Jerusalem – Israel breathed a collective sigh of relief this week.
In the days before Yom Kippur on Saturday and the start of Sukkot on Wednesday night, between concern over a possible with Syria and the announcement of a tentative deal brokered by the United States and Russia, Israelis turned from thoughts of missile attacks to attention to the last of this month's series of Jewish holidays.
Many American Jews have insisted that a healthy, mutual friendship with Israel entails criticizing Israel. Many Israelis, especially those who work with Jews from the center and the left, have accepted those marching orders, creating paradigms about “hugging and wrestling.” And they share reassuring philosophical insights like Harvard’s Michael Sandel’s teaching that embarrassment reflects belonging — Syrian brutality does not embarrass us: Israel’s milder mistakes do.
Jews have a long history revising liturgy they find offensive. The Reform movement has often led that charge, doing away with, for the most part, patrilineal prayers they think should be gender-neutral, and thus more inclusive.
‘Come Home’ ads expose cracks in relationship between American Jews and Israeli officials.
Editor And Publisher
The news reports about Israel’s latest, ill-fated public relations campaign have come and gone. But the impact lingers, and it’s worth exploring how Israeli and American Jews, despite all their professed connections, still misunderstand each other in troubling ways.
The most recent example, in brief: A $300,000 ad campaign to encourage Israelis living in America to come home, sponsored by the government in Jerusalem, became known to and immediately was criticized by mainstream, fervently pro-Israel American Jewish groups, and others, as deeply offensive.
Carefully structured Dialogue Project aims to promote understanding on both sides.
Jewish Week Correspondent
As Israeli and Palestinian officials made preparations for this week’s showdown at the United Nations, a small group of Jews and Muslims gathered in Yonkers last week to sort through their own feelings and see if they could better understand the views of the other side.
Something unusual happened last month. For the week ending March 13, 2010, Google wasn't the most visited website in the U.S. That week, Facebook reached the coveted #1 ranking. The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% that week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame. Together Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14% of all U.S. Internet visits during that week.