New Dean From The Beth Din

Associate Editor

From the beginning of Richard Joel’s presidency at Yeshiva University in 2003, observers were waiting to see what he’d do with YU’s rabbinical program, what he calls “the soul” of YU but a place that others considered an isolated and traditionalist fiefdom sometimes at odds with the “university” half of YU’s moniker.But as the advance word spread of Joel’s appointment of Rabbi Yona Reiss as dean (expected to be announced this week), the positive reaction Joel said he’d been getting had Joel feeling rightly proud.

Recalling A Shattered Past

Staff Writer
For Karl Richter, the most vivid memory of November 1938 is the Jewish hospital in Mannheim, Germany. Rabbi of the city’s synagogue, he walked there with his wife on the morning of Nov. 10, after a night of anti-Jewish riots. The beds were full. “There were lots of people. Some jumped out of windows — with broken arms and legs.”

Between A Hug And A Snub

Associate Editor

When Noah Feldman, the new bete noir of Jewish life, arrives at Harvard next month for the start of classes, here’s how one Orthodox rabbi on campus will greet him: with a big hug.

Nobel Causes

Staff Writer
A refugee from Nazi Europe and a Long Island pharmacologist who began his career during the Depression received good news from Stockholm last week — announcements that they had won Nobel Prizes. Viennese-born Walter Kohn, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He shares the award and a $978,000 prize with John Pople of Northwestern University in Chicago.

Snap, Crackle, But Not Cropped

Associate Editor

Noah Feldman, who ignited a firestorm of criticism last week with his pointed attack on Modern Orthodoxy in The New York Times Magazine, admitted this week that he learned before publication of his article that he in fact was not intentionally cropped out of his reunion photograph.In the article, “Orthodox Paradox,” Feldman, a Harvard Law School professor, asserts that he was erased from a newsletter’s photograph by his former yeshiva, the Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass., because he was standing alongside his non-Jewish girlfriend.

Daniel Pearl’s Story Still In Captivity

Associate Editor

There’s a sure-fire line in every Holocaust movie, almost a laugh-line for audiences by now, that cues the viewer to know that the character — usually a fussy intellectual — is not only a fool but someone who will definitely be killed by the end of the first reel. The line? “But this is the country of Beethoven, Goethe and Schiller!”Sure, pal. Now do the movie’s hero a favor and get out of the way.“We’ve seen that argument,” says novelist Thane Rosenbaum. “‘I am German. I am German like you.

Bad Moon Rising

Associate Editor

The Jewish summer is haunted and insiders know it. The 21 days of the Hebrew calendar, falling this year between July 3 and July 24, contain the looping anniversaries of misjudgment, from the Golden Calf and the breaking of the Ten Commandments to the Nazi liquidation of the Kovno Ghetto; from Babylonians and later Romans destroying Jerusalem, to the twin burnings of the Temple, to the triple kidnappings of Israeli soldiers in the summer of ’06.The new moon of Av is a bad moon rising. Lock the barn and don’t scare the horses.

Dual Loyalty And The New Republic

Associate Editor

Eric Alterman, the media analyst, has always been sensitive, touchy even, on the question of “dual loyalty,” the belief that somewhere an anti-Semite is keeping tabs on the extent to which an American Jew’s support for Israel justifies Jew hatred.Few anti-Semites, though, have been as persistent, even merciless, in exploring dual loyalty as has Alterman, a Jew who admits to a dash of dual loyalty all his own.A columnist for The Nation, and a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College, in 2003 he essayed a column on Iraq in which he was concerned that the “primary in

The ‘Ark’ Of Current Events

Associate Editor

Biblical Hollywood has evolved through the decades, from sex-and-sandal epics, to Cecil B.

Before Israel Was 60, She Was 10

Associate Editor

Fifty years ago, April 12, 1958, on the cusp of Israel’s 10th birthday, not its 60th, Abba Eban, then Israel’s ambassador to the United States, sat down for an interview with CBS.
“I’m Mike Wallace,” says the newsman. “The cigarette is Parliament.”
It was a time when journalists almost had to smoke, a haze drifted between the talking heads on an unadorned stage, draped in black.

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