The Shmooze


Returning to the Scene of the Crime, Camera in Hand

By Adam Sacks

Gleefully puffing on a cigarette while telling Jewish jokes, Marceline Loridan-Ivens radiates a vivacious, youthful presence. But she did not come to New York simply to crack jokes. This 75-year-old survivor of Auschwitz, with a will as fiery as her red hair, came to the city recently from her home in Paris to introduce the screeningRead More


New Play About Crown Heights Blames Jews for Deadly Riots

By Zackary Sholem Berger

A play blaming Jews for the Crown Heights riots of 1991 has opened at a new theater on West 42nd Street that was built in part with a tax-exempt, multimillion-dollar city bond.The play, called “Crown Heights,” portrays the murder of chasidic scholar Yankel Rosenbaum as a tragic accident in a fight in which Jews threw the first punch. It is aRead More


Party Faithful Raise Their Glasses for Bush’s State of the Union

By Max Gross

Marc Melzer, a law student at the University of Pennsylvania, was in his apartment with a few friends last Tuesday night, watching President Bush’s State of the Union address. The president inveighed against rogue states that harbored terrorists. These states, the president said, could supply terrorists withRead More


Radio Rabbi Creates Community Over the Airwaves

By Deborah Waroff

LONDON — Rabbi Lionel Blue is arguably the most popular Jew in the United Kingdom. He is funny and irreverent and considered by some to be an iconoclast. Cherub-faced rabbis who share recipes, pen travel books and yuk it up onstage in stand-up routines, after all, are few and far between.But mainly, Blue owes his status as one of England’sRead More


Bringing Spanish Literature to Life — in English

By Max Gross

Edith Grossman has long played Sancho Panza to Gabriel García Márquez’s Don Quixote. For the past 15 years or so, Grossman has been Márquez’s translator — turning his magical-realist Colombian novels into straightforward, lyrical English.Now Grossman is also Sancho Panza to the original Don Quixote.Anyone who has browsed through theirRead More


Transforming Tragedies Into Memorable Memorials

By Nathaniel Popper

One of the defining characteristics of Michael Arad’s winning design for the World Trade Center memorial is the empty space in the concave footprints of the twin towers, symbols used to conjure up memories of what was destroyed and cannot be replaced.The 34-year-old Israeli’s concept is reminiscent of two other recent memorials, bothRead More


Family Recipes Get Put to the Test in the Chicken Soup Challenge

By Max Gross

Think that the golden chicken broth that your mother fed you when you were sick is the greatest panacea in the world? The most delicious? The most salubrious?Prove it.On January 8 the National Jewish Outreach Program announced its Chicken Soup Challenge, a national contest to find the best chicken soup in America (beside your mother’s) in anRead More


Nazi Leader’s Boat for Sale in Egypt

The yacht that formerly belonged to Nazi Hermann Goering is up for sale in Egypt.German boat dealer Christopher Brunner-Schwer told Der Spiegel magazine that he hopes to make a fortune selling the boat, posted for sale by the American widow of an Egyptian oil agent.“Arabs like the boat’s history,” he said, “and thatRead More


U.N. Recognizes Human Rights Activist’s Work

By Miriam Colton

Shulamith Koenig often quotes the French Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas, insisting that if only one person was missing from the world, the absolute truth would be different.“This is what I do,” Koenig said. “I want to include every individual so everyone can understand human rights.”Last month Koenig, 73, becameRead More


Sounding the Alarm About Israel’s Demographic Crisis

By Larry Derfner

When Arnon Soffer first issued his warning in the 1980s — that Arabs would outnumber Jews in Israel and the occupied territories by around 2010 — he was widely dismissed as a crackpot Jeremiah. Now the Israeli public and its leaders appear to have caught up with him.Soffer, head of the geography department at the UniversityRead More





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  • "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."
  • 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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