Draft Culture: Gabi Ashkenazi, center, the IDF chief of staff, warned against the disintegration of the military draft culture.

Abuse of IDF Exemptions Questioned

A growing gap between the size of the Orthodox Jewish population in Israel and the number of women who are receiving exemption from military service on religious grounds has prompted a move in the Knesset to clamp down on those who may be lying about their beliefs to avoid army service.

Getting Through the Holidays...With Prozac

Holidays have you down? Can’t escape the tinsel, carols and mall mobs? Well, neither can Steve Wasserman, which is why he created a Jewish Revisionist Advent calendar commissioned by the snarky Web site Jewdas.org, to count down the days until the end of Christmas.

On the Record: Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby’s Jewish ‘Education’

Writer Nick Hornby recently spoke with the Forward’s Gabrielle Birkner about the cast of complicated characters in “An Education,” and responded to those critics who have charged that the film, for which he wrote the screenplay, plays on antisemitic stereotypes.

Dispelling 4%: Survey Finds Plurality of Israelis Views Obama Favorably

An August 2009 survey that found only 4% of Israelis believe President Barack Obama supports Israel has been haunting the White House and supporters of the president. The 4% figure became a symbol of Obama’s inability to communicate with the Israeli people and fostered the notion that the U.S. president is biased toward the Arab side. But a poll published December 10 seeks to dispel this notion by presenting new numbers regarding Israeli views on President Obama.

A Senator at Odds With His Constituents — And, Some Say, His Faith

On a recent Saturday afternoon, after completing his Sabbath morning prayers, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut braved a four-mile, snowy walk to the Capitol building from his Georgetown synagogue.