On Jan. 27, Aaron David Miller, a Middle East analyst and an adviser to six secretaries of state, spoke to arguably the most important people in the American Jewish community. They were not lay leaders, rabbis or presidents of Jewish organizations.
A most promising development in the area of campus dialogue on the Mideast took place at Brandeis University this week. More than 250 college students from the New England region came together to discuss how best to defuse the volatile topic and make it more civil, engaging and open, focusing on the future rather than the past. Best of all, the program, known as bVIEW (Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World), was created for and by college students themselves.
In 2009, Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum announced its intention to close to the public and sell off its acclaimed 20th-century art collection in response to difficult economic times. Eventually, the plan was rejected amid a furious controversy. Now, Brandeis has renovated the museum and, after an exhaustive search, hired a new director, Christopher Bedford, 35, currently the curator of the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University.
Avram Mlotek was doing cantorial and concert work in Australia, when an old man came over to chat in Yiddish. The old man moved to Australia after the war, “to get as far away from home as possible.”
Now, hearing Mlotek, 25, he was home, and it was good, and when he learned where Mlotek came from and what he did, the old man was more home than he knew. He said, surprised, that he never thought he’d see Yosl Mlotek’s grandson studying to become a rabbi and leading High Holy Day services.
Last week, sociologist Bruce Phillips argued in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s “Demographic Duo” blog that intermarriage actually declined between 1990 and 2000, the period in which the Jewish establishment was in the midst of a continuity panic attack.
According to Phillips, the National Jewish Population Surveys of 2000 and 1990 measured intermarriage in a “problematic” manner inconsistent with the way “the larger field of demography” measures interracial (and presumably inter-ethnic?) marriage. This, he says, made for misleadingly high intermarriage stats.
(JTA) — Israeli lawmaker Avi Dichter was heckled by protesters during a speech at Brandeis University.
Students from the group Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine stood up as Dichter began speaking Tuesday during a panel discussion before an audience of several hundred students and called him a war criminal in English and Hebrew, Haaretz reported. The incident can be viewed on YouTube.
Dichter, a member of the Kadima Party, served as director of the Shin Bet security service during the second Palestinian Intifada.