Tuesday , 30 September 2014
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A Jewish State? Einstein and Opponents in 1944


by Harold Ticktin I recently plucked a yellowed 95-cent paperback from my burgeoning backlog–one called The Jews Among the Nations, published in 1967 by Erich Kahler, a 20th-century European-American literary scholar. It was not the volume itself that proved valuable, but its appendix, a stunning documentation of an event about which I never had the remotest information. The author attached ... Read More »

Sweets & Symbols on Rosh Hashanah

apples & honey

It’s almost time for Rosh Hashanah, the sweetest holiday of the year. In case you need a little easing into the holiday spirit, here’s culinary columnist and author of 1,000 Jewish Recipes Faye Levy to remind us of the significance of the holiday table and share a few of her favorite dishes. Shana Tovah! What is the significance of eating apples ... Read More »

Behind the Scenes at East Ramapo


Last Sunday, listeners of This American Life caught an hourlong episode devoted to the story of a school district in East Ramapo, New York, an area whose residents include a mix of African-Americans, Latinos and ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic Jews–and where 2/3 of the school-age children are Jewish. The religious Jews–whose children generally attend private religious schools (yeshivas)– grew frustrated with the financial burden ... Read More »

A Question Revisited: Are The Old Synagogues of Eastern Europe Worth Saving?

POL Renais Syn facade from angle 2011

by Phyllis Myers I traveled to Poland in October 1989 as Central and Eastern Europe was emerging from a half-century of Nazi occupation and Communist rule. Solidarity had already set Poland firmly in the direction of democracy. Hungary and Czechoslovakia approved revolutionary reforms, with little bloodshed, during or just after my trip. In a timely assignment, the Jewish Heritage Council ... Read More »

Recorder of Misdeeds: Interview With a Holocaust Oral Historian


Moment speaks with Noemi Szekely-Popescu, an oral historian at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum who has collected stories from hundreds of survivors in the U.S. and internationally. Read More »

Remembering Lipman Pike


by Richard Michelson The Answer is Lipman Pike. The category is Jewish baseball stars. Which of these is the correct Jeopardy! question? Which player hit 6 home runs in a single game? Which player has the 2nd highest batter-to league home run percentage? A record that lasted 48 years and was bested only by Babe Ruth? Which player is widely ... Read More »

Book Review: David, The Divided Heart

by Linda Tucker David: The Divided Heart David Wolpe Yale University Press September 16, 2014, 184 pp, $25.00 A man of contradictions is the Biblical David–on the one hand revered as a warrior, poet, musician, king, and forefather of the Messiah, and on the other, scorned as an adulterer, liar, and sinner. What is it about this enigmatic character, already ... Read More »

The Establishment Question: Should the Town of Greece Ruling Worry Religious Minorities?

by Joseph D. Becker On a recent visit to a local post office in Westchester, I was surprised to see, on the counter facing the public, a statuette of a crucifix. I called the supervisor to point out that, under the American rule that separates church and state, it was improper to display a crucifix in a federal facility. “Yes,” ... Read More »

What’s it Like to Run the NYT’s Most-Reviled Bureau? We Asked Ethan Bronner


Think your job is tough? Try running the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times. Read More »

Steve Greenberg: How Orthodox Jews Changed Their Minds On Gay Rights


Same-sex rights proponents suffered an unusual loss this week when a federal judge in Louisiana upheld the state’s ban on gay marriage, bucking a domino-like chain of favorable rulings on the issue. Overall, 21 states have toppled bans since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013–a trend that reflects a remarkable shift in pubic opinion. In general, Jews have ... Read More »