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National Prayer Breakfast controversy - again. And where are the Jews?

Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast and President Obama's planned participation are generating the usual controversies centering on the question of whether top political leaders should attend an event sponsored by a super-secretive Christian group, The Fellowship Foundation, also know as The Family.

Jewish Professor, Black Culture

Documentary chronicles the controversial ideas and internal conflicts of a
Northwestern University anthropologist who pioneered African-American studies.

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

About five years ago, Vincent Brown, a historian at Harvard, had to teach a seminar on the birth of black studies. Though the discipline has flourished since the 1960s, its origins were not well known, so Brown, an iPod-generation professor, thought a documentary on the topic might help. He was an amateur filmmaker himself, deft with a Camcorder, and figured he might try to make one on his own.

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Goldstone Response Seen As Too Narrow

Israeli military ethics expert says country’s tack on war probe ‘inadequate.’

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Israel’s reported refusal to conduct an independent, thorough probe of its military’s handling of last winter’s 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza as demanded by the United Nations is a “missed opportunity,” according to Moshe Halbertal, co-author of the Israeli military’s code of ethics.

Moshe Halbertal, co- author of the Israeli military code of ethics. Israel’s war review a “missed opportunity.”

Beyond Agriprocessors

04/03/2009

Last year, Rubashkin — the name of the family that owned and ran Agriprocessors, the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant — became synonymous with scandal. In May 2008, U.S. immigration officials raided the plant, arresting 389 illegal aliens employed there, and company owners were charged on numerous counts of violating child labor and immigration laws. The highly publicized case also put a spotlight on a disquieting history of accusations of mistreatment of animals at the slaughterhouse.

Serving Up Food With Attitude

04/03/2009

He may be one of the last of a famous breed, but Cliff Fyman, who has worked at Sardi’s for almost two decades, is that beloved icon of New York culture: the Jewish waiter.

A published poet and an accomplished visual artist, Fyman says that a blue-collar job is one that enables him “not to take my job home with me.” He tried bartending, but found that he had to talk too much with the customers and consequently had “no more words left for poetry.”

A Long-Ago Childhood In A Bowl Of Soup

Staff Writer
04/03/2009

For some, hamed — the lemony, garlicky, minty staple of Sephardic cuisine — has mystical powers. For this author, it is a taste of home.

I have lost weight, and I think it is simply because I don’t each much anymore.

I have grown tired of my Manhattan eateries, my takeout meals, even my gourmet Glatt Kosher emporium on the East Side, which sells classical Eastern European fare such as cooked brisket and stuffed cabbage.

Darkness After ‘Noon’

As a new biography shows, the second half of Arthur Koestler’s life, marked by a peculiar mix of Zionism and Jewish self-hatred, was one of steadily declining reputation.

01/22/2010
Staff Writer

If you were Jewish and lived in the 1940s, to say that Arthur Koestler was on your side was no small thing. Then at the height of his renown, Koestler, born in Budapest in 1905, had become one of Western literature’s most revered figures. His anti-Stalinist novel “Darkness at Noon,” published in 1940 and still his most famous, made him one of the first liberals to come out against Communism. The book would partly inspire George Orwell, an author whose reputation today far eclipses Koestler’s.

The new biography of Arthur Koestler by Michael Scammell, bottom, revives an overlooked thesis.

The God Wars, Revisited

Q and A with Natan Aviezer, professor of physics and a former chairman of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

01/21/2010
Staff Writer

Natan Aviezer is a professor of physics and a former chairman of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. The author of “In the Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science” and “Fossils and Faith: Understanding Torah and Science,” he writes about Torah and science, and contends that the first chapter of the Bible is not a mythological tale but rather is in exact agreement with recent findings in cosmology, astronomy, geology and biology. He was recently in New York on a U.S. speaking tour.

Professor Natan Aviezer: Sees Bible both literally and figuratively.

At Home in Forest Hills

10/30/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

The title of this blog entry is an intentional riff on the charming and wonderful 

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