Harvard

Stuart Levey: The Man Trying to Make Iran Sanctions Work

07/01/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets -- terrorist groups and rogue nations -- when he figured out how to soft-talk nations and private businesses into going along.

Levey is that rarity -- a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.

Stuart Levey (U.S. Treasury Department)

Mark Zuckerberg, Emily Gould & Rabbeinu Gershom

What do Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, blogger Emily Gould, and the 10th-11th century scholar Rabbeinu Gershom have in common?

They all articulated their views about privacy.

Zuckerberg was criticized last month for Facebook's new privacy settings. Over 500 million worldwide users of Facebook had more of their information made public because Zuckerberg believes that "if people share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world that's more open and connected is a better world."

 

Rabbi For A Day

Officiating at a wedding gives professor a new perspective on matrimony.

06/16/2010

 I have suffered most of my life from a large case of rabbi envy. I was brought up surrounded by them, not only in school and shul, but at family gatherings as well. Uncles and later cousins carried the title. I eventually married the daughter of a rabbi. There was no escaping their sermonizing and officiating ways.

 Bride and groom under the chupah, with the author (not pictured) as rabbi. Photo: Karen Tweedy-Holmes.

How Jeremy met Nina

06/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Jeremy Blachman saw the success of his debut novel in 2006. Right before that, he loaned his only bound copy to Nina Langsam. "I realized there would be a second date," says Nina.

They had met a year earlier, at a Princeton University reunion. Jeremy '00 had majored in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and wrote musical comedy sketches and songs for the Triangle Club. Nina '03 had been a biology major and was voted president of the student government. Both were friends with Zach Pincus-Roth.

Jeremy Blachman and Nina Langsam

A Pioneer At Age 12

Elena Kagan was Lincoln Square’s first bat mitzvah.

05/12/2010
Staff Writer

Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, wanted a bat mitzvah when she turned 12. But that simply was not done in May 1973 at Lincoln Square Synagogue, the Orthodox congregation to which the Kagan family belonged.

“I remember she was very definite,” recalled Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the congregation’s spiritual leader. “She came to me and very much wanted it; she was very strong about it. She wanted to recite a Haftorah like the boys, and she wanted her bat mitzvah on a Saturday morning.”

Kagan’s bat mitzvah was “watershed moment.”

Understanding Obama As Our First PC President

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Three mysteries underlie the current crisis between America and Israel. The first one is biographical: How can President Barack Obama call himself Israel’s friend, yet display such animus toward the Jewish state, exemplified most recently by refusing even to be photographed with Israel’s Prime Minister when hosting Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House?
 

Did The Hebrew Bible Give Birth To Democracy?

Scholars beginning to challenge view that the rise of democratic values belongs solely to Western secular thought.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

When the Texas Board of Education voted last month in favor of a proposal that would emphasize the religious origins of democracy in high school curricula, many liberals were outraged. It seemed to fly in the face of the long-held assumption that Western political ideas — toleration, the separation of church and state, indeed the genius of democratic rule itself — was born from the steady secularization of the West. It was the age of the Enlightenment, after all, that produced America’s great experiment in democracy.
 

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Sabbath: Not Just For Jews

Judith Shulevitz's new book, "The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time," is attracting a good bit of attention, as well it should. Blending personal experience with history, theology and philosophy, the book is both an emotionally and intellectually rewarding encounter for the reader, and the product of a highly intelligent and thoughtful writer willing to probe every angle of what the Sabbath has meant to the world.

Another Jewish Supreme Court possibility - and rising talk about a "Protestant-free" court

So another Jewish name has surfaced in the raging speculation over President Obama's choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: Martha Minow, dean of the Harvard Law School and one of the President's former professors (See this story in today's Boston Gl

Preventing Genocide Is Easier Than Stopping It

04/13/2010

What could be more horrific than war?

In a gripping new documentary that aired Tuesday night on PBS to mark National Holocaust Remembrance Week, historian and author Daniel Jonah Goldhagen makes a convincing case that genocide — the systematic effort to eliminate an entire group perceived of as deserving of death — is even more destructive than armed conflict, and yet often can be prevented.

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