Thanks to the Jewish Outreach Institute and L.A. Jewish Journal for informing me about Einat Wilf, an intermarried member of Israel’s parliament. Part of the somewhat beleaguered left-wing Labor party, Wilf joined the Knesset in January.
I’m assuming that Wilf, whose husband is German, is not the first Jewish MK married to a gentile. Nonetheless, she seems to be the first to speak out publicly about it, telling the Jewish Journal, “Long before I married, I thought the Jewish world was making a big mistake in counting intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews as minus one, not plus one.”
Sixty-five years after the Holocaust, and Yom Hashoah -- April 11 -- remains, appropriately, a day that the Jewish community can't figure out how to observe. And rightly so. Most holy days are actually on the day something unique happened, unlike Yom Hashoah, whose Nissan 27 date was a Knesset compromise rather than a holy anniversary.
I worry that with each passing year in this country, Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is quietly and gradually becoming obsolete.
You don’t need an actuary to know that the number of survivors of the Holocaust, which took place between 65 and 71 years ago, is declining rapidly, and thus the authentic voices of those who lived through the horrors are diminished every day.
The new obsession with Jewish vengeance, and what it suggests.
Special To The Jewish Week
In the topsy-turvy post-Holocaust world, genocide never ended and the Holocaust itself became a brand name. Yom HaShoah competed with Yom Kippur for mourners. A museum in Washington, D.C., doubled as a Jewish Mount Rushmore. And Anne Frank was adopted by every culture on earth as a metaphor for adolescence interrupted. Elie Wiesel, a precocious, sensitive boy from a remote region of Transylvania, ended up as a Nobel laureate, a worldwide celebrity, and an honored guest on “Oprah.”
Who would have imagined all that when the death camps were liberated in 1945?
Human rights groups say they are being unfairly targeted
Concerned that some nonprofit groups in Israel are quietly being bankrolled by foreign political entities, seven Knesset members have introduced a bill to require that they immediately report receipt of such funds and publicly announce it in all written and oral political presentations.
Knesset immigration and education committees recommended at a hearing Monday the creation of a government organ to evaluate the legitimacy of foreign degrees. The proposal, reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz, comes in light of news that the Israeli Ministry of Education is not recognizing degrees from foreign univeristies that award college credits to students spending a year at Israeli yeshivas.
The U.S.- Israel diplomatic firestorm continues to rage, and a lot of questions remain unanswered: exactly what did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu know about the plan to build 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, announced with such devastating impact when Vice President Joe Biden headed to Israel on a make-nice mission, and when did he know it? What is the Obama administration trying to do with its tough new demands on Israel and harsh rhetoric? Where does all this lead?
Here are some interesting and very different takes on the crisis.
Only in Israel. On the day that the U.S. vice president arrived in Israel, reportedly to thwart Israel’s bombing of Iran, and following two days of intensive talks between Israel’s prime minister and President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, the Israeli government almost fell ... because of a proposed bill about conversion to Judaism.