Israelis Battling Their Own Indifference

By Noga Tarnopolsky

JERUSALEM — It is by now a sad routine. Israel’s Friday newspapers report, on Page 3, that nine Palestinians, most of them armed, were killed in Israeli military actions the previous day. Sunday morning’s papers report on the Friday night shooting deaths of four Israelis, students at a paramilitary hesder yeshiva in the West BankRead More

Non-Orthodox Blast Jewish Agency Over Funding Cuts

By Nacha Cattan

Top leaders of Conservative and Reform Judaism are livid at the Jewish Agency for Israel for cutting what they say is a sizable and disproportionate chunk of their funding in Israel, and doing so without prior consultation.Movement officials expressed their anger at the 18% reduction in allocations to their streams in Israel in an “urgent”Read More

Try as He Might, Sharon Can’t Dodge The Long Shadow of Corruption Probe

By Chemi Shalev

JERUSALEM — Although all the major public opinion polls continue to predict an overwhelming Likud victory in the elections January 28, the party’s leadership, as well as its rank and file, are more preoccupied with the daily dose of sordid revelations emanating from the police investigation of the corruption scandal.Instead of feverishRead More

Feds Call Chile Resort a Terror Hot Spot

By Marc Perelman

IQUIQUE, Chile — The Bush administration has designated this windswept resort town and free-trade zone on Chile’s northern Pacific coast as a terrorist hot spot, second in South America only to the notorious tri-border region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet.Indeed, American and regional officials say, Iquique — pronouncedRead More

Fund Fights Charge of Aiding ‘Deserters’

By Daniel Treiman

A left-leaning Jewish charity that funds two organizations supporting Israeli soldiers refusing to serve in the territories is fending off accusations from Israeli rightists that its contributions “finance desertion” from the Israeli army.The charity, the Philadelphia-based Shefa Fund, allows donors to earmark tax-deductible donations to twoRead More

In Fading Uzbeki Enclave, A Teacher’s Last Lessons

By Matthew Gutman

Swaddled in a gray angora scarf and smiling brightly through a mouthful of gold-capped teeth, Miriam Baybatshiava welcomes visitors to what is known as “School Number 36” and the only Hebrew class in the dying Jewish community of Bukhara.The 67-year-old former mathematician is the last teacher of Hebrew in a once-thriving Jewish community, nowRead More

Rena Costa, Supporter of Yiddish Studies Center in Israel, Dies at 84

By Sam Pepper

Rena Costa, a philanthropist who lent her name and support to the Center of Yiddish Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, died in her hometown of New York City at the age of 84 on December 5 after a three-month battle with cancer.A refugee from Hitler’s Europe who could scarcely speak a word of Yiddish, Costa yearnedRead More

Sunshine State Oddsmakers See Battle in Lieberman vs. Graham

By E.J. Kessler

Call it early-bird politics.The possible entrance of Florida Senator Bob Graham into the race for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination already is prompting speculation that he would split the vote and funds of the Sunshine State’s Jewish community, complicating the expected presidential bid of Connecticut SenatorRead More

An Unexamined War Is Not Worth Waging

By Gus Tyler

As Uncle Sam is daily readying for a war against Iraq and, perhaps, North Korea, the big question is: Do they have nukes and other weapons of “mass destruction”? If they have them, do we, the United States, alone or in collaboration with others who think and feel as we do, have the right to disarm these “rogue states” by armed force?In theRead More

From Polanski and Costa-Gavras, A Reckoning With the Holocaust

By Annette Insdorf

When I embarked upon writing the first edition of “Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust” in 1979, there were only a few dozen films on the subject to warrant critical attention. Ten years later, about 50 more had to be added to the second edition. By 2001, the number of Holocaust-related films had grown to such a degree that I hadRead More

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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  •'s Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • 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":
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