Indiana U. launches contemporary anti-Semitism center, the second major academic institution of its kind. Will politics compromise its mission?
In recent years, Jewish intellectuals have sometimes bemoaned the anti-Zionist views heard on college campuses, and among liberal intellectuals generally, but have failed to do much about it. But that may be changing.
Last month, the chair of the Jewish studies department at Indiana University in Bloomington, Alvin Rosenfeld, announced the foundation of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism. His goal is to study, in a dispassionate, scholarly way, what he thinks is just a new version of a very old kind of hate: anti-Semitism.
Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.
The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.
Rachel Rosenfeld opened up a school in Cambodia. Danny Schwartz donated kitchens to six Ethiopian families in Israel. And Becky Weinberg organized “Becky’s Closet,” donating princess-like dresses to needy bat mitzvah girls in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
The common denominator? All three are New York Jews under the age of 18.
The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, is an austere space for ecumenical meditation. One of the oil town's most famous landmarks, its walls are adorned with 14 monumental paintings by the Russian-born artist Mark Rothko, rendered in his definitive style of floating patches of color: in this case, black, deep brown and purple. The art patron Dominique de Menil, who commissioned the space and its somber paintings, reportedly said the works evoke "the mystery of the cosmos, the tragic mystery of our perishable condition, [and] the silence of god, the unbearable silence of God."
Under a bright sun, Guilla Boukhobza walked up to a microphone in front of the Isaiah Wall near the United Nations and cleared her throat.
For the first time, she was going to publicly talk about her family's perilous expulsion from her native Libya.
It was not easy, Boukhobza confided, because even a generation later, a deep fear remains about discussing the heart-rending events that forced her parents and seven siblings to leave Tripoli one step ahead of anti-Jewish mobs.
American Jewish defense agencies want federal law enforcement officials to turn up the heat on a growing national hate group apparently linked to last weekend’s Midwest shooting rampage and last month’s million-dollar torching of three Sacramento, Calif., synagogues.
Fort Dix, N.J.: The residents who traverse the blue cinderblock wall hallways, decorated only by stenciled warnings not to loiter and to "keep your hands out of pockets," are focused on two things: getting through each day and the date they will be released.
But on a recent Monday afternoon, two dozen men in dun-colored uniforms are bent over worksheets on their desks in a pair of windowless rooms at the Midstate Correctional Facility here focusing on something larger than themselves: the heroes in their lives.
Since establishing the Middle East Coexistence House, a dormitory floor where Jews, Muslims and members of other faiths live together, at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey three months ago, Danielle Josephs has described the innovative dialogue project to Jewish activists around the country, Rutgers donors and alumni, faculty members and representatives of non-governmental organizations and journalists.
On Monday she told the President of the United States about her idea.
A day after the arson fire at a Hauppauge, L.I., synagogue last week, a congregant at the neighboring Dix Hills Jewish Center rushed up to the rabbi to ask about security for the High Holy Days.
"He said security was being beefed up and that there was nothing to be worried about," the congregant, Elaine Greenwald, said later of her conversation with Rabbi Howard Buechler. "I trust that when the rabbi tells me that, we're doing all we can."
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
James Besser in Washington
When President Barack Obama went before a Ft. Myers, Fla. audience to pump for grassroots support for his economic recovery plans, the White House made sure there was a substantial delegation from Hadassah in the room.