Author: Nathan Diament

No Gaps in the Gap Year

By the time you are reading this, my wife and I, like thousands of other parents, will have just said goodbye to our recent high school graduate, watching him clear security at JFK Airport with nary a look back.

Big-Tent Orthodoxy

It is a sad but well-known statistic that the largest and fastest-growing bloc of American Jewry is the unaffiliated. Depending on where in the United States you live, anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the Jews in your city ages forty and under have no affiliation whatsoever to Judaism—they don’t belong to a synagogue […]

True Leadership

Leadership has always been a buzzword among the self-help gurus. Books, seminars and training sessions abound, aimed at helping people hone their leadership skills and effectively learn how to take control of their professional and personal lives. And while it is always helpful to learn from the CEOs, psychologists and motivational speakers who have dominated […]

Suffering with Dignity

In the book Out of the Whirlwind, the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l, teaches that Judaism’s approach to suffering rests on three pillars. The first is acknowledging that evil and suffering exist and they are bad. We cannot whitewash, disguise or ignore pain, hurt or loss, nor should we attempt to justify or deny […]

The Chosen People

I had the unique experience of growing up on a cattle farm about fifty miles outside of Buffalo. When my family members escaped to America from Germany, they went into the same profession they had before Hitler. That profession, known as “viehandler” or cattle dealers, required living in a rural, agricultural area which, unfortunately, meant […]

Connecting in the Age of Connectivity

A recent article in the New Yorker discussed the different schools of thought regarding technology available to us today. The “Never-Better” camp believes that with the rise of the Internet, we are on the brink of a new, better, more democratic world, connecting people in ways that will lead to greater freedom. Social networking and […]

Confusing the Victim with the Perpetrator

Tiny little Israel. Such a small and inconsequential piece of land should logically be ignored and forgotten. She is content to be the small Jewish homeland that welcomes and absorbs people of all faiths. She does not seek the world’s attention; she seeks the world’s persecuted and broken and offers assistance and refuge. She does […]

Are You an Avraham or a Noach?

Noach was a tzaddik. Tamim hayah—he was complete, perfect. His family alone merited to survive the Great Flood that destroyed his generation. Life as we know it was reborn and recreated through Noach, the great patriarch of humanity. But Noach’s legacy is not that of a patriarch. That title belongs to Avraham, his son Yitzchak […]

It’s MY Responsibility

              The tuition crisis is one of the most significant issues challenging our community today. School administrators and board members know the staggering costs of providing a quality education. The parent body, frequently both mom and dad, work long hours. And even if they make upwards of $200,000 a […]

In Memoriam: Leiby Kletzky, a”h

Though many weeks have passed since the tragic murder of Leiby Kletzky, a”h, the pain of his loss still haunts us. The Jewish people are still reeling with shock and grief, and try as we may to understand why such a young, innocent boy was brutally taken from us, our response is the same that […]

The Primacy of the Jewish Family

              One of the major themes of this year’s Orthodox Union (OU) convention was the primacy of mesorah. Learning from some of the leading scholars and thinkers of our generation about our unique heritage, which has held us together as a people over the centuries, was enlightening and inspiring. […]

Tefillah: A Unique Method of Communicating with God

We pray three times each day, but how often do we think about what prayer is or how it works? The exercise of prayer is fundamental in Judaism—it is, according to Chazal, “worship of the heart” and one of the pillars upon which the world rests. The Jewish concept of prayer is also extremely different […]

From the Desk of RABBI STEVEN WEIL, Executive Vice President

Have you ever wondered why Avraham was the first patriarch of the Jewish people? Probably not; the reason is so obvious. We have grown up hearing the stories of the young boy Avram, who questioned the irrational idolatry of his time. We have followed him on his journey of discovery; how he investigated nature, science, […]

From the Desk of RABBI STEVEN WEIL, Executive Vice President

While many kashrut organizations do a good job of upholding kashrut standards, we believe there is one factor that makes us unique in the kosher world: the fact that Klal Yisrael benefits from the funds generated by OU certification. The OU is a non-profit organization; as such, all the income earned from companies that pay […]

From the Desk of Rabbi Steven Weil, Executive Vice President

              “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” In my family, this is not the opening line to a joke. It is one of the strictest rules we have. I take it very seriously because I was the one who failed in this matter. One evening, a young man came to our […]