Yale University

Israel’s Black Panthers Remembered

BAM film documents Mizrahi civil rights movement of the ‘70s, though inequities still resonate for Jews from Arab countries.

06/29/2010
Staff Writer

Shortly after Israel’s victory in the War of Independence, the Jewish state took in a mass exodus of Jews from Arab lands, first in 1949, and then again in 1956. 

Jews from Arab lands, called Mizrahim, came to Israel not because they were ardent Zionists, but because their host Arab countries, angered by the establishment of the State of Israel, had turned against them. 

A scene from “The Black Panthers (In Israel) Speak” shows a Mizrahi protest from the early ‘70s.

Our Town: YIVO’s Jewish Europe

New multimedia encyclopedia embraces a golden age.

06/22/2010
Associate Editor

Emanuel Ringelblum knew Jewish Eastern Europe the way the Stage Manager in “Our Town” knew Grover’s Corners. The Tevye era was modern for Ringelblum, whose doctorate was on the Jews of Warsaw — only up to 1527.

German postcard: A family in cultural flux, walking to shul; bearded grandfather in streimel; clean-shaven father in top hat.

On Schlemiels, Shlimazls, Shmendriks and Schmuks

One hopes that the New York Times story today on Jay Roach's upcoming film, "Dinner for Schmucks," starring Steve Carell, will inspire us all to brush up our Yiddish.  Critics have started to question the appropriateness of the title given to Roach's new film, a comedy of manners in which Carell plays a hapless idiot.  Given the premise, "schlemiel" or "shlimazl" -- Yiddish words that more closely translate into "idiot" -- should be in the title.&nbs

Olympic Gadfly

07/30/2008
Staff Writer
A year ago, Jill Savitt found herself in a scorching refugee camp in northern Africa, holding the hand of a boy whose family had lost its home in the Darfur genocide, and thinking of her own 9-year-old son who was safe at home in Brooklyn. Savitt’s visit to the camp in Chad, her first on-site encounter with the victims of the five-year campaign of murder and enslavement conducted by the government in neighboring Sudan, was another step in a mid-career change that brought her from nonprofit communications consultant to advocate for genocide victims.

Hitting A High See

05/16/2003
Staff Writer
With a voice reminiscent of Cecilia Bartoli's and a profile resembling Barbra Streisand's, Laurie Rubin seems born for singing stardom. Rubin, 24, was also born blind. Easily overlooked by directors who "don't want to be responsible if I fall off the stage," Rubin says she has to work harder than the next mezzo-soprano to get ahead.

‘1948’ As Tunnel Vision

06/27/2008
Staff Writer
1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,  by Benny Morris. (Yale University Press, 524 pages, $32.50.) Of Israel’s first 60 years, its most important ones were arguably 1948 and 1967. Those were the seminal years that established the country’s existential viability, its collective attitude, its national borders, its dangerous demography and the problems that would shape it in the 21st Century. 

Reclaiming Heschel

01/09/1998
Staff Writer
He was accused of being too political. Others said he was too spiritual. Certainly he melded the ancient wisdom of the prophets with a modern sensibility to become the symbol of Jewish social action in America during the turbulent 1960s. When Abraham Joshua Heschel barely escaped Nazi Europe in 1940, the 33-year-old scholar began teaching at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. There he found himself disregarded as a chasidic traditionalist out of step with the Reform movement’s modern, non-observant world.

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.

Jewish Studies Sans Religion?

11/18/2009
Staff Writer

The latest skirmish in the halls of Jewish academia has, surprisingly, nothing to do with Israel. But the new discord over academic grants made by the Posen Foundation concerns a charged topic just the same — the growing trend of teaching about Jewish culture through an exclusively secular lens.

NYU Jewish studies chair Lawrence Schiffman: Not taking Posen money

‘1948’ As Tunnel Vision

06/25/2008
Staff Writer
1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,   by Benny Morris. (Yale University Press, 524 pages, $32.50.) Of Israel’s first 60 years, its most important ones were arguably 1948 and 1967. Those were the seminal years that established the country’s existential viability, its collective attitude, its national borders, its dangerous demography and the problems that would shape it in the 21st Century.  
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