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Meet Our 2013-14 University Fellows


ANGEL PARA SHABAT ~ Reflexiones Sobre las Porciones Semanales de la Torá

A partir del año 2008, el Instituto de Ideas e Ideales Judíos ha venido publicando una columna semanal “Angel for Shabbat” escrita por el Rabino Marc D. Angel. Muchos miles de lectores han disfrutado de estas columnas en el sitio web del Instituto (jewishideas.org) y a través de su distribución por correo electrónico.
Este volumen recopila en forma impresa una colección de estas reflexiones sobre la porción de la Torá de la semana.

A Letter to My Brother in the Maghreb

Many years have passed since we were last in touch but I have nevertheless never forgotten you. How could I? Seeing as my mother and father, my brothers and my sisters always remind me of you – in the way they talk and dress, in their generosity.

One cannot simply just erase hundreds of years.

I’m writing you because I’m worried.

Who is Really a Jew?

What makes one a Jew? Being born to a Jewish mother? Converting to Judaism? Not really. It is living by the spiritual order of Judaism that makes one a Jew; living through the Jews of the past and with the Jews of the present and future. We are Jews when we choose to be so; when we have discovered Jewishness on our own, through our search for the sacred; when we fight the never-ending spiritual struggle to find God, realize that the world needs a moral conscience, and carry that exalted burden so as to save the world and provide it with a mission.

An Essay by Our Campus Fellows at UCLA

We have all heard the famous story of Esav returning from the field and seeing his twin brother, Jacob, sitting with a delicious bowl of soup in front of him. Esav decides that he needs to eat the soup and he is willing to go so far as to sell his birthright for it.

Ambassador Ron Prosor's Address at the UN

Mr. President,

I stand before the world as a proud representative of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I stand tall before you knowing that truth and morality are on my side. And yet, I stand here knowing that today in this Assembly, truth will be turned on its head and morality cast aside.

The fact of the matter is that when members of the international community speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fog descends to cloud all logic and moral clarity. The result isn’t realpolitik, its surrealpolitik.

Israel Recognizes the Travails of Jews from Arab Lands and Iran

History was made on Sunday, November 30, when for the first time in the annals of the state, official recognition was given to Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran.

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

Thoughts for Thanksgiving
by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

President George Washington proclaimed Thursday November 26, 1789 as a
day of national thanksgiving to God "for His kind care and protection
of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for
the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of
His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the
great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since
enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been
enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and
happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for
the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the

Empowering Local Rabbis: Revisiting the Conversion Issue

The Israeli government recently moved to decentralize the conversion system by allowing local courts to convert individuals on their own.

Ironically, as Israel moves away from centralization, here in America the Rabbinical Council of America is enthusiastically embracing it. The modern Orthodox rabbinical organization recently reaffirmed its commitment to its centralized conversion system, which it calls GPS (Geirus Policies and Standards). Under the system, the RCA accredits only those conversions conducted under RCA’s batei din, or rabbinical courts, using the GPS process.

Since its inception in 2008, we have opposed this centralized approach. We still do today. Here’s why.

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