Arts & Culture


For a Good Cause: Teaching, Giving and Running

By Masha Leon

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and his wife, Nane Annan, managed a brief appearance at the September 20 VIP reception of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Annual Awards Dinner, honoring Sweden’s prime minister, Göran Persson. Rabbi Arthur Schneier, foundation president, warmly embraced the secretary general: “YouRead More


Egypt Confronts Double-edged Sword of Reform

By Oren Rawls

CAIRO — In a spartan office within sight of the Great Pyramids at Giza, the civic education clubs of the Taha Hussein Association are busy working to instill the values of citizenship in today’s Egyptian schoolchildren. With a glossy 48-page booklet already in classrooms, director Kamal Mougheeth and his colleagues are trying to mold modelRead More


U.S. Refraining From Criticism Of Gaza Foray

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — With their countries mounting parallel military offensives against terrorist strongholds in Iraq and Gaza, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a high-powered White House meeting Monday.Moments after the talks, reporters asked Netanyahu if Rice had urged IsraelRead More


Some Holiday: Iraq Troops Lack Rabbis, Safe Passage to Services

By Orly Halpern

Specialist Dan Freedman woke up at 0300 hours — 3 a.m. —September 15. It was dark and he was tired, but he was determined to get from his base at Camp Victory to Saddam Hussein’s former Republican Palace in the capital. He put on his uniform, grabbed his M-16 and went looking for his two Jewish comrades-in-arms to join him on an urgentRead More


Mel Gibson and the Demise Of Enlightened Skepticism

By Bernard Avishai

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was out on video last week, and I still haven’t seen it. I probably never will, and judging by the surge in its worldwide box office receipts, I may prove to be the only such soul on God’s good earth. This is not a boycott. It’s just that as a 10-year-old boy in Montreal — a pupil atRead More


At Christian Rally for Israel, Robertson Pitches ‘Messiah’

By Judy Lash Balint

JERUSALEM — With 4,000 Christian guests from 70 countries set to participate, the city’s annual Sukkot march was billed as the centerpiece of a weeklong show of evangelical support for Israel. But then televangelist and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson opened his mouth and uncorked a can of theological worms guaranteed to makeRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

CLEVELAND — Ohio is often described as an electoral battleground where domestic policies are key. Quite suddenly, though, Israel and the Middle East have become hot topics here in the Buckeye State.Senator John Edwards and Vice President Richard Cheney took time during their debate here Tuesday to spar over Iraq and to cast theirRead More


Roman Holiday

By Nathaniel Popper

Close to 1 million people in American Jewish families live in low-income households, according to a new study that appears to be the most extensive national communal study ever done about economic vulnerability among American Jews.The study released last month, which used data gathered during the 2001 National Jewish Population Study, lookedRead More


Thank You, Shawn Green

By Peter Dreier

My 7-year old daughter Sarah’s soccer team, which I co-coach, plays every Saturday during the fall. At the team’s Tuesday night practice two weeks ago, I told the players that Sarah — who is the only Jew on her team — and I wouldn’t be at the game the following Saturday because we’d be going to synagogue for Yom Kippur servicesRead More


Kafka on the Dance Floor

By Joseph Carman

Paul Lazar and his wife, Annie-B Parson, never questioned whether the spoken text of live theater and the pure kinetics of dance could create a perfect marriage. Lazar, the actor, and Parson, the dancer and choreographer, formed Big Dance Theater in 1991 to mine and to combine the elements of both art forms into a unique formula. TheRead 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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