The US Health Care System: What Does the Future Hold?

The US Health Care System: What Does the Future Hold?

Feb 14, 2017 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 took a giant step toward universal health insurance coverage in the United States. Although it has been quite successful in accomplishing that goal, it has remained highly controversial. The new Administration is intent on repealing the law and replacing it with an alternative model.  

Why is health care reform so challenging? Why does “Obamacare” look as it does? Could alternative plans under consideration achieve the same gains? And what are the political prospects of those alternatives? Prominent health policy expert Dr. Sherry Glied describes the past, present, and possible future of health reform efforts in the US.

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Taking Care of Ourselves and the Stranger

Taking Care of Ourselves and the Stranger

Feb 24, 2017 By David Rosenn | Commentary | Mishpatim

This week’s Torah reading contains instructions for taking care of one’s own: “If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, do not act toward them like a creditor; exact no interest from them” (Exod. 22:25).

Deuteronomy is even clearer, stating, “You shall not charge interest on loans to your countrymen, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. But you may charge interest to a foreigner…” (23:20-21).

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Power and Love

Power and Love

Feb 17, 2017 By Rachel Rosenthal | Commentary | Yitro

[P]ower without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

― Martin Luther King Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here?” (1967)

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From Generation to Generation Activism is Alive!

From Generation to Generation Activism is Alive!

Feb 3, 2017 By Jonathan Lipnick | Commentary | Bo | Pesah

My son Noah and I like to take walks together. It affords us time to connect—to talk about food, sports, relationships, and politics, and, once in a while, to explore an existential question.

“If I had never met my grandfather,” Noah once asked me, “is it true to say that I will never really know him?”

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Times of Challenge

Times of Challenge

Jan 13, 2017 By Stephanie Ruskay | Commentary

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

—Martin Luther King, Jr, Strength to Love (1963)

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Being Raised from the Pit

Being Raised from the Pit

Dec 23, 2016 By Simeon Cohen | Commentary | Vayeshev | Hanukkah

Three years ago, Jewish novelist Dara Horn published her fourth novel, A Guide for the Perplexed. Borrowing its title from Maimonides’s quintessential work of Jewish philosophy, the book follows two sisters, Josephine and Judith, as they struggle with issues of faith, reason, memory, and sibling rivalry. Josephine and Judith serve as stand-ins for Joseph and Judah; in a sense, the novel functions as an extended midrash on a key biblical incident which can be found in this week’s parashah, Vayeshev: the casting of Joseph into the pit at the hands of his brothers. Ultimately, Horn’s Josephine and the biblical Joseph arrive at the same conclusion: through suffering, which both characters experience in their respective tales, one can ultimately come to achieve greatness.

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Whose Words?

Whose Words?

Dec 23, 2016 By Jeremy Tabick | Commentary | Vayeshev

[W]e push through the crowd, heading somewhere. Bodies clear frame and we see the HOMELESS MAN sitting on a park bench. His sign reads: “THEE END”. The Homeless Man smiles into camera. We continue forward and in a slow, mysterious, subtle fashion his face slowly transforms into the very pleased, FACE OF GOD, who winks and we CUT TO BLACK.

—Script for Bruce Almighty by Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe, Steve Oedekerk

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Face to Face

Face to Face

Oct 21, 2016 By Stephanie Ruskay | Commentary | Sukkot

We’ve lost touch with how to speak with one another. How else can we understand our current political reality?

Seemingly overnight, our national conversation has sunk into a morass of racism, classism, Islamophobia, and misogyny. And yet it didn’t happen overnight. We created—and allowed to be created—a system that encourages each of us to demonize anyone from a different background and with a different perspective. We got used to interacting only with people who agree with us.

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