Columbia University

Off Limits? Talk By Israel Critic Canceled

10/06/2006
Editor At Large
New York University historian Tony Judt sought to claim new ammunition this week for his charge that pro-Israel groups use their influence to stifle debate about their activities. Less than three hours before he was due to give a talk about the Israel lobby at the Polish Consulate Tuesday night, Poland's consul general abruptly canceled the event after being contacted by Jewish and non-Jewish organizations. But the question of whether Jewish groups (in particular, the Anti-Defamation League) pressured Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk remained in sharp dispute.

Obama Pivots Away From Dovish Past

03/09/2007
Editor At Large
Chicago — Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s maiden speech to the pro-Israel lobby last week saw a man described by early supporters as an ardent dove on Israel take flight as a bird of considerably more hawkish mien. Obama, Illinois’ Democratic junior senator, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last Friday that he was committed, above all else, to “peace through security” for the Jewish state.

Flinging Dirt In Archaeology Dispute

10/25/2007

Editor-At-Large
The key organizer of a campaign to deny tenure to a Barnard College professor seen by some as virulently anti-Israel acknowledged this week that her petition against the professor may not have quoted the book completely accurately. Barnard alumna Paula Stern, who now lives in an Israeli settlement community on the West Bank, acknowledged Tuesday that her petition —signed now by more than 2,500 people — incorrectly quotes from Abu El-Haj’s book in charging she is grossly ignorant of Jerusalem geography.

Keeping Her Eyes On Elderly

07/23/2008
Staff Writer
When Vivian Fenster Ehrlich left a career in publishing to become executive director of the nonprofit Dorot, 21 years ago, it had a budget of $700,000 and a staff of 24 crammed into two floors of a decrepit brownstone on West 91st Street. Now, as she prepares to become director emerita and start a venture she isn’t ready to publicly discuss, Ehrlich is running an organization with 10 times the budget and nearly three times as many staff, working out of its own 10,000-square-foot townhouse a few blocks south.

Pressure Seen Mounting Against Kosher Meat Giant

05/28/2008
Staff Writer
Jason Herman, a Manhattan Orthodox rabbi and kosher meat consumer, has stopped buying the beef and poultry sold by AgriProcessors. Now, when he shops at the Upper West Side’s Kosher Marketplace, he takes care to choose only products from its competitors.

Trembling Before Allah

05/21/2008
Staff Writer
Sandi DuBowski’s new project is a kind of cinematic thumb in the eye to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president famously announced last year while speaking at Columbia University that there are no gays in Iran. A new documentary, “A Jihad for Love,” about the struggles of gay Muslims from Egypt to India, in South Africa and yes, in Iran, shows a different story.

You've Got Mechila

09/29/2000
Staff Writer
It's a question rooted in an age-old practice but made new by the vicissitudes of modern technology: Is it kosher to ask mechila by e-mail? Asking forgiveness, or mechila, for wrongs committed against others is emphasized during the month of Elul, and given particular attention during the 10 Days of Repentance from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur.

On DNA Testing, A Murky Vision

05/14/2008
Staff Writer
I’ve been meaning to have my DNA tested in hope of locating the genetic mutation that impairs my vision. The mutation makes me legally blind, leaving me unable to drive and using one of those white canes in crowds and at night.

Covering Mideast Wars At Columbia

02/25/2005
Associate Editor

For almost five months, Columbia University has been at the heart of the campus wars over just how the Middle East ought to be taught in universities where both students and professors are overtly political, in disagreement, and possessing more passion than the pristine objectivity to which academia aspires.

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