I first read the Joyce Antler’s book “The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America” as an undergraduate, deep in the thrall of Jewish feminist academia. It was an enormously important part of my uncovering and understanding what Antler calls “the cultural chain” of my identity as a Jewish woman activist.
It’s Funny Girl redux. Or, at least, kind of. Jennifer Aniston has been transformed into Barbra Streisand for the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. (See the pictures here.) Donning looks from Streisand classics like Funny Girl and What’s Up Doc?, Aniston does her best Babs impression, manicured nails and all.
ISRAEL’S NBA HOPE: Boston’s Jewish Advocate profiles Israeli basketball star Omri Casspi, who, it suggests, could be the next Israeli star to play in the NBA and is thus, as the paper awkwardly puts it in its headline, “The great white Israelite.”
BLAMING THE VICTIMS?: New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt writes about the recent resurfacing (first reported by JTA) of controversial spiritual leader/seeker and former rabbi Mordechai Gafni. Gafni, who has long been dogged by accusations of sexual misconduct, now seems to be affiliated with a non-Jewish New Age community in Utah, and he’s pointing an accusatory finger at his accusers. “He now says that he wrote his public apology for his behavior two years ago under stress, and that the women accusers banded together to destroy his career,” Rosenblatt writes. But Rosenblatt, for one, ain’t buyin’ it.
ALL WE ARE SAYING, IS GIVE ISRAEL A CHANCE: Some Jewish activists are complaining that the city-sponsored Cambridge Peace Commission in Harvard University’s uber-liberal hometown is biased against Israel. Boston’s Jewish Advocate has the story.
FINKELSTEIN’S BROOKLYN EXILE: The New York Jewish Week catches up with Hezbollah-boosting ex-academic Norman Finkelstein, who, since losing his high-profile tenure battle at Chicago’s DePaul University, has been holed up in his late father’s Brooklyn apartment (that is, when he’s not visiting with his favorite Lebanese armed extremist group). But while the author of “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” may have given up his dreams of tenure, he’s still churning out books. His next will be titled — in characteristically polemical fashion — “A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-up of American Zionism.”
HAGEE THE ‘STALKING HORSE’: The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent’s Jonathan Tobin argues that critics of John Hagee are using the controversial pastor as “a stand-in for the smear that the tens of millions of Christian conservatives who love Israel are closeted Jew-haters.”
HAMPTONS ERUV HULLABALOO: A proposal to erect an eruv in tony Westhampton Beach, N.Y., has prompted an ugly backlash from some quarters. The New York Jewish Week has the story.
KOSHER MEAT REVOLTS?: The New York Jewish Week attempts to gauge reaction among kosher consumers to the controversy surrounding America’s largest kosher meat plant in the wake of a massive federal immigration raid. Among both Conservative and Orthodox Jews, the paper finds an uneven response, with pockets of anger and calls for boycotts, juxtaposed with the seeming indifference of many congregations. “In the end,” the paper concludes, “the boycott campaign may reach only those in religious Jewish populations who are inclined toward activism.”
SPOOKED BY SPY SCANDAL: The spying charges leveled against retired Army engineer Ben-Ami Kadish are dividing the Jewish War Veterans chapter that he once led. Meanwhile, the New Jersey octogenarian is being shunned by some of his friends and neighbors. The New York Jewish Week has the story.