Steven J. Zipperstein


Benjamin Netanyahu's Favorite Poet — and Ours

By Steven J. Zipperstein

Benjamin Netanyahu's Favorite Poet — and Ours
Benjamin Netanyahu often quotes the words of Bialik, Israel’s national poet, during times of crisis. But Steven J. Zipperstein thinks the premier is cherry-picking the poet’s work.Read More


Warts and All, Protests Was Israel at its Best

By Steven J. Zipperstein

Warts and All, Protests Was Israel at its Best
The political agenda of Israel’s tent city protest was hazy, and its economic demands unrealistic. But its impulses are the finest we’ve seen in a long, long time.Read More


Scars Without End

By Steven J. Zipperstein

In “Nemesis,” much like elsewhere in that astonishing canvas that is Philip Roth’s work, community is something that no credible human being can live with and whose absence tears, scars without end. It seems not insignificant that the greatest of all living novelists to explore the inescapability of aloneness is born of a people that has so resolutely defined itself — for so long — as the quintessence of togetherness. The interplay between the warmth, the nourishment of community and its suffocating, still worse, its vengeful breath is a neighborhood known no less intimately by Roth than the intersections of Newark, N.J.Read More


Anatomy of a Jewish Literary Prize

By Steven J. Zipperstein

Nearly every year, on that day in April when the Koret Jewish Book Awards were to take place at the wood-paneled, hushed environs of New York’s Harvard Club, I’d awake and ask myself, testily, why I had insisted we return to that same stuffy midtown pile. The location was convenient for publishers, book editors and most journalists, and itRead More


Go, Go and Live!

By Steven J. Zipperstein

Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland Before the Holocaust Edited by Jeffrey Shandler Yale, 437 pages, $35. * * *Recently I visited a new synagogue in the overwhelmingly Orthodox Long Island suburb of Woodmere. In its entrance hall is a wall mural depicting East European Jewish life on the verge of NaziRead More






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    • 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
    • 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?
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