Michael Levitin


Jonathan Safran Foer To Release English Version of Haggadah

By Michael Levitin

Jonathan Safran Foer will be releasing a new English version of the Passover Haggadah, the best-selling novelist recently confirmed, speaking to a packed German audience at the American Academy in Berlin’s lakeside villa on the outskirts of the capital.Read More


Antisemitic Incidents Raise Fears in Germany

By Michael Levitin

A recent soccer match in the German capital turned into an orgy of rioting and antisemitism, as a spate of anti-Jewish incidents is fueling fears that neo-Nazis are gaining a strong foothold in German politics and society.Read More


Antisemitic Incidents Spark Fears of Neo-Nazi Surge in Germany

By Michael Levitin

After a spate of antisemitic episodes in the last two months, fears that neo-Nazis are gaining a strong foothold in German politics and society seemed confirmed with the release of an October 16 report showing that between January and August, right-wing extremists committed about 8,000 offenses — a 20% jump from last year and 50% from 2004.Read More


Sephardic Culture Enjoys a Renaissance — in Spain

By Michael Levitin

Forty-seven years ago, when Moroccan farming engineer Jacobo Israel Garzón immigrated north to Spain for work, he found a country fiercely opposed to discussion — at least a discussion with anything positive to say — about its Jewish past.Read More


German Crackdown on Neo-Nazis Does Little To Stall the Movement

By Michael Levitin

BERLIN — In part of a nationwide crackdown on the growing neo-Nazi movement, Germany’s highest administrative court handed down a first-ever ruling this week classifying a neo-Nazi rock group as a criminal organization because its lyrics spread racial hatred. The decision came on the heels of a national controversy stirred up here last week,Read More






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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • 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
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