Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
Young woman carrying a Torah scroll through the congregation at camp recently sat down with Rabbi Sonja K. Pilz, Ph.D., editor of the CCAR Press, to talk about a new adult education cirriculum. Here's what she had to say. Why did the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) decide that now was the time to launch a new adult education curriculum?

Rabbi Sonja K. Pilz, Ph.D., editor of the CCAR Press: On one level, we saw it as a fitting way to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the 200th birthday of our founder, Isaac M. Wise. We also recognized that the...

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Clock just before midnight on New Year's Eve, surrounded by gold sparkles

Perhaps more than any time in history, American Jews are free to define our own Jewish identity and how we choose to express it in words, action, or inaction. But for many of us, freedom of choice doesn’t make being Jewish any easier; in fact, individual autonomy can make it more challenging to articulate. When was the last time you tried to explain to someone – another Jew or someone of another faith – what it means to be a Jew on the eve of 2019? 

Robert H. Mnookin, a Harvard law professor and conflict resolution expert, takes up this challenge in The Jewish American Paradox:...

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Star of David on wrought iron gate leading to old cemetery

The 25th anniversary re-release of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List this month has reignited criticism as well as praise for the Oscar-winning film.

A recent story in the Forward, titled “What’s Wrong with ‘Schindler’s List?’ Kind of a Lot” revived the main complaint of the movie’s detractors. It quotes Liel Leibovits, who wrote in Tablet that “the movie, really, is about a Christ-like gentile who saves a horde of hapless Jews who have no agency or resolve of their own.”

Speaking at a 1994 Village Voice symposium, Art Spiegelman, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his...

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Dancing scene from Fiddler on the Roof

The sun never sets on the small Russian shtetl (village) of Anatevka and its colorful inhabitants? Why, you may ask?

Because the hit musical Fiddler on the Roof has been entertaining audiences non-stop around the world since its Broadway debut in 1964.

And now, thanks to the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (People’s Stage), a Yiddish version by Shraga Friedman (with English and Russian subtitles) has reached the American stage. Directed by Joel Grey (best known for his role as the emcee in “Cabaret”), Fiddler Afn Dakh is a sensation, playing to full houses and standing...

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Shards of broken glass

Today Jews will commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass), the pogrom in Germany and Austria in which 91 Jews were killed, more than 30,000 imprisoned in concentration camps, and hundreds of synagogues and Jewish-owned shops set ablaze. It was the first large-scale attack on German Jews in the Third Reich.

We remember Kristallnacht as we mourn the 11 victims of the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.

What happened in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue attack is frightening, but we must guard against drawing direct parallels...

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