Ethan Pack


Jewish Photos Laced With Gold

By Ethan Pack

Jewish Photos Laced With Gold
In the world of Jewish museums and art collections, there is no more iconic landscape than Jerusalem. But how many ways can one see the Dome of the Rock, the Old City gates or the shuk at Mahane Yehuda before they become static tropes? With such a heavily charged backdrop, photography of Jerusalem often devolves into bland suggestions about what people struggle with and share in the sacred city.Read More


Art, Altruism and Social Action in 'The Pieces of Me'

By Ethan Pack

Art, Altruism and Social Action in 'The Pieces of Me'
“The Pieces of Me: L.A. GOAL,” a new exhibit at Los Angeles’s Skirball Cultural Center, inverts the challenge of most contemporary art shows.Read More


Of Settlements, Boycotts and Political Theater

By Ethan Pack

Of Settlements, Boycotts and Political Theater
Watching an actor burst into tears during a monologue, Hamlet marvels at how the performer inhabits the scene so deeply — if only he could evoke such dramatic feelings in real life, Hamlet reasons, he might save his kingdom. Thus inspired, Shakespeare’s hero rewrites the script of a play that dramatizes what’s wrong with his country, and presents it at the royal theater. Hamlet believes he can use the stage to shake-up the state; Israel’s actors seem to have taken the cue.Read More


In the Tel Aviv Bus Station, Underground Economy Flourishes, Legal and Not

By Ethan Pack

In the Tel Aviv Bus Station, Underground Economy Flourishes, Legal and Not
The restaurant and dance club Selam has all the hallmarks of an inspiring Israeli success story. Selam is owned and operated by Yaacov, an Eritrean refugee who trekked across the Sinai desert and risked his life to reach the Jewish state. Now in the country three years, Yaacov — who would give only his first name because of his unclear legal status — prefers to speak English, but emphasizes his hope to stay in Israel “Be-ezrat Hashem,” with God’s help.Read More


Songs of Love And Hate

By Ethan Pack

Songs of Love And Hate
Largely unknown abroad, Amir Benayoun is one of the most talented musicians in Israel. Composing and performing a complex blend of traditional North African, classical Western and Israeli rock music, the 35-year-old Benayoun has earned the acclaim of critics and the adoration of fans across musical and social divides. His voice, at once powerful and undulating, rapturous and guttural, refines an aesthetic elegance out of the popular Mizrahi genre.Read More






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  • 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?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
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