“...with the advent of the Internet and genomic technology, genealogy has entered a new age. The past year has served up a series of high-profile revelations. The news that Barack Obama’s ancestors owned slaves was a bit more surprising than the news that Strom Thurmond’s did. ... And Henry Louis Gates Jr. ... was astounded to learn that half of his own ancestry was European, including Irish kinsmen on his father’s side and two Jewish women on his mother’s.” —Steven Pinker, The New Republic, Aug. 6
Last month, while in the Brussels airport on my way back from Israel, I found myself behind an elderly bearded Jew. While waiting for our flights, we began chatting and I asked him — in Yiddish — if he spoke Yiddish. Though we had already spoken in two other languages, Hebrew and English, the transformation that came over him on hearing this third language was amazing. Yiddish created a link between us that the other languages had not been able to do.
Monday, July 28th, 2008
Everyone one of us who cares about news is familiar with Reuters. But until I heard “The Writer’s Almanac” on NPR the other day, it never occurred to me that there was a man, Paul Reuter, who started it all, let alone that he was the son of a rabbi who converted to Christianity. You can hear Garrison Keillor tell you about the man by clicking here:
The multilingual author believes that Jewish languages help to express Jewishness, and that knowing other languages is essential to understanding the world
Meylekh (P.V.) Viswanath
Last month, while in the Brussels airport on my way back from Israel, I found myself behind an elderly bearded Jew. While waiting for our flights, we began chatting and I asked him — in Yiddish — if he spoke Yiddish.
In 1980, he played a key role in secreting a homing device in Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility so Israeli bombers could target it unerringly.
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he dived daringly into Beirut’s harbor and blew up the underwater communications cables connecting Syria and Egypt.
Julian Voloj still can't quite believe the ugly new wave of anti-Jewish incidents in Europe.
The 28-year-old chairman of the European Union of Jewish Students, a 200,000-member organization of 18- to 30-year-old European Jews, shakes his head as he ticks off a list of recent incidents at university campuses.
In Southern France, youth hostels are reportedly refusing to take in Israeli students.
His French chapter was the victim of a molotov cocktail; the office was badly damaged.
The return of Jewish property in Europe seized by the Nazis made progress on two fronts this week, in Poland and in the Czech Republic.
In the Czech Republic, a bill to return Jewish property and art confiscated during the Nazi occupation awaits the signature of the president after being approved by the Senate last week.
Under the measure, land holdings and buildings seized between Sept. 29, 1938 and May 8, 1945 now owned by the state would be returned to Jews or their heirs.
Faced with the prospect of an investigation by New York Attorney General Elliott Spitzer’s office into its financial dealings, the World Jewish Congress is close to working out an agreement with its chief inside critic that would include holding the full and independent audit he has been demanding, The Jewish Week has learned.Sources close to the issue say that Stephen Herbits, transition director of the WJC, met this week in Israel with Isi Leibler, a former leader of the Australian Jewish community living in Israel who WJC officials sought to remove as senior vice president this fal
Israel mounted a major public relations and military offensive this week both to deny Palestinian charges that it was responsible for the Gaza beach explosion that killed eight civilians last Friday and to answer a barrage of Kassam rockets Hamas fired into southern Israel following the beach deaths.