Reporters' Roundtable: Michael Oren, Public Diplomat; Israel's Poverty Epidemic

In this week’s Forward Reporters’ Roundtable, host Josh Nathan-Kazis speaks with staff writer Gal Beckerman about Israel’s U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren and about why, during his first 18 months in the position, he is perceived as falling short of the great expectations that followed his appointment. Then editor Jane Eisner discusses the first installment of a Forward series on poverty in Israel.Read More

The Women Who Transformed Jewish Education

By Gabrielle Birkner

The story of the development, and the 20th century transformation, of Jewish education in America often centers on two educators: Samson Benderly and Mordecai Kaplan. Frequently absent from the narrative, however, are the female educators who inspired, or were inspired by, Benderly’s and Kaplan’s work. “The Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education, 1910-1965” (Brandeis University Press) highlights the work of these women who, according to the book’s editor Carol Ingall, “not only recast Jewish education in the progressive, experiential model of John Dewey … but also implemented a pedagogy based on the primacy of Hebrew language and culture.”Read More

Reporters' Roundtable: Jewish Genetics

In this week’s Reporters’ Roundtable, staff writer Josh Nathan-Kazis speaks with Berlin-based Forward contributor A.J. Goldmann about Muslim leaders’ recent visit to two Nazi death camps. Then opinion editor Daniel Treiman joins Nathan-Kazis to discuss the Forward’s annual supplement on Jewish genetics.Read More

Reporters’ Roundtable: ADL Controversy, and the Story Behind That Paul Rudd Video

The Anti-Defamation League’s controversial decision to come out against a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero is the first topic of this week’s Reporters’ Roundtable. Then the podcast takes a turn for the silly, looking at the story behind the Forward’s first viral Web video. The video features a not-yet-famous Paul Rudd, emceeing a 1992 bat mitzvah. This week’s guests are Forward editor Jane Eisner and web editor Gabrielle Birkner.Read More

Reporters' Roundtable: Sex and Sexuality Edition

This week on the Forward Reporters’ Roundtable, news editor Larry Cohler-Esses speaks with staff writer Gal Beckerman and associate web producer Nadja Spiegelman about Orthodox Judaism’s recent attempts to address the issue of homosexuality. The panel also weighs in on a recent “rape-by-deception” case out of Israel.Read More

Yid Lit: Gary Shteyngart

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Gary Shteyngart is a best-selling novelist and globetrotter. He came to this country with his family from Leningrad in 1979, and his work has become a touchstone of literature about the Russian Jewish immigrant experience. His third novel is now out, “Super Sad True Love Story” (Random House) and in it, the sweet if schlubby Lenny Abramov clings desperately to books in a culture that can’t read, while falling in love with one of illiteracy’s young victims. Both are children of immigrants, and the couple tries to stay together amidst an America that is crumbling around them. When Shteyngart visited the Forward studios we talked about Jews who fetishize the shtetl, adult circumcision and love in the age of screens.Read More

Reporters' Roundtable: Caterpillar and the Conversion Bill

In this week’s Reporters’ Roundtable podcast, host Josh Nathan-Kazis speaks with editor Jane Eisner, news editor Larry Cohler-Esses and staff writer Gal Beckerman about the American construction company, Caterpillar, and its role in providing Israel with bulldozers that have been used to destroy Palestinian homes. The panel also discusses the controversial conversion bill that is stalled in the Knesset, and why the legislation has sounded alarms in the Diaspora.Read More

Yid Lit: Jon Papernick

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

When Jon Papernick sits down to write, he imagines a tiny rabbi sitting on his shoulder, guiding his Jewish education, which he explores through craft of writing short stories. The author of the collections “The Ascent of Eli Israel” and most recently “There is No Other,” Papernick was a journalist in Israel after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and before he began writing harrowing, often satirical stories about Jewish identity and faith.Read More

Reporters' Roundtable: Remembering Harvey Pekar and Tuli Kupferberg

This week, Forward contributors Paul Buhle and Steve Dalachinsky speak with Josh Nathan-Kazis, host of the Reporters’ Roundtable, about comic book artist and graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, and about Bohemian artist Tuli Kupferberg of the rock group The Fugs. Buhle and Dalichinsky share their personal recollections of Pekar and Kupferberg, both of whom died on July 12. The panelists also discuss the common threads shared by both artists: peacenick politics and knack for interpreting pop culture.Read More

The Interview: Unorthodox Desires

By Nadja Spiegelman

Miryam Kabakov, editor of a new essay collection about Orthodox lesbians,”Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires,” visits the Forward podcast studio discuss coming out to her traditional parents, visiting a lesbian in the ultra-Orthodox enclave of B’nai Brak, Israel, and how she believes gays and lesbians can find their place in the Orthodox world.Read More

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  • 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.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
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