Writing and Speaking

Jewish leaders: This year’s High Holidays need a new approach

Published August 11, 2020 by Times of Israel

Jewish communal leaders have a lot of their shoulders right now. They are in the midst of trying to plan high holiday services, determining whether and how to open schools, recalculating budgets and staffing structures and so much more. At stake is nothing less than the physical wellbeing of our people and the future of Jewish communal life. Read More

The Torah of Large-Scale Projects

Published June 2, 2020 by The Jewish Theological Seminary

Naso opens up with a census of the Levites, who will be responsible for transporting parts of the Mishkan. Num. 4:3 specifies that those who will be engaged in this work are to be between the ages of 30 and 50 and fit for service when the Mishkan is operating.

At first glance, the details of which family is to carry which piece of equipment seem trivial at best. Read More

Modesty Inside and Out: A Contemporary Guide to Tzniut

Approved by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards on February 2, 2017

A teshuvah that I co-authored with my colleagues Rabbi David Booth and Baruch Frydman-Kohl. Download

Silence is not a Solution

Published July 14, 2014 by The Times of Israel

Is there drivel online? Of course there is, and it’s posted by peoples on all sides of every issue. There are also an unfortunate number of hateful posts, but condemning the entirety of social media is akin to suggesting that we cut back on visits to the library because it contains trashy novels and offensive works. Read More

The Women’s Section

Published August 28, 2013 by The Times of Israel

Compromise is always difficult. The plan we’ve heard rumors about in recent days is certainly not everything that I hoped for – and not enough, even for now. I hope that this is only a temporary improvement– to be followed by more expansive and equitable permanent improvements. But, for now, at least, it will expand the area where my Abba and I can daven side by side. Read More

Tikkun Olam: Ethical Mitzvot are Mitzvot

Published June 3, 2013 by JNS.org

While I certainly uphold the religious importance of fulfilling ritual commandments, it seems far too simplistic to criticize proponents of Tikkun Olam for not engaging enough in mitzvot. For one thing: even if Tikkun Olam itself isn’t one of the 613 commandments, ethical mitzvot are mitzvot. Perhaps there is no categorical imperative to repair the world, but there are clear Jewish imperatives to feed the hungry, care for the needy, and save lives. Read More

Forever Young? Community Relegates Adults To ‘Kids’ Table’

Published January 29, 2013 by The New York Jewish Week

While the desire to engage and involve new leaders is admirable, they shouldn’t be relegated to a “kids’ table,” a young leadership group designed to involve them, while remaining distinct from the essential missions of our organizations. If the work of these organizations is so important (and I do believe it is), they must find ways to engage and cultivate genuine new leadership. Read More