Category Archives: jerusalem

Current Events

The entire world seems to have fallen apart since I last wrote this blog. The stock market plummeted and the American financial giants have gone under–or at least most of them. The irony of this situation is killing me. These guys have argued for unfettered freedom to do as they please because one of the arguments is that the market will correct itself, but meanwhile our government is saving them from total ruin. Continue reading

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Bye Bye Pardes

Well we actually said goodbye more than a week ago. And it’s not really goodbye because we’ll be in Israel. And we’ll be going to the Tikkun Leil Shavuot at Pardes.

On the other hand, the end of Pardes is the end of a chapter in our lives. It was a very special year. To be able to live in Jerusalem and study Jewish texts for one whole year is for many people an unattainable experience–whether from financial or psychological barriers–although it really shouldn’t be. In these times it’s takes a lot of chutzpah to leave the workforce and study for the sake of studying. Continue reading

Yom Haatzmaut: Guest Entry from Ron Kronish, ICCI

Dear friends,

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the rebirth of the state of Israel, which takes place on May 8th, this year, I take this opportunity to share with you a few personal reflections.

My earliest memories of the State of Israel are centered around my father, Rabbi Leon Kronish, of blessed memory, who was one of the leading Reform Zionist rabbis from the 1960’s till the mid-1980’s. His activism for Israel– especially in the years after the Six Day War, when I was studying at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and HUC-JIR in New York—was infectious and inspiring. Over the years, when I have been asked why I made aliyah (with my family in June 1979, almost 29 years ago), I respond by saying that I took my father’s sermons too seriously! Continue reading

Jerusalem Ghost Town

Here’s a small window into the dilemma of living in Jerusalem:

Apparently the shortage of affordable housing in Jlem has become so bad that students launched a campaign to encourage absentee landlords (and there are many of them) to rent out their apartments while they are away.

There are some parts of Jlem that have become veritable ghost towns because the apartments are only inhabited several times a year by folks who think they’re actually doing a good thing by buying real estate here. Most Jerusalemites don’t think so because they feel they only end up jacking up prices, reducing rentals available and sinking local businesses who are dependent upon neighborhoods with living people to buy from them.

So Americans, if you want to invest in the Israeli economy please stop buying houses and just invest in the stock market. We Israelis just don’t have your salaries.

Read more from the JTA article below

Continue reading

JPost Article from ICCI

It’s been a while since I’ve written huh? Well I’m actually not going to write something just yet. Instead I’ll share with you an editorial that my boss, Ron Kronish, wrote about religious leaders needing to take the initiative in cultivating empathy for the other side and for encouraging religious conciliation.

The article certainly points to the difficulty in keeping the dialogue going in light of the conflict. These organizations try to affect the conflict by building understanding among peoples, but unfortunately the conflict often ends up impacting them by slowing down efforts.

It takes a great amount of strength to try to move past all of the emotional, historical, psychological, political baggage of the ongoing events and to let violence derail reconciliation efforts. But it is something that both sides must do. I was glad to hear about an event hosted by Jerusalem Peacemakers, which dealt with nonviolent teachings in each religion. I met one of the co-organizers at an event today, and he said that the discussion was a necessary response to the Merkaz HaRav shooting. He felt like it was needed to revive hope. I was also glad to hear that Pardes Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Landes spoke there, and was disappointed I couldn’t attend the event due to a conflict in my schedule. Continue reading

Snow and Deep Thoughts from Chief Rabbi

So the weather forecast for this week in Jerusalem is (drumroll please) snow! Perhaps the forecasters are as wishful as the ones in Washington and there actually won’t be any snow here. The people are probably as indept with dealing with an inch of snow than the people in Washington, I wouldn’t be surprised if schools closed because of a few flakes. I have to admit, it would be nice to see what this place looks like in white, although I dread the onslaught of Tel-Aviv Israelis driving up to Jerusalem just to see a few flakes.

In other news it seems like I came across an especially high number of news stories that touched a nerve. Apparently the army’s being on high alert in the south is bogus, according to YNET News. There actually did not seem to be a higher level of security along the Egyptian border. All the army’s announcement seemed to do was drive tourism away. Nor did it seem like the IDF took the time to meet with members of the communities and explain the situation. Meanwhile, according to Haaretz, Egypt arrested armed militants in Sinai. Oh joy. Continue reading

Mold and Cold

There are times when you write about the mundane things in life and here’s one of them.

It’s freakin’ cold here. And it’s not just that it’s freakin’ cold. The buildings here have no insulation so the cold seeps and creeps through every stone and crack. So much so that I just don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. The idea of construction work in this country is like this: hey, let’s stick some slabs of concrete together, slap on a coat of paint, put in some wiring and plumbing and hey we’ve got an apartment!   Continue reading