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Fiddling With Tradition: Does Musical Misstep?

By Ami Eden

Mel Gibson isn’t the only director generating a heated debate over his depiction of Jews.As “The Passion of the Christ” racked up more than $200 million at movie theaters in just two weeks and generated loads of media attention, a burgeoning debate has emerged over the latest Broadway incarnation of “Fiddler on the Roof,” directed byRead More


Judge Decries ‘Frivolous’ Shoah Appeals

By Nacha Cattan

The federal judge overseeing a $1.25 billion Holocaust restitution settlement with Swiss banks is accusing an American survivor group of filing “frivolous” claims for more funds while survivors in the former Soviet Union live in abject poverty.Brooklyn federal judge Edward Korman filed a sharply worded memorandum this week, vividly detailingRead More


Violence, Anarchy Reign as P.A. Teeters

By Elli Wohlgelernter, With Reporting by Ha’aretz.

JERUSALEM — Amid growing indications that anarchy and lawlessness are reaching a critical stage within the Palestinian territories, observers now are wondering aloud if the financially broke and politically splintered Palestinian Authority is on the verge of collapse.The mayor of the West Bank city of Nablus, Ghassan Shakah, resigned last weekRead More


White House Is Cool to Settlement Plan

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is rejecting Jerusalem’s demand for American approval of a plan to strengthen several key blocks of Jewish settlements in exchange for a complete Israeli pullback from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants to fortify large blocks of Jewish settlements in the West BankRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

When Massachusetts Senator John Kerry learned last year that his paternal grandparents in 19th-century Austria had converted to Catholicism from Judaism, one of the first people he called was his younger brother, Cameron.The younger Kerry was surprised.In an interview at John Kerry’s New York headquarters last Friday, Cameron KerryRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

King Kerry: Jewish voters in the March 2 Super Tuesday primary states cast their ballots for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in higher percentages than did voters of other religions, according to exit polling data.Their vote, which mirrors earlier primary results, suggests that Jewish Democrats — a high-turnout, activist group that isRead More


From Haiti’s Chaos, a Lesson About Iraq

By Gus Tyler

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has fled his country in a recurrence of the violent disorder that has haunted the history of Haiti over and over again. Superficially, this should not be so. Some 95% of the population is descended from slaves. Haiti, which is smaller than Maryland, has a population of less than 7 million. All of thisRead More


For Tradition’s Sake: One Reform Temple Cleaves to Sunday Services

By Nathaniel Popper

At the beginning of the week’s main service at the Chicago Sinai Congregation, Rabbi Michael Sternfield cheerily wished those present a “good Shabbes,” but immediately caught himself. It being Sunday, when Sinai’s central service takes place, Sternfield turned to a more appropriate greeting:. “I mean…Read More


WJC Tour Offers Crash Course in Judaism

By Steven I. Weiss

A delegation of French Catholic bishops toured New York last week for what amounted to a crash course in Judaism.Organized by the World Jewish Congress, the four-day encounter included visits to institutions ranging from Reform to Chasidic. WJC chairman Israel Singer described the tour as an outgrowth of a desire to further theRead More


Aufbau Must Relocate or Close

By Nathaniel Popper

For the Jewish immigrants who founded the German-language newspaper Aufbau in 1934, America represented the future and Germany the past. Things certainly have changed.Just days after the Jewish newspaper’s 70th-anniversary issue was published last week, editors said the paper’s financial situation in America had grown so tenuous thatRead More





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  • 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?
  • 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."
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