All month I’ve been debating whether or not to jump into the Noah Feldman frenzy.
Feldman, for those of you who have spent the past month under a rock, is the bete noire of Modern Orthodoxy: a yeshiva day school grad who recently published a New York Times Magazine article about how his alma mater has ostracized him for intermarrying.
With tensions mounting on American campuses over anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, hundreds of college presidents have signed onto a landmark petition calling for "intimidation-free" campuses.
But the document itself has become the subject of controversy.
That's because the statement, released by the American Jewish Committee, specifically mentions only intimidation against Jewish students.
As a result, some university presidents have declined to sign.
When New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey didn't like what state Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka had to say about Israelis in a poem about 9-11, he took action.
McGreevey, with the nearly unanimous support of the state Legislature, abolished the state-funded post through budget cuts several weeks ago to get rid of Baraka.
In recent weeks McGreevey has said he didn't like the "abhorrent" views of a Rutgers University pro-Palestinian student group that is sponsoring a national conference in October at the state-financed institution.
Where's Joe? That's the question some American Jews are asking about Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman as the crisis in Israel sinks to its worst levels in decades. Some are concerned that the Connecticut senator (the first Jew in history to run on a major presidential ticket) has not been more out front in defending Israel in the face of increasing criticism from the United Nations and Arab countries over the violence. More than a hundred Palestinians and eight Jews have been killed since the conflict broke out this month.
Pioneering university group banking on novel ties to state.
At 1:45 a.m. on a recent weeknight, a group of 27 Jewish students gathered in the main auditorium at University of Michigan’s Hillel. Instead of breaking out the beer, they video-conferenced with Nir Elperin, vice president of Arba Finance, a venture capital firm in Tel Aviv.
A split-screen projected on the wall featured a PowerPoint presentation on one side and Elperin on the other, talking in real time about the venture capital and high-tech industry in Israel, as well as various ways in which startups secure funding.
American-born settler Jack Tytell is charged with multiple murders and hate crimes. A look into his upbringing in the U.S. reveals some surprises.
Special to the Jewish Week
His fellow students at Akiva Hebrew Day School, a Modern Orthodox yeshiva in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich., had Jack Tytell pegged.
He was “creepy,” one remembered, someone with “crazy eyes.” Another recalled Tytell walking through Akiva’s halls acting out imaginary combat scenes and jumping over tripwires that existed in his head only.
As their “Last Will and Testament” in the Akiva Class of ’90 yearbook, his classmates left him an “Uzi and a grenade ... and a Valium.”
At sunrise on April 8, the eve of Passover, a group of Jews from the Upper West Side will gather on the roof of the JCC in Manhattan. Organized by Hazon, the New York-based group that works for a “more sustainable Jewish community,” the early-morning risers will say some prayers, do some yoga and burn some chametz.
When the sun appears over the Atlantic that morning, a similar scene will take place on Miami Beach.
While Evangelical Christians are capturing headlines for their fervent support of Israel, going virtually unnoticed is how the nation’s “mainline” Protestants have been strongly advocating an anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian position during the current Middle East crisis.
Campus battles over the Middle East conflict and rising anti-Semitism are heating up on several fronts:
# A national pro-Palestinian student conference declaring that “Zionism is racism” is slated for Oct. 12 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with plans to increase pressure on college officials to drop investments in Israel.