I believe that prolonged solitary confinement is a violation both of the Eighth Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, and a violation of religious ethics, which maintain that every human being is made in the image of God and thus entitled to be treated with dignity.
Next week at this time, I’ll be stepping into the mikveh, the Jewish ritual bath. It’s been a yearlong journey that will lead me to that holy space, one I’ll enter as a former Catholic/not-quite-Jew and exit as a Jewish woman – no longer an outsider.
Jewish activism in the 1960s civil rights movement gained momentum when four Reform rabbis participated in the first Interfaith Freedom Ride on a Greyhound bus traveling from Washington, DC, through South Carolina, to Tallahassee from June 13-16, 1961. Freedom rides tested interstate public transportation hubs for racial segregation. The rabbis, Israel Dresner, Martin Freedman, Allan Levine, and my father Walter H. Plaut, were joined by eight white Protestant ministers, including prominent theologian Robert McAfee Brown, and six AME black ministers and NAACP activists.
From his Ziggy Stardust alter ego to his latest album — a jazzy, avant-garde rock release called “Blackstar” released just two days before his death — Bowie racked up some interesting Jewish connections.
The publication of Dan Ephron’s Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel is timely, coinciding with both the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s assassina
A new exhibit helps Lithuanians explore questions of vital importance: What do we expect of ordinary people in extraordinary times? What would I have done? And what will I do? As they ponder these questions, Lithuania’s young people will have the opportunity to become a new generation of rescuers – rescuers of their nation’s memory, rescuers of moral conscience.