Author: Allen I. Fagin

Farewell, Thank You . . . And Welcome

It is not easy being a servant of the klal. Resources are in short supply; frustrations engulf us from every direction. Above all, we know our work is never done and that the needs of our people and our communities are beyond our capacity to ever fully meet.

Random Musings from Corona Quarantine

And yet, amidst these enormous challenges we find the strength to persevere and to harness our faith as well as the resilience to strive and to thrive.

The “Survivors’ Talmud” and the Obligation to Remember

The story of the printing of the Survivors’ Talmud is a remarkable testament to the enduring emunah of the few who survived Churban Europa, and who sought to recreate organized Jewish life, ritual observance and Torah learning in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust. 

The Intolerance of Tolerance

I have never before, in the pages of this magazine, directly addressed the resurgence of blatant anti-Semitism both here in the US and abroad. I’m not certain why. Perhaps because the subject is simply too painful. Perhaps because the search for solutions is so seemingly intractable. Perhaps because the now daily reminders that the scourge […]

Tragedy and Consolation

She told him, with the strength of faith that only a survivor could muster: “Max, you need to stop; we don’t run anymore.”

Pray for our Government—and for the Freedom It Accords Us

Ever since the Jewish nation was dispersed in galut, we have found ourselves under the sovereignty of countless rulers and assorted forms of government, often despotic kings and evil sultans, wicked emperors and vicious dictators. Nevertheless, Yirmiyahu HaNavi and Rabbi Chanina remind us that the success and well-being of the ruler under whose authority we find ourselves can only benefit us, and that we should therefore pray for their welfare.

Data-Driven Decision Making: A Communal Imperative

We are left with two stark choices: We can let history take its brutal course, or we can double—and double again and again—the efforts we make to bring an energized, uplifting, passionate—and informed—Yiddishkeit to hundreds of thousands of our Jewish brethren.

Haaretz’ Misplaced Attack on Birthright . . . And on Orthodoxy

Our goal is to reach those whose link with their Jewish identity and with Israel has been broken or severely diminished—to cultivate and renew feelings of pride and connection, based on tradition, Jewish values and the eternal wisdom of our sages. This goal thrives on unity, not on divisive rhetoric.

Affordable Jewish Education—Our Highest Priority

The education of our children has always been the bedrock of our existence. At the dawn of our birth as a people, God said about the Patriarch Abraham: “I have shown him affection because he instructs his children and his posterity to keep the way of God, to do what is right and just . […]

Aliyah—Fulfilling the Jewish Dream

This past July, I was invited to accompany the Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) summer charter flight, carrying 201 new olim to Israel. It was, without question, one of my most memorable experiences. This group of new olim spanned the demographic, religious and geographic spectrum of American Jewry. The youngest oleh chadash was a month and a […]

Some Personal Reflections on Communal Discourse

The Rabbinic Panel . . . emphasized—indeed, repeatedly celebrated—the enormously important and successful roles that women can and must play within our communal and synagogue structures, including as community educators and scholars.

Bayamim Hahem, Bazman Hazeh: Some Reflections on Modern Miracles

This year you can read this piece, but next year, you need to witness Yarchei Kallah yourself to experience the pulsating enthusiasm, to hear the sounds of Torah being learned by hundreds who have never before experienced its depth and relevance and to sense the transformations unfolding in front of your eyes.

An Open Letter to Michael Steinhardt

Why do we spend millions of dollars each year on programming outside the Orthodox community? The answer can be summarized in one word: areivut.

V’nahafoch Hu…A Journey Through a Region Turned Upside Down

The story of Purim is the story of v’nahafoch hu—literally, of events fundamentally and profoundly reordered. It is a story of carefully made plans turned topsy-turvy by Divine intervention; of plots, and subplots; of hopes unrealized and destiny fulfilled. It is a story of miraculous transformations, accomplished at breathtaking speed. Such is the story of today’s Middle East.

Israel On My Mind

How do we persuade the world to take notice, to care? How do we persuade the world that these heinous acts are not—and can never be equated with—political actions by rivals on the geopolitical stage?