William Kolbrener


Can Barack Obama Turn Israel Into a Blue State — With Benjamin Netanyahu's Help?

By William Kolbrener

Can Barack Obama Turn Israel Into a Blue State — With Benjamin Netanyahu's Help?
President Obama spoke directly to the people of Israel about peace. Can his message of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ work in Israel — and could Benjamin Netanyahu be a surprise ally?Read More


Poetry Can Wait, the Siren Is Blaring

By William Kolbrener

Poetry Can Wait, the Siren Is Blaring
A liberal Israeli professor’s poetry class is interrupted by rockets. And he realizes that the fight against Hamas is his as much as anyone else’s.Read More


Father's Lament for Son Who Should've Served

By William Kolbrener

Father's Lament for Son Who Should've Served
As Israel considers expanding its draft to include the ultra-Orthodox, most are resisting. But one father sees benefits in sending his son off to join the army.Read More


The Courage to Embrace Imperfection

By William Kolbrener

The Courage to Embrace Imperfection
William Kolbrenner admits he might not have chosen to have a child with Down syndrome, which a new test can detect much earlier. But he loves his son none the less for it.Read More


When Women Can't Even Say Thank You

By William Kolbrener

When Women Can't Even Say Thank You
In some Jerusalem neighborhoods, if you offer to help a woman with her groceries, she won’t even say thank you. She’s not rude, just afraid of running afoul of modesty rules.Read More






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    • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
    • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
    • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
    • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
    • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
    • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
    • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
    • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
    • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
    • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
    • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
    • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
    • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
    • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
    • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
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