Campus Update: Hateful Islamophobia at IUPUI

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has done important and inspirational work on colleges around the country – often in the face of death threats, harassment and personal attack. The latest example: just this past week, a student leader of the SJP at University of Indiana – Purdue University Indianapolis (UIPUI) named Haneen (I’ve been asked to […]

Standing Down Rep. Joe Walsh’s Islamophobic Bigotry

Shortly after a gunman killed six worshipers in a Wisconsin Sikh temple and a Joplin Missouri mosque was burned to the ground, Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh felt perfectly comfortable uttering incendiary anti-Muslim comments at a town hall meeting last Wednesday, warning that “there is a radical strain of Islam in this country…trying to kill Americans […]

Calling Out Political Islamophobia

Many of you, I’m sure, read about the Pew study last August that determined 18% of Americans (roughly one in five) believe that President Obama is a Muslim. And I’m sure many might be tempted to disprove this claim as patently ridiculous.  My response? What should it matter if he was? Let’s be honest. Those […]

Confronting Islamophobia: A Sermon for Rosh Hashanah 5771

From my Rosh Hashanah sermon last Thursday: So what is the real issue here?  I don’t think it’s about sensitivity to individuals who may or may not be offended by this particular construction project. The real issue is really quite straightforward. The real issue, I believe, is the same as it ever was – and […]

Peter Beinart Crosses Over: On Game Changers and Historic Injustices

It’s fair to say that Peter Beinart’s recent article for Jewish Currents, in which he publicly announced his abandonment of the two-state solution, represents something of a milestone in American discourse on Israel-Palestine. As a well-known political thinker and commentator, Beinart’s ideas carry a great deal of weight in the liberal Jewish establishment. His 2010 […]

Longing for Return: Rabbi Alissa Wise’s Tribute to Tzedek Chicago

Here are the words of tribute that were offered by Rabbi Alissa Wise at Tzedek Chicago’s recent 5th anniversary celebration. Alissa is my dear friend and colleague and currently serves as the Acting Co-Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Her remarks were made during the havdalah ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat. As everyone who was there will […]

Playing Politics with Human Rights: Thoughts on the Recent Anti-BDS House Bill

Last Tuesday, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass an anti-BDS bill with the strong support of progressive democrats (including “squad” member Ayanna Pressley). I know there are many who are asking how and why did this happen? As I see it, the answer, as always, is pure politics. Just a bit of history: the genesis of […]

Responding to Anti-Semitic Violence With Solidarity’s Sacred Power

Crossposted at Truthout Like so many, when I first heard the news of the horrific shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday, I went immediately to the news and could not turn away. The initial reports were sketchy and inconclusive. Eventually it became clear that the outcome was as horrible as we could possibly have feared. 11 Shabbat […]

A Yom Kippur Martyrology Service for Gaza

This Yom Kippur Martyrology ritual was written by Tzedek Chicago rabbinic intern May Ye and myself and was used in observance of our Yom Kippur service last week. Reader: It is traditional at the end of the Yom Kippur morning service to read a Martyrology that describes the executions of ten leading rabbis, including Rabbi […]