American Jews

Hartman North America Taking On Bigger Role

Two educators, one Orthodox and one Reform, join think tank faculty.

Editor and Publisher
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Underscoring its commitment to pluralism, attracting high-quality educators and the expansion of its educational work, the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America hired Elana Stein Hain and Rabbi Leon Morris to new positions this week. The move solidifies the institute’s increasing role in its effort to develop and teach new ways of exploring Judaism, Israel and the relationship between North America and the Jewish state, with an emphasis on textual study.

Rabbi Leon Morris and Elana Stein Hain will expand the work of Jerusalem-based educational institution.

A Call For 'Audacious Hospitality'

'Being against intermarriage is like being against gravity,' says Reform leader, but jury is out on trend's long-term impact.

Editor And Publisher
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There was a time when American Jewish families sat shiva when a child married out of the faith. Even two or three decades ago the prevailing attitude was one of disappointment, embarrassment and regret, coupled with a parental commitment to make the best of it and hope the grandchildren would be raised as Jews.

Gary Rosenblatt

Synagogue Members Give The Most Charity

New study suggests benefits in widening the pool for charitable donations.

Staff Writer
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American Jews who are members of synagogues are more likely to give to both Jewish and non-Jewish charitable causes than non-synagogue members, but those who identify with a denomination of Judaism while not belonging to a congregation are also generous givers. And Orthodox Jews are as likely as non-Orthodox ones to give to non-Jewish causes.

Jumpstart’s Shawn Landres: Report emphasizes “the extent to which [charitable] giving is empowered by Jewish engagement.”

The Year Ahead: Jewish Security in Europe

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Is Europe becoming, for the first time since the 1930s, a place that is inhospitable to Jews? American Jews should pay attention in 2014 to four discrete anti-Jewish expressions.

Israelis And U.S. Jews: How Much Criticism Is Fair?

Special To The Jewish Week
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Many American Jews have insisted that a healthy, mutual friendship with Israel entails criticizing Israel. Many Israelis, especially those who work with Jews from the center and the left, have accepted those marching orders, creating paradigms about “hugging and wrestling.” And they share reassuring philosophical insights like Harvard’s Michael Sandel’s teaching that embarrassment reflects belonging — Syrian brutality does not embarrass us: Israel’s milder mistakes do.

Gil Troy

"Who’s Best For Israel?" Not A Simple Question

When it comes to the election, American-Jewish attitudes are closer to those of Israeli Arabs than Israeli Jews.


If Mitt Romney is elected president next week, Bibi Netanyahu will finally exhale, with a sigh of relief. The Israeli prime minister can feel confident that he will not be pressured to make peace with the Palestinian Authority anytime soon.

But is that a good thing?

Going The Distance

Are American Jews, especially young ones, driven away from Israel by its growing haredization?

Special To The Jewish Week

In 1948 the new government of Israel, under the hegemony of David Ben-Gurion and his Mapai party, entered into deals with two crucial groups: the Religious Zionist party, Mizrachi, and the anti-Zionist Agudat Yisrael. (By 1948 Agudat Yisrael had become a political entity; a year earlier Ben-Gurion had sent its leaders a letter outlining the pact). The goal of the deals was to retain the “status quo ante” — the religious reality that was in place before the creation of the state.

The phenomenon of women at the back of the bus in Israel is one that resonates with younger Americans. YNet News

Israelis And Us: It’s Complicated

‘Come Home’ ads expose cracks in relationship between American Jews and Israeli officials.

Editor And Publisher

The news reports about Israel’s latest, ill-fated public relations campaign have come and gone. But the impact lingers, and it’s worth exploring how Israeli and American Jews, despite all their professed connections, still misunderstand each other in troubling ways.

The most recent example, in brief: A $300,000 ad campaign to encourage Israelis living in America to come home, sponsored by the government in Jerusalem, became known to and immediately was criticized by mainstream, fervently pro-Israel American Jewish groups, and others, as deeply offensive.

Gary Rosenblatt

When Israel Becomes A Source Of Embarrassment

Responding to a talk on the Israeli-Palestinian situation by the PLO representative to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat, in New York the other day, an Israeli professor at NYU commented publicly how ironic it was that the PLO ambassador sounded more reasonable than Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Areikat smiled broadly and many in the audience, a group of several dozen Jewish leaders and graduate students, nodded approvingly.

Sign of the times?

Love Without Peace: Accepting Israel For What It Is

Special To The Jewish Week

On Christmas Eve of this past year, Yediot Achronot, the largest circulation newspaper in Israel, ran an interview with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, which has attracted a great deal of attention in the online Jewish world for comments he made about the latest failures in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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