Jeri Zeder


How We Remember

By Jeri Zeder

How We Remember
For the longest time, Hasia R. Diner, a professor of American Jewish history at New York University, was troubled by the unexamined but widely held belief that in the aftermath of the Holocaust, American Jews did little, if anything, to memorialize the 6 million Jews murdered in Europe.Read More


Chagall’s Political Art

By Jeri Zeder

Chagall’s Political Art
Suspended in white space, a goat romps and a rooster struts across a modest book cover. Beneath them, running right to left, is the Yiddish word “mayselekh” — less a title than a simple description of what’s inside: two little stories for children. The book, which is more like a pamphlet, is small enough to slip into a greeting card envelope. Inside are 15 pages of rhyming Yiddish verse, plus eight black-and-white drawings. The book was printed in Petrograd, published in Vilnius (commonly known to Jews as Vilna) in 1917 and written by Der Nister, pen name of the avant-garde Yiddish writer Pinkhes Kahanovich (1884–1950). The illustrator is Marc Chagall.Read More


The Art of Dreidels

By Jeri Zeder

The Art of Dreidels
Someone less skilled with an X-ACTO knife might find Melanie Dankowicz’s drawings to be positively diabolical. But her husband, Harry, relishes the challenge. Steadily, he traces her tight curlicues and webby threads with a blade, bringing her vision to life. He lifts the paper to reveal a ketubah — worthy border, rich in detail and symbolism. It’s like filigree, but of paper. Melanie has yet to draw a design he can’t handle.Read More


A Good Education: Foundation Celebrates 18 Years

By Jeri Zeder

A Good Education: Foundation Celebrates 18 Years
With 18 years and counting of support for innovative initiatives in Jewish education, the Covenant Foundation marked its chai anniversary last month with a three-day celebration in New York City. The festivities included a gala evening, dispersal of awards and — true to Covenant Foundation form — opportunities for serious discussion among some of North America’s most creative Jewish educators. Attending were 40 of the organization’s 54 surviving Covenant Award winners and more than a dozen emerging leaders in Jewish education.Read More


Language Educators Rethink Their Hebrew Lessons

By Jeri Zeder

Language Educators Rethink Their Hebrew Lessons
Rachel Jackson doesn’t remember learning Hebrew at the Jewish Community Day School, where she spent kindergarten through eighth grade, but something must have stuck: She’s now among the top Hebrew-language students at her Jewish high school.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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