Jews

Poll: More Than Half of Jewish Israelis Want Arabs Out

11/29/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) — Some 53 percent of Israel's Jewish population believes that the state can encourage Arabs to leave the country, a new poll found.

The Israel Democracy Institute's 2010 poll released Tuesday also found that 86 percent of the Jewish public, constituting 76 percent of the total public, believes that critical decisions for the state should be made by the Jewish majority.

Jews and Money: Let's Talk About It

No one likes to talk about Jews and money.  Too much history has gotten between the two, to say nothing of the present: see the Beck/Soros fracas, for instance, or Al Pacino in Broadway's "Merchant of Venice."  But now seems as good a time as any to tackle the connection.  Thankfully a few provocative books are trying to do just that.

How Not To Cover Hasids: Or, Why We Love Stories about Black Celebrity Jews

In the journalism trade, there is dependable genre we call the "quirky" story.  Editors love them because our readers do: they offer a churlish delight in the abnormal, the strange, the off-beat.  For the most part, they're harmless, fun throw-away stuff that lend a respite from the otherwise moribund front-page fare.

Paul Giamatti Goes Jewish: "Barney's Version," A Preview

On December 17, the effortlessly morose Paul Giamatti stars as the effortlessly morose fictional character Barney Panofsky.  The creation of celebrated Canadian author Mordecai Richler, Panofsky is the politically incorrect central character that suffers from Alzheimer's in Richler's comic and touching novel "Barney's Version" (1997).

Violence and Israel: Yael Hedaya Responds

When HBO's third season of "In Treatment" premiered this week, one story line was that it lost its main writer, the Israeli novelist Yael Hedaya.  (To fans of the show, don't worry: Jhumpa Lahiri is her replacement.) The HBO version was really an adaptation, nearly verbatim, of the Israeli hit series Bi'Tipul, where Hedaya wrote some of the best shows.  Now in her mid-40s and still living in Israel, Hedaya is releasing her third novel in English translation this month, "Eden.&

The Curious Case of Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Laureate 2010

Mario Vargos Llosa, the Peruvian writer who today won the Nobel Prize for Literature, was not Jewish. But he nevertheless often wrote about them: in "The Storyteller," (1989), about a Jewish anthropoligist in Lima who shacks up with a  tribe deep in the Amazon; as a contributer to the Commentary; and, recently, as an outspoken critic of Israel.

Given his not infrequent association with Jews, it is worth asking what he actually thinks of them. 

Does Franzen's "Freedom" Suck?

I do not know about you, but I've been riveted by the debates surrounding Jonathan Franzen's latest novel, "Freedom".  In the new issue of The Atlantic, B.R. Myers strikes a devasting blow against a book that has been otherwise roundly praised.

Stephen Greenblatt to Al Pacino's Shylock: Dead on Arrival

Despite the general approbation for this summer's Shakespeare in the Park staging of "The Merchant of Venice," the production was dealt a serious blow this week.  Stephen Greenblatt, America's leading Shakespeare scholar, wrote a scathing review of Al Pacino's performance in the New York Review of Books.

EU Commissioner Apologizes for ‘Irrational Jews’ Remark

09/02/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- The European Union's trade chief apologized for saying that rational discussion about Israel was impossible with Jews and that the Jewish lobby is the most influential in Washington.

Karel De Gucht, a former Belgian foreign minister who is now the E.U.'s Trade Commissioner, had been asked in a radio interview on Thursday for his opinion on renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks launched in Washington.

Choosing Soul Over Mind

Praying on Rosh HaShanah poses a challenge to a devoted Jew for whom god is not on a throne.
Special to The Jewish Week
08/30/2010 - 20:00

I am not a learned Jew. I am neither “religious” nor secular. I grew up in a religious household, and studied for a short time in a Jerusalem seminary. And though I eventually decided Orthodox Judaism was not a good fit for me, I did not entirely abandon Judaism either.

The author will be in synagogue on Rosh HaShanah, “using the prayers others are saying as the backdrop to my own meditation.”
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