Forward Forum


Finally, a Jewish Population Study Worth Studying

By Bethamie Horowitz

A study recently released by The Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University shows that the Jewish population in America is actually about 20% larger than previously estimated. Whereas the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01 put the figure for the “core Jewish population” at 5.2 million, the new numbers range from 6 million to 6.4 million. Moreover, it appears that not only did the NJPS lowball the population, but it also significantly undercounted both non-Orthodox families and the younger non-Orthodox adult population, thereby considerably distorting our collective self-understanding.Read More


Amir Peretz Turns His Lens Inward

By Leonard Fein

By now, you may well have watched or heard about Amir Peretz’s blooper the other day. It made the front page of Israel’s two mass circulation dailies and has been featured on Jay Leno, on NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” quiz show, and approximately everywhere else as well.Read More


Salvation Is No Solution to America’s Social Problems

By Bob Wineburg

The Supreme Court was set to hear opening arguments this past Wednesday in a case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The suit charges that conferences held in the White House to promote President Bush’s faith-based initiative were, in fact, Christian revival meetings.Read More


Speak Loudly and Carry a Relatively Small Stick

By Eric Frey

To those still hoping for a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the current standoff gives reason to despair. Tehran continues to develop its uranium-enrichment program at full speed, a key step toward developing an atomic bomb. The president of the Islamic Republic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, remains defiant as ever. And the United States is increasingly sending signals that its patience for a nonmilitary solution is running out.Read More


Tales of Two Jewries Don’t Tell Much Anymore

By Shaul Kelner

If you happen to have missed the latest round in the debate over interfaith marriage, outreach and in-reach, fret not. This dog has been chasing its tail for nearly two decades, and shows no sign of tiring or jumping out of the deep groove it has cut as it runs in circles.Read More


Our Clever Foolishness Does Israel No Good

By Leonard Fein

This is not the first time that some Jews have shunned nationalism. In fervently Orthodox circles, Zionism was (and, to a lesser degree, remains) offensive because it is an effort “to force God’s hand.” Classical Reform Judaism opposed it because it violated their determined universalism. And around the turn of the past century, the Bund was against it, believing in Jewish peoplehood and culture but not in the then-nascent political Zionism that eventually birthed the State of Israel. Now, not quite suddenly, here it is again, newly fashionable in certain left-wing circles.Read More


Is Community Open to Critics of Zionism?

By Ira Youdovin

There are Jews who smell antisemitism whenever non-Jews criticize Israel, and blame Israel’s Jewish critics for abetting them. The interests aroused by Alvin Rosenfeld’s controversial recent essay, “Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,” raises the specter that this mindset could become a leitmotif in the way the American Jewish right regards its counterpart on the left and center-left.Read More


Can Campus Coalition Unite for Israel?

By David Harris

I just think, says the hawk to the dove, that there should be limits regarding what kind of programming your organization can sponsor on a college campus if it is going to remain part of the Israel on Campus Coalition.Read More


Why Not Let Moderates Engage Far Left?

By Dan Fleshler

The mainstream machers of American Jewry correctly assert that some of the rhetorical excesses of Israel’s critics, particularly on the far left, can foster outright antisemitism. But when these organizational leaders and academics recently claimed that provocative denunciations of Israel’s occupation or calls for a binational state were beyond the pale, all they succeeded in doing was bolstering the widespread conviction that powerful Jewish groups want to stifle all public criticism of Israel.Read More


And the Award Goes to... Queer Yiddishkeit

By Kathleen Peratis

Last week’s Grammy Award to the Klezmatics for their first all-English album, “Wonder Wheel,” was joyously reported by many Jewish news outlets, including this newspaper. For all the media coverage, however, no mention was made of the Klezmatics’ iconic status in the Queer Yiddishkeit movement.Read More


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