Allison T. Hoffman


The Journalist as Memoirist: A Modern Tale

By Allison T. Hoffman

For journalists trained to bear dispassionate witness to history as other people make it, the terrain of memoir is a treacherous one: Memory, they fear, can be a quicksand of hazy reminiscence and wishful thinking into which objective facts disappear, never to be recovered. Reporters traffic in verifiable truth, and instinctively recoil from theRead More


Young Activists Join Economic Lions at Davos Parley

By Allison T. Hoffman

Greenspan, Friedman, Fischer, Reich, Rubin, Stiglitz, Summers, Wolfensohn: For years, the single-name figures of the economic world have been men, many of them Jewish, almost all of them weighing in on issues of globalization and economic development from university chairs, institutional headquarters or government departments.But facedRead More


The Women We Know

By Allison T. Hoffman

They are the women we all know: A Florida bubbe battling with her headstrong granddaughter. A good Jewish girl looking for a nice Jewish husband. Three artists — a painter, a singer and a filmmaker — all questioning the assumptions of their faith. An old woman, a Russian immigrant, rediscovering her youth; another, alone in a nursing home,Read More


Cincinnati Community Helps Paint Ohio Red

By Allison T. Hoffman

CINCINNATI — On Tuesday, none of the 80 rabbinical students at Hebrew Union College offered to lead morning services. Instead of starting their day at the school’s sanctuary, where one of the stained glass windows depicts the Ten Commandments over the American flag, most found themselves at campaign hot spots.By the time the polls openedRead More


AAbuzz With Bugs

By Allison T. Hoffman

Swat, squash, slap, smash, smack: Faced with the high whine of flying invaders, teeming masses of tiny creatures or the sickly sheen of hard brown insect shells, we’ll happily whack them, fumigate them, chemical-bomb them, even flash-freeze them. Never mind that we may share a common protean ancestor with the creepy-crawlies, or thatRead More






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    • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
    • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
    • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
    • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
    • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
    • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
    • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
    • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
    • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
    • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
    • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
    • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
    • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
    • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
    • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
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