Jewish history

Nailing It Down

Getting a manicure, complete with a Jewish history lesson.

Special To The Jewish Week

Before every major holiday, I indulge in a special manicure featuring Jewish-themed nail decals with my son’s girlfriend Vivyan. For Chanukah, the tiny blue dreidels spin with every wave of our hands. On Passover, the plagues are upon us — hail on our thumbs, shank bones on our pinkies. Even though I never intended a manicure to be anything other than a manicure, this fun tradition has also unexpectedly become a painless opportunity to explain Jewish customs and history to Vivyan, a Buddhist Vietnamese-American.

Angela Himsel

New YIVO Project Digitizes Pre-War Archive

Staff Writer

Imagine 1,000 years of Jewish history at your fingertips.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish research is digitizing some 1.5 million documents in its collection. Getty Images

Tiger Mom Brings Jews Into The Fold

But sociologists say ‘Triple Package’ argument ignores real reasons for Jewish success.

Staff Writer

Stuyvesant High School, that bastion of hyper-competitiveness that regularly sends students off to Harvard and Yale, is thought by many to be the best public high school in New York City. The most recent student-body figures show that nearly three out of four students there are Asian.

Jed Rubenfeld and Amy Chua. (L) Fadil Berisha, (R) Gianluca Battista

An Arresting Development In Jerusalem


The “crime” of praying as a Jew has a long, and dishonored place, in Jewish history.

Move Over Mendelssohn: Why Everything You Know About the Jewish Enlightenment Is Wrong

Ask anyone about the Jewish Enlightenment, or Haskalah, and the first person they’ll likely mention is Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786).  Few would disagree that Mendelssohn played a key role in the Haskalah’s earliest stages, attempting as he did to modernize Judaism in 18th century Germany and bring it in line with the broader intellectual trend of his time—that is, the Enlightenment, or what historians often call the Age of Reason.

Saul Bellow's Jewish Problem: The Lost (And Recently Found) Lecture

The New York Review of Books published the second and last installment of Saul Bellow's lectures on being a Jewish writer--and, boy, is it a complicated. At root, he's gives his take on what it means to be a secular Jew in the modern world, particularly if your Jewish identity is central to you.

Jerusalem Planning Committee Approves Museum of Tolerance


JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Jerusalem municipal planning committee has approved plans for a scaled-back Museum of Tolerance in the center of Jerusalem.

The plan was approved more than two years after the project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center was withdrawn due to the slumping economy.

The plan is opposed by Muslim religious leaders, who say that the site if the project had served for centuries as a Muslim cemetery. They appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, which granted the Wiesenthal Center permission to continue.

New Nat’l Museum Trumpets Freedom, Hints At Its Costs

As $150 million American Jewish History museum in Philadelphia nears opening, a look at the double-edged story it’s telling.

Staff Writer

Philadelphia — He was a prominent city official in Richmond two centuries ago, but he is a minor figure in American history. Solomon Jacobs, in a portrait that well displays his serious mien and full sideburns, makes a silent statement here about the lives that American Jews once led and still do.

Five-story museum building is on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, near landmark sites of Revolutionary War. Jeffrey Holder
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