Scott Jacobson


Holy Tweet: Oh, the Possibilities!

By Scott Jacobson

For centuries, visitors to the Old City of Jerusalem have made their way to the Western Wall to offer up their prayers. Recently, performing this sacred Jewish rite has become as easy as downloading an iPhone application, now that the Western Wall has its very own page on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Started by 25-year-old Alon Nil, the service allows users to submit prayers publicly or privately, which a team in Israel prints and puts in crevices in the Wall.Read More


Wonka Factory Receives Hekhsher

By Scott Jacobson

Following is the required report filed by the Unorthodox Union inspection team and intercepted by the Backward. It describes the full process they undertook to determine whether a particular sweets-producing entity complies with the highest-level standards for kosher certification.Read More


Dear Diary: ‘Exclusive’ Notes from Kafka

By Scott Jacobson

Dear Diary: ‘Exclusive’ Notes from Kafka
After four decades, a 74-year-old woman in Tel Aviv who is the guardian of a treasure trove of documents that once belonged to literary icon Franz Kafka may soon reveal the records. To tide over Kafka scholars, the Forward offers these exclusive excerpts from the journal of the man who wrote “The Metamorphosis.Read More


If This Wall Could Talk

By Scott Jacobson

If This Wall Could Talk
Last week, the Israeli daily newspaper Ma’ariv printed the text of a prayer note left by Barack Obama at the Western Wall. After much internal debate, the Forward has decided to publish the following. These statements were obtained in a journalistically ethical fashion: We coughed loudly and crammed them into our pockets while we pretended to pray.Read More






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    • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
    • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
    • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
    • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
    • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
    • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
    • 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.
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