Alison Cies


Muslims and Jews: Fostering Respect, Bridging Cultural Differences

By Alison Cies

Muslims and Jews: Fostering Respect, Bridging Cultural Differences
When a new venture at Columbia University brought together 30 Muslim and Jewish entrepreneurs from the United States, the United Kingdom and France for a cross-cultural dialogue, the focus was on something other than interfaith work. They talked business.Read More


France's Highest Honor Goes to Annie Cohen-Solal

By Alison Cies

The Legion of Honor, an award conceived of back in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, was bestowed on writer and historian Annie Cohen-Solal today at France’s consulate in New York.Read More


Israel-Friendly Group Banned from Trade Union Conference

By Alison Cies

Those living on the other side of the pond were struck with confusion this week when UNISON — Britain and Europe’s largest public sector union, with more than 1.3 million members — prohibited Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) from attending its annual conference in Brighton, which wrapped up Wednesday. TUFI has attended this conference for the past four years without issue.Read More


Conservative Judaism Searches for Identity

By Alison Cies

Conservative Judaism, struggling with decades of declining membership and an abrupt, sweeping change in its senior leadership, heard a call in early June from three prominent rabbis for a rethinking of its mission.Read More


Rabbis Without Borders Inaugural Meeting this Month

By Alison Cies

Rabbis Without Borders, an initiative to make Jewish wisdom accessible to a wider audience by creating a network of interdenominational religious leaders, meets for the first time this month.Read More






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  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
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