Ken Gordon


This Oped Will Not Tell You How Great We Are

By Ken Gordon

This Oped Will Not Tell You How Great We Are
The public communication of most Jewish organizations is all about naked self-promotion, writes Ken Gordon. But what if those organizations changed from being boosters to educators?Read More


Turning to Day Schools When Synagogues Just Won't Do

By Ken Gordon

Turning to Day Schools When Synagogues Just Won't Do
Day schools are consistently successful in providing Jewish continuity, writes Ken Gordon. So why don’t we open their learning to the larger community?Read More


Moody Thoughts About Bob Dylan and Cher

By Ken Gordon

Moody Thoughts About Bob Dylan and Cher
What do Bob Dylan, Cher, and Rick Moody have in common? Stop thinking, “Well, Dylan and Cher both did projects with the word “burlesque” in them…” Here’s the answer:Read More


Mr. Cahan’s Neighborhood

By Ken Gordon

 Mr. Cahan’s Neighborhood
Republished together by Dover in 1970, Cahan’s 1896 novella “Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto” and his 1898 collection, “The Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto,” are not “Dubliners.”Read More


The Prophetic Delmore Schwartz

By Ken Gordon

The Prophetic Delmore Schwartz
This isn’t just the opening paragraph of a classic American short story — the lead-off piece in the collection titled “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” — it’s an astounding instance of cultural prophecy. Poet Delmore Schwartz intuited our need for home movies to become public. If you’ve ever posted or commented on a home video on Facebook or YouTube, you know how that desire has been realized. Schwartz also shows how viewer response and the main attraction simultaneously vie for attention. From “Mystery Science Theater 3000” to “Beavis and Butt-head” and DVDs with directors’ commentaries, the legacy of “In Dreams” continues.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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