You realize that any sane person would use mustard for salami, but what about ketchup for eggs? I remember we were back and forth about it at the kitchen table. But for some reason, I can’t remember how we ended up. Stupid, I know. And because I can’t remember the last time I ate salami and eggs, I no longer have to deal with this dilemma.

The day before my wedding, I was a little too excited to sleep and went down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to get some water. I found dad sitting at the table making himself some tuna on a toasted bagel. He’d diced a batch of onions to add to the tuna with mayonnaise, and placed a sliced ​​bagel in the toaster slots though he hadn’t pressed the button yet. Of course, he offered me to share his snack. While mashing the mixture, he gave me one of his lessons on the importance of using onions, especially in tuna.

Of course, I learned a lot more from dad than when to drink milk or use ketchup or onions. He helped me learn by example how to treat people and how to love to the fullest. We discussed everything from civil rights and history to civics and ethics. But what will stick in my memory forever are those times when we complained in the kitchen over cakes, eggs and tuna.

]]>
Honorable guests attend inaugural luncheon – The Australian Jewish News http://www.jewsformorality.org/honorable-guests-attend-inaugural-luncheon-the-australian-jewish-news/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 00:21:40 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/honorable-guests-attend-inaugural-luncheon-the-australian-jewish-news/ THE Moriah Foundation launched the Moriah Foundation Trusted Advisors Network (MFTAN) in the presence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, the Honorable Andrew Bell. About 50 practitioners, including lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, attended the inaugural luncheon, hosted by Moriah’s longtime sponsor, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The MFTAN was created […]]]>

THE Moriah Foundation launched the Moriah Foundation Trusted Advisors Network (MFTAN) in the presence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, the Honorable Andrew Bell.

About 50 practitioners, including lawyers, accountants and financial advisers, attended the inaugural luncheon, hosted by Moriah’s longtime sponsor, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The MFTAN was created to educate practitioners about the needs of Moriah College and to share information about Moriah’s planned giving opportunities.

Foundation President Judy Lowy said, “The launch of the Moriah Foundation Trusted Advisor Network is a very important step forward for our foundation. Our community and our donors are often not sufficiently aware that we need significant investments in Moriah and in our Moriah families to ensure that we continue to be both competitive and sustainable.

“We welcome the opportunity to stay connected with trusted advisors about the important work of our foundation.”

Bell delivered his keynote address on “The Importance of Institutions in Our Modern Society”.

Speaking of his belief that public, cultural and educational institutions play an essential role in society and the community, and his admiration for those who work to maintain their health and secure their future, he said: “Stable, progressive institutions and civics such as schools, which teach history, ethics and social responsibility, are more important than ever.

“They have the tremendously important opportunity and responsibility to educate future generations…not just in the core curriculum, but in the values ​​of decency, empathy and compassion, civic responsibility and community.”

Reflecting on the erosion of trust in institutions, Bell noted: “While institutions should not be immune from criticism or critical review, the work of institutions and the values ​​that those institutions uphold should be respected and even celebrated, rather than corroded”.

Moriah Life Patron and Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Justice Stephen Rothman, explored a number of topics in a conversation with Bell.

They discussed the greater degree of diversity that currently prevails in the courts and its impact on the integrity of the court; growing levels of distrust in the United States and the way judges are appointed; how judges are appointed in Australia, and on a more personal note, how Bell copes with his extraordinary workload.

MFTAN will continue to host events to engage with the Moriah Foundation, connect with other practitioners, and hear from industry leaders.

Receive the AJN newsletter by email and never miss our best stories Free subscription

]]>
Sonia Sotomayor Blocks Order Forcing Yeshiva University To Officially Recognize Gay Student Group http://www.jewsformorality.org/sonia-sotomayor-blocks-order-forcing-yeshiva-university-to-officially-recognize-gay-student-group/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 23:09:40 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/sonia-sotomayor-blocks-order-forcing-yeshiva-university-to-officially-recognize-gay-student-group/ On Friday, Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted an injunction against Yeshiva University, blocking the implementation of a New York trial court order requiring the school to officially recognize a group of homosexual students. YU Pride Alliance sued the 134-year-old Jewish college for recognition, claiming the school was a “place or provider of public […]]]>

On Friday, Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted an injunction against Yeshiva University, blocking the implementation of a New York trial court order requiring the school to officially recognize a group of homosexual students.

YU Pride Alliance sued the 134-year-old Jewish college for recognition, claiming the school was a “place or provider of public accommodations” under New York state law. In June, New York Supreme Court Justice Lynn R. Kotler ruled that Yeshiva was an “educational society” and not a religious organization, which would be exempt from state laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender. sexual orientation.

The two-sentence document gave no reason to grant the request filed on August 29 by the oldest Jewish university in the country. However, Judge Sotomayor said the injunction will remain in effect until she or the full court issues a “new order” in the case.

“The yeshiva should not have been forced to go all the way to the Supreme Court to receive such a sensible decision in favor of its First Amendment rights,” said Eric Baxter, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the school. .

“We are grateful that Judge Sotomayor stepped in to protect Yeshiva’s religious freedom in this case,” he added.

In its filing last month, the school challenged the New York court’s notion that the school had “no right to control how its religious beliefs and values ​​are interpreted or applied on its campuses,” because it offered “too many secular degrees” and did not benefit from the exemption provided by law for religious organizations.

“We are pleased with Judge Sotomayor’s decision which protects our religious freedom and our identity as a leading faith-based academic institution,” Rabbi Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, said in a statement. “But make no mistake, we will continue to strive to create an environment that welcomes all students, including those in our LGBTQ community.”

He said the school will continue to speak with its students, rabbis and professors about how to be inclusive while adhering to the values ​​found in the Torah, which includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and corresponds to the first five. ancient Christian books. Testament, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Yeshiva attorneys said the school requires all undergraduate students to “engage in intense religious studies,” which can last up to four and a half hours a day.

A spokeswoman for the YU Pride Alliance told The Washington Times via email that the student organization “will await a final order from the Supreme Court. It remains committed to creating a safe space for LGBTQ students on the YU campus. to build community and support each other without discrimination.

Yeshiva’s application to the High Court drew briefs of support from dozens of groups, including the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, the Association of Christian Schools International, the International Alliance for Christian Education, the Association for Biblical Higher Education and American Association of Christian Schools.

Another brief was filed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York; the United States Council of Catholic Bishops; evangelical schools Houston Baptist University, Liberty University and Wheaton College; the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University, Biola University, and Cedarville University.

The school’s decision to blunt the lower court’s decision also drew opposition. On Thursday, Campus Pride placed Yeshiva University on its “worst list” listing because, according to the group, “it has a long and well-documented history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.”

]]>
Sacks-Herenstein Center Announces First Cohort of Ethics and Entrepreneurship Graduate Fellows http://www.jewsformorality.org/sacks-herenstein-center-announces-first-cohort-of-ethics-and-entrepreneurship-graduate-fellows/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 19:58:06 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/sacks-herenstein-center-announces-first-cohort-of-ethics-and-entrepreneurship-graduate-fellows/

The Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values ​​and Leadership is proud to welcome the Sacks Scholars Graduate Fellows in Ethics and Entrepreneurship, 2022-2023. The scholarship honors the memory of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, an influential ethicist, religious leader and former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth.

In this inaugural interdisciplinary cohort coordinated by Dr. Shira Weiss and Dr. Erica Brown, the first initiative in YU history to bring together students from Yeshiva University’s ten graduate programs, applicants were selected to create and implement a social value project that impacts their field. as well as publish an essay on an ethical topic that contributes to scholarship in their discipline.

We congratulate the following Sacks Fellows. Read about each person in more detail on the academics webpage.


Rebecca Kreiser, a third-year student at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, will study and assess the impact of current legislation on drug costs and identify next steps that Medicare can take to make drug costs more affordable for its beneficiaries and competitive with private market prices.


Hillel Broder, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Jewish philosophy at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, will develop a curriculum and text study guide to merge educational research and best practices with sophisticated textual study to enhance students’ spiritual development.


Talya Gordon is a doctoral student at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. She will create and implement a trauma-focused psychoeducational intervention to enable homeless people to process their trauma before moving into homes.


Jordan Soffer, who is pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, develop online resources on customer service industry best practices and implementation tools to improve Jewish Day Schools’ ability to serve stakeholders.


Daniela Weiss-Bronstein is a doctorate. candidate for Wurzweiler School of Social Work, where she completed her MSW. Daniela will develop additional training for clergy and premarital counselors working with couples with a history of trauma as well as online resources for couples to access.


Daniel Gottesman is a fourth-year student at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Masters student in Azrieli Graduate School. In a partnership between RIETS and Wurzweiler, Daniel will assess the needs of rabbinical students when working with trauma victims and collaborate with Daniela Weiss-Bronstein to train rabbis/pastoral counselors to support individuals/couples with a history of trauma.


Andrea Maxi, second-year doctoral student at Wurzweilerwill facilitate psychoeducation groups for Latin immigrant mothers to address postpartum needs, promote medical and mental health awareness, and increase cross-cultural practices, a new program for the Care Café in Wurzweiler.


Paul Kutner pursuing her Masters in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Paul will coordinate workshops for teachers, museum educators, parent groups, and professional organizations to teach how to effectively mitigate Holocaust distortion and propose improvements in Holocaust education.


Neti Linzer pursuing a master’s degree Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies for Women as well as a master’s degree in Jewish philosophy at the Bernard Revel doctoral school. Neti will create an intellectual forum and reader for values-driven YU undergraduates to engage in text-based discussions with peers and faculty centered on the integration of Jewish and philosophical sources on topics of applied ethics.


Alvin McLaughlin, a PhD candidate who obtained his MSW from Würzweilerwill conduct psychoeducational workshops to advance mental health as a mechanism for improving the emotional development of young African Americans and their parents, extending the reach of Wurzweiler’s Care Café.


Jillian Rossi is a master’s student in speech therapy at Katz School of Health and Science. She will advocate for and provide accessibility to free speech and language services for children who are no longer eligible for early intervention due to a national shift in speech development milestones.


Marc Eichenbaum is a third-year doctoral student in Ferkauf‘s School-Clinical Psy.D. program. Marc will develop a resource book for Judaic Studies teachers/students that integrates psychological sources and guidance on critical adolescent mental health topics into Judaic Studies curricula.


Bracha Teigman, who is pursuing a master’s degree in taxation Sy Syms Business Schoolwill implement IRS Voluntary Tax Assistance (VITA) as a YU program and facilitate a tax subsection of the accounting firm of Sy Syms to train undergraduate students to provide low-income residents with free tax preparation services.

]]>
July 2022 | 2022 | International justice in the news | Programs in International Justice and Society http://www.jewsformorality.org/july-2022-2022-international-justice-in-the-news-programs-in-international-justice-and-society/ Sun, 04 Sep 2022 10:33:42 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/july-2022-2022-international-justice-in-the-news-programs-in-international-justice-and-society/ “Interpretation at the Asylum Office” This month’s feature is contributed by LCJ Hub member Hillary Mellinger, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University. Hillary’s research focuses on language access within the immigration and criminal justice systems in the United States, the challenges asylum seekers and attorneys face in the United States […]]]>
“Interpretation at the Asylum Office”

This month’s feature is contributed by LCJ Hub member Hillary Mellinger, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University. Hillary’s research focuses on language access within the immigration and criminal justice systems in the United States, the challenges asylum seekers and attorneys face in the United States Office of Asylum, and the criminalization of migration. Prior to earning her doctorate, she worked as a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative at the Tahirih Justice Center, a national non-profit organization that supports immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence through a combination of legal, social service and public policy representation.

In a rrecently published open access article, I describe the difficulties faced by asylum seekers and lawyers regarding interpretation at the Asylum Office. While U.S. immigration courts are required to provide interpreters under the Court Interpreters Act of 1978 (28 USC § 1827), the Asylum Office is subject to a different legal statute, which requires asylum seekers to procure their own interpreters at no cost to the government (8 CRF § 208.9(g), with exceptions for sign language, unaccompanied children, or other exceptional circumstances (see, for example, the Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual 2016 and the United States Department of Homeland Security Language Access Plan 2019). In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13166which required federal agencies to provide language services to people with limited English proficiency.

In my article, I describe how the Asylum Office balances the competing mandates of federal regulations (which require asylum seekers to provide their own interpreters, with some exceptions) with EO 13166 (which requires the asylum to provide language services). I focus on three research questions: When do asylum officers exercise their discretion to provide interpreters? Is this discretion exercised consistently? Does the presence of an interpreter affect the dynamics of the asylum interview, and if so, how?

us immigration logoTo answer these questions, I analyzed empirical and qualitative data that I gathered from 28 interviews with U.S. immigration attorneys who represented asylum seekers before two of the eight U.S. regional asylum offices. : Arlington Asylum Office and Houston Asylum Office. I chose these offices because they were associated with relatively high asylum grant rates and relatively low asylum grant rates, respectively. As I explain in my article, the US Asylum Office does not collect data on its provision of language services, which makes it impossible to conduct a mixed-methods or purely quantitative study.

My search had four results. First, respondents said that unaccompanied children were more likely than adults to have access to interpreters. Second, interviewees indicated that adults only had access to interpreters in rare ‘extraordinary circumstances’. Third, interviewees recounted that bilingual asylum officers sometimes offered to conduct asylum interviews in a language other than English, although asylum seekers were not informed in advance of this possibility. Fourth, 17 interviewees expressed concern that interpreters negatively affect the dynamics of asylum interviews by exacerbating language barriers.

I situate these findings within the socio-legal literature on “law on the books” as opposed to “law in action, which refers to the disparate ways in which the black-and-white written text of the law is implemented. in everyday life. I also place my findings within the broader framework of research on intersectionality, language access within the U.S. immigration system, and possible unintended consequences of interpretation on asylum outcomes.

Importantly, my study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, since September 23, 2020, the Asylum Office has been operating under a temporary rule in which it provides telephone interpreters for 47 languages. Asylum seekers who do not speak one of these 47 languages, or who prefer to speak another language, must provide their own interpreters. This temporary rule is set to expire on March 16, 2023. Because my study analyzes data collected prior to this temporary rule, my findings cannot explain how the pandemic has changed the nature of language access at the Asylum Office.

]]>