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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 19, 2005 / 9 Shevat, 5765

Orthodox Jews as new Evangelicals?

By Binyamin L. Jolkovsky

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe and head of Agudath Israel, speaking from dais (partial view)
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STAMFORD, CONN.   —   Standing below a banner proclaiming "Keepers of a sacred trust" Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, executive vice president of the Orthodox grassroots umbrella group Agudath Israel of America, faced a crowd of nearly two thousand men, women and children of varying ages gathered here for the group's annual convention. He stood proudly and assured and declared, "We have an unprecedented opportunity today to have a true impact on the American political scene. Almost 70% of Orthodox Jews, compared to 23% Conservative, and 15% Reform Jews, cast their votes for President Bush." His organization, he added, has done a "wonderful job establishing and promoting a special relationship with the administration."

It was more than an applause line or mere triumphalism. To those in the audience   —   and others in 15 cities across North America connected via a webcast   —   it was a call to continuing arms.

If they missed the rabbi's first reference, there was another: "The time has come for Agudath Israel to stand up and take its rightful place at the helm of the Jewish community. And to stand there proudly and without compromise as the bearer of the Torah's message, as the movement whose members care about all Jews throughout the world."

The fervently-Orthodox and Chassidic communities are often portrayed as insular. If that stereotype has gradually begun to fray over the years, by now it's now outright torn. Imbued with a sense of purpose, but now also realizing they've become a power to be reckoned with, religious Jewish activists are beginning lay the groundwork to make sure their newly found status becomes permanent. No longer will they accept just being "tolerated"   —   particularly by the secular Jewish establishment.

Walking the halls of the Westin hotel here, one passed the usual luminaries   —   long bearded rabbis and their stylish but modestly dressed wives, noted authors, educators, and lecturers. But this year, there were other "stars": Grass-roots activists, previously unknown, appeared to be everywhere. There were yeshiva educators who organized the Jewish get-out-the-vote drive in battle grounds states of Florida and Ohio, the small businessman who spearheaded voter registration in Israel and other "machers" from across the fruited plain. The convention was for many of them the place to meet for a "l'chaim" after against-the-odds success. Indeed, at an unofficial and off-the-record meeting, a number of the activists gathered after midnight to exchange battle stories and business cards. As one assured me afterward, "This is just the beginning."

But there's a long way from ambition to actuality, as became evident from one roundtable forum, "Culture Climate Control: Can We Affect the Moral Tenor of the World Around Us?" There activists debated a strategy of seeing their goal realized.

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The first step, proposed Michael Landau, the chairman of West Side COJO, is to draw attention to the distinction between observant Jews and their more-secular co-religionists.

"It is important to make sure the American majority knows we are part of that majority. That Orthodox Jews are not like the rest of the Jews and we are very much inline with the moral majority of America," he said. "We must begin to redefine ourselves internally within the Jewish community and make sure our voice is better heard."

One model proposed was to emulate evangelicals. "We can be perceived, if we really make clear the things we profess to believe, as a faith community, not unlike that of the Christian faith community," argued Michael Fragin, an executive assistant to New York Gov. George Pataki. "We are here as the oldest faith community in the entire world, the oldest monotheistic religion in the world. We are the religion that gave birth to all others and gave birth to society. And somehow we are outside that debate." By "we" he meant Orthodox Jews.

On a personal level, Fragin said he feels "ashamed" when confronted by Christian co-workers wondering why the Jews are "always on the other side."

You could hear the hurt in his voice.

"[Secular] Jews time and time again have shown that they are interested in removing any vestiges of G-d and faith in many cases from the public debate and society," he said.

Religious Jews, he asserted, must step forward and change that. Doing so will show their true essence.

Agudath Israel has, of course, long made coalitions with other religions over secular and sociological issues. But they've always remained non-partisan. Rabbi Avi Shafran, one of the group's leaders, said it would not be prudent for Orthodox Jews to be "constrained by consistency." There are times, he said, "when we should and must argue there should be a separation of church and state and there are times when we shouldn't. .. That may not always be a pretty thing to hear and say, but it's a reality. In the end what must concern us is the welfare of our children and what the Torah demands of us. It's as simple as that, though it's not a simple equation."

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Binyamin L. Jolkovsky is Editor in Chief of JewishWorldReview.com and a contributing columnist to The New York Sun, a paper that every pro-Israel, pro-democracy New Yorker should be buying. Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, Binyamin L. Jolkovsky