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.
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."
Officiating at a wedding gives professor a new perspective on matrimony.
Ari L. Goldman
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.
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.
Elena Kagan was Lincoln Square’s first bat mitzvah.
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.”
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?
Scholars beginning to challenge view that the rise of democratic values belongs solely to Western secular thought.
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.
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.
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
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.