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Richard D. Zelin
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Mar 16, 2023, 9:47 PM
Israel-Diaspora Relations: What’s Next?
The Netanyahu government’s judicial reform and other controversial proposals have not only ignited fierce debate about the future of Israel’s democracy, but also have sparked great concern about the future of Israel-Diaspora relations, especially with American Jews. To gain a...
Dec 25, 2022, 4:03 PM
Antisemitism and Assimilation: The Twin Challenges of Our Time
Much ink has understandably been spilled lately about the rise of antisemitism in the United States. What got me thinking much more deeply about it is a relatively little known but powerful novel, The Oppermanns, which was recently reissued...
May 2, 2021, 6:20 PM
Reflections on the Pandemic a Year Later: From Mindfulness to Worry
Looking back on the pandemic over the last year, one significant thing has changed for me: my state of mind. Instead of feeling present in the moment and mindful, as I initially did months after the onset, and being...
Jul 20, 2020, 4:56 AM
Reflections on the Pandemic: Speeding up and Slowing Down
In this past week’s double portion, Mattot-Mas’ei, the Israelites are approaching the Promised Land but they are not quite there yet; they are still in the proverbial wilderness. Like our forbearers, we too are still in the wilderness as...
Jun 6, 2018, 8:51 PM
Reflections on March of the Living: An Unforgettable Journey
In April, along with 40 other congregants, my wife and I had the good fortune to travel to Poland and Israel on this year’s Adult March of the Living trip, which was led by Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, under the...
Jul 13, 2016, 7:57 PM
Hukkat: The Need for Presidential Leadership
In commenting on Hukkat, this week’s Torah portion, I feel like, as North Suburban Synagogue Beth El’s Rabbi Vernon Kurtz once joked, the rabbinical student who is given the assignment to deliver a maiden sermon before the entire seminary...
Jul 6, 2016, 10:04 PM
Korah: Judaism and the Tour de France
Coming immediately after the disastrous episode of the 10 spies, and on top of the already growing frustration of the Israelites over living conditions in the desert, the stage was set, as some commentators have suggested, for the tumultuous...
Apr 6, 2016, 7:23 AM
The Neoconservatives and Trump
Donald Trump’s candidacy has been met with alarm, if not utter scorn, by many leading neoconservative intellectuals, with several threatening to bolt the Republican party in favor of Hillary Clinton if he becomes the party’s presidential nominee. This noteworthy development,...
Feb 7, 2016, 7:06 PM
Harper Lee’s philo-Semitism
The author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who died Friday, portrayed Jews and the Jewish people in a distinctly positive light
Jan 15, 2016, 11:19 PM
Debunking the Myth of the Cultural Jew
From time immemorial, Jews have always been concerned with the question of Jewish survival. In fact, much ink has been spilled about the demise of Judaism and the Jewish community, although the tradition has remarkably had enormous staying power....
Richard D. Zelin, Ph.D., is a frequent contributor to various Jewish publications. He serves in a senior level Jewish communal position in the Chicago area. The views expressed are his own.