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Articles written by Jim Shipley

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Unleashing the "Hounds of Hell"

When Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, the Jewish reaction was pretty well muted. We did not know a whole lot about the guy. Seemed pretty decent, had always been friendly to the Jewish Community. We should have looked under th...


Shesh Shesh Tesha

In 1968 Rachel and I made our very first trip to Israel. I have told the story of that trip and what it meant to us. On the flight back to the United States, we confirmed the promise we had made to Adi Ben Orr, our guide in Israel: That we would send...


Does it matter anymore?

“The Jewish Vote.” What ever happened to the “Jewish Vote”? While we never meant more than one or maybe one and a half percent of the total turnout, there was always press, commentary, speculation, even some wringing of hands about the...



Haimish is a Yiddish word meaning …? To Google it means “Homey” — that is a far cry from Yiddish. To me it means my grandmother’s wooden bowl and “chopper.” When I was in high school my grandmother lived with my Aunt Rosie just a short...


The 'Conversation'

So, I was in the gym at my Sports Club one day, getting dressed next to my locker mate, nice guy named Jay. Jay is head of technology at a large hospital chain in our town. I know he’s got two boys just entering middle teens. I know this because...


Where are the Jews this time?

Let’s go back in time. The 1960s. Hippies. The March on Washington. George Wallace. Viet Nam. The Edmond Pettis Bridge. Remember? Well, I guess that those of us of a “certain age” do. We remember the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. We...

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    August 7, 2020

You, Me and God

Let me put the disclaimer out first: I am no biblical scholar — I am no expert on ancient Jewish history. So, this column is really in the form of a few questions about belief and my own life. I have stated before that I was raised in a totally...

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    June 26, 2020

Y'all Come, Ya heah?

Well, hello there! I suppose you’re wondering why I’m writing after all this time. Let’s do a Cliff Notes: Got sick in February of 2019. Three weeks in the hospital after a misdiagnosis. Lost 16 pounds. Recuperated at home. Rachel and I could...


Seventy years a Jew

I cannot count my first 17 years as a Jew. My father inherited a hatred of Orthodoxy from his father, a dedicated Socialist. Therefore, I would not be bar mitzvahed until my 40s—but that’s another story. My Zionism and Judaism rose together in... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    May 24, 2019

The final curtain

“A Near Death Experience.” Ever had one? There actually is such a thing. Been there—done that. Well, I did—and it ain’t a picnic. About two months ago I developed a cough that would not go away. We complacently kept the same primary... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    March 29, 2019

What's a Jew to do?

Since the first large wave of Jews arrived in the U.S., we have fought for human rights. It is in our own self-interest to do so. We believe in taking care of our fellow man, in equal rights, equal opportunity, etc. You know, the stuff that allowed... Full story


Yes, we are different

We watched a Netflix program the other night titled “Mossad.” It consisted of interviews with mostly former Mossad agents and executives. At one point the interviewer asked “Why is the Mossad pictured in so many nations as a bunch of... Full story


Answering #ifnotnow

Civility. It was something basic to our society. We were taught at home to be respectful of other people, specifically those older than ourselves. We were taught to listen to other peoples’ opinions, not interrupt and then offer our own take on... Full story


Is there no place for me?

Religion does play a part in politics. When John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic elected president in 1960, the rumble was that the Catholic vote was united —there was an underlying fear that “The pope would now rule American politics.... Full story


Call it what it is

I was born into what was known as the “Sha, Still” generation. Jews, who had been in the U.S. since long before the Declaration of Independence, still did not want to call attention to themselves in the 1930s. The fear of a backlash and stronger... Full story


Anti-Semitism as a political issue

There was a time when “real” anti-Semitism was alive and doing well in the United States. I have written before that had we moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, two years earlier than we did, we could not have bought a house there. It was not until... Full story


Can we talk?

Dialogue and argument among Jews are as old as our people. When God told Moses to “get out of town” not every Jew in Egypt agreed. “Too dangerous!” “Moses is meshugana.” Luckily for us all, the “ayes” won and the Jews became a... Full story


Nation-state law: Good for the Jews?

It’s an old story and has resonance probably only for people of a certain age whose life made it almost necessary to look at everything through the “I am a Jew” lens. Back in 1969, When I told my 93-year-old immigrant grandmother “Bubby! We... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    July 27, 2018

Where Jews are losing

Jews used to be used to losing. The poor shlep. The cringing schlemiel. The Hebrew prayers that call for God’s help; God’s blessing. While Jabotinsky was exhorting the Jews of Eastern Europe to either leave for what was then Palestine or arm... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    June 29, 2018

No such thing

In my last column I tried to reduce some 5,000 years of our history to less than a thousand words. I apologize for the gaps. So, now let us turn to the “Palestinians.” If you search history you will find that the land that is today Israel did... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    May 25, 2018

A definition of insanity

It’s an old expression: A definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way time after time and expecting different results. It’s been said many times about the Arabs in Israel time after time. And of course, not much ever changes.... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    April 27, 2018

Fading memories

Truthfully? I don’t remember when I first heard the word “Holocaust.” In the 1940s I went to Bala Cynwyd Junior High and then Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, where out of 1500 students, less than 20 were Jews. In my senior... Full story

 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    March 30, 2018

We are all tribal

Our Torah tells us of a man named Abram who probably lived in what is now Iran. He was head of a small “Clan”—also identified as a “Tribe.” The Tribe consisted of a group of loosely connected family members: sons, daughters (of which Abram... Full story


Therefor, choose life

Here are some late night thoughts as I approach my 89th year. God knows (he or she, assuming of course...) that I am not a theologian, or for that matter—in the eyes of many who are—a religious person. A Jew? Oh yes—first and foremost and for... Full story


If I forsake you

My dad was not a big believer in religion. I found some of the reason when I studied the life of my grandfather, Abraham Shiplacoff. Abe was a devout Socialist of the “Old School.” And, while he believed passionately in his Judaism—he was... Full story


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