Arts & Culture


A Call to Liberals To Take Back the Light

By Jo-Ann Mort

‘The separation of Church and State does not mean the segregation of religion from the public discourse,” Evangelical Christian Minister Jim Wallis said in a recent interview with the Forward. Wallis –– who lives in Washington, D.C., with his sons and wife, the Rev. Joy Carroll (the first woman to be ordained in the Church ofRead More


The Transformative Tale of ‘GI Jews’

By Robert Rosenberg

GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation By Deborah Dash Moore Harvard University Press, 368 pages, $25.95. * * *Contemporary Jewish thought has been shaped by the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel and the transformation of the American Jewish community from a distant, peripheral outpost into the hub of the Jewish world.Read More


Torah Couture

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Walking around the classroom, Rabbi Katz returns the weekly homework assignments, stops at Shira’s desk. “Shira, you know our assignments are to summarize each Torah portion, but you copied every single word.”“Details are important,” she says, looking at her returned homework. “A ‘C’? You’re giving me a ‘C’?”RabbiRead More


The Cold War’s Strangest Bedfellows How Romania Sold Its Jews to Israel, and What It Got in Return

By Gal Beckerman

The Ransom of the Jews: The Story of The Extraordinary Secret Bargain Between Romania and Israel By Radu Ioanid Ivan R. Dee, 254 pages, $26. * * *Surely the Cold War never produced stranger bedfellows than Shaike Dan and General Ghe- orghe Marcu. Dan, a Jew from Bessarabia, parachuted into Romania at the close of World War II toRead More


Papa Was a Rolling Stone How One Young Woman Pieced Together Her Father’s Story

By Paul Zakrzewski

Assembling My Father By Anna Cypra Oliver Houghton Mifflin, 368 pages, $25. * * *The old chestnut about 1960s hedonism ran that if you remembered the decade, you weren’t really there. If the joke once reflected a popular perception of the times, it also missed a much more unpleasant truth. Released from social conventions, unmoored fromRead More


For Women, Middle Ages Might Have Been Golden

By Miriam Shaviv

Eight hundred years ago, thousands of Jewish Egyptian women refused to immerse in the ritual bath. Only Maimonides’s threat that they would lose their Ketubah money quelled the orchestrated rebellion, years after it began. A century later in Ashkenaz (Christian Europe), rabbis were astonished by the large number of Jewish women who refusedRead More


An Israeli Photographer Finds Holiness at the Rave

By John Valentino

In a whirl of light and color, Tomer Ganihar believes he has photographed holiness. And for this Israeli photographer, it lives at the rave.“In the clubs, holiness is everywhere.” Ganihar said. “It’s like a temple. The clubs are the new synagogues, and the DJs are the rabbis.”Using long exposures and only a simpleRead More


Dwelling Among Them

After the action-packed stories of the first one-and-a-half books of the Torah — all of Genesis and the first part of Exodus — the main narrative abruptly changes course in the middle of the book of Exodus. Stories such as the creation of the world, the flood, the lives of the patriarchs, the slavery in Egypt, the plagues, the Exodus and theRead More


Plaut Redux: Reforming the Reform Commentary

By Eric J. Greenberg

Since its release nearly a quarter-century ago, the Reform movement’s first biblical commentary has sold 250,000 copies and helped fuel a revolution in Torah study. But, as more and more congregations in recent years began placing a greater emphasis on Hebrew and Torah reading during Sabbath services, the tome essentially fell out of step withRead More


From The Angel of Forgetfulness by Steve Stern

Last summer, the Forward dipped its toes into the world of fiction by co-sponsoring a monthly literary series in New York called “Novel Jews.” The series has become an enormous success, with one drawback: It is not available to the majority of our readers, who live outside New York. In an effort to include them, this month we initiate theRead More





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  • 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?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
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