Jerome E. Copulsky


The Kindness of Strangers

By Jerome E. Copulsky

The Kindness of Strangers
Ever since Darwin first published “On the Origin of Species,” scientists have struggled to figure out the evolutionary origins of altruism. How can the theory of “survival of the fittest” be reconciled with the incontrovertible phenomena of cooperation and self-sacrifice? Are what appear to be acts of generosity in truth acts of individual self-interest? Can there be a goodness that is, so to speak, “pure”?Read More


How Moses Built America

By Jerome E. Copulsky

How Moses Built America
Fans of Dan Brown’s latest novel, “The Lost Symbol,” may well profit by perusing Bruce Feiler’s new book, which argues that the true secret of American history is not Masonic, but Mosaic. “Moses helped shape the American dream,” Feiler writes toward the end of “America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story.” “He is our true founding father. His face belongs on Mount Rushmore.” Feiler’s book reads like a brief for such an addition to the famous monument.Read More






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    • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
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    • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
    • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
    • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
    • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
    • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
    • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
    • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
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    • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
    • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
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    • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
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