Since at least the 1990s, one of the chief concerns of the American Jewish community has been the problem of intermarriage. With the perception that an increasing number of American Jews are marrying outside the faith, the problem of how to stop the attrition has been a major preoccupation. But a fairly simple strategy has also dominated the discourse over how to meet this challenge: Be more welcoming.
The July 6 meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not only about putting the rocky relations of the recent past behind; it is also about looking toward how to navigate the potential potholes that lie just ahead for the two leaders.
Politically conservative Jewish activists have embraced a former Hamas member who turned on his group, his religion and his family to become an informant of the Israeli security services. But when Mosab Hassan Yousef declared war on Islam at a recent dinner the activists held to recognize him, the activists quickly distanced themselves from his stand.
Silwan — known in biblical times as Shiloach — is a sprawling neighborhood a five-minute walk from the Western Wall at the southern entrance to the Kidron Valley. Today it is home to 55,000 Palestinians and 450 Jews who are concentrated in the section of the neighborhood closest to the Old City, Wadi Hilwah. Clashes between the two populations are common, but perhaps even more bitter than the physical violence is the narrative war taking place between them.
For many Jews, the city of Kielce is remembered as the brutal end of the centuries long encounter between Poles and Jews. It was here, on July 4 1946 that local Poles set upon a group of Holocaust refugees trying to rebuild their shattered lives, killing not just these victims but also any hope that staying in Poland was feasible for Jews after World War II.
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