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.
His 1986 book on Jews in America sounded optimistic note.
Charles Silberman, a magazine writer-turned-author whose widely discussed study of American Jewry a generation ago portrayed a largely rosy picture of the Jewish community, died Feb. 5 in Sarasota, Fla., of congestive heart failure. He was 86.
Almost eight years ago I traveled to Israel for the first time on a Birthright Israel trip through Hillel. Recently I returned with my husband, brother and uncle to visit my sister, who is spending the year there on a Young Judaea Year Course. At first glance this hardly sounds different from the experiences of any other Jewish professional.
But my siblings and I are the products of a typical American Jewish narrative: attractive Italian Catholic pianist from Brooklyn meets disengaged Jewish rocker from Yonkers. They fall in love, get married, and have a family.
Even as many sectors of the American Jewish community struggle to return to pre-crash contribution levels, the Israel advocacy sector is booming once again. With challenges to Israel’s legitimacy coming from both outside and inside the Jewish community, significant new resources are flowing to those organizations that are seen as defending Israel from its detractors.
But more effective than all of the defense and advocacy strategies would be an effort to strengthen the fabric of Israel’s democracy. The threats abound.
I'm hearing a lot of reaction to Jeff Goldberg's ultra-provocative Atlantic blog on “What if Israel ceases to be a democracy” - the inevitable result of Goldberg's stature as one of the most outspoken, well-informed bloggers on the pro-Israel scene and a true centrist
At a time of great concern about young American Jews identifying positively with Israel, study-abroad programs in Israel for U.S. college students should be a great benefit. But while these opportunities provide exposure to Hebrew language skills and immersion in Israeli society, they also foster a disconnect. The fact is that diaspora and Israeli students rarely meet in the classroom.
As we celebrate Chanukah 5771, we also begin to wind up the first decade of the 21st century, and what a decade it has been. America went to war and remains at war to this day. Israel and the Palestinians are still unable to make peace. The economy, both at home and in most of the developed world, is shaky, with most of us still wondering exactly how close we came to another Great Depression, and some still waiting for the other shoe to drop.