Posthumous books are all the rage these days, but here's one that's bound to make waves soon. An unpublished memoir by Tuvia Bielski, the leader of the Bieslki partisans, which saved 1,200 Jews in the Polish woods during the Holocaust, and was the subject of last year's film Defiance, has just been found. According to a story published in The Jerusa
Jeffrey Goldberg, the usually liberal Atlantic journalist and one-time IDF soldier, has increasingly been defending more conservative positions on Israel. So when he opened last night's discussion with Jeremy Ben-Ami, the J Street founder and former Clinton aide, with the interrogation-like question -- "Are you or have you ever been a Zionist?" -- you might have expected the night to end in a brawl.
Henry Roth's posthumous novel, "An American Type," has just been published and, in its wake, a fiesty literary debate has started to brew. The reviews are trickling in (stay tuned for my own, appearing in the upcoming June 18 issue), and perhaps the most devastating comes from Joshua Cohen in Harper's. Sadly, his essay is not available online, but I got my subscription copy late last week and was riveted by the piece.
"Settlers" usually gets you thinking of Israel, but The Atlantic has a curious dispatch in its new issue about settlers of another sort. In Dothan, Alabama, a small Southern town that's seen its Jewish population drastically dwindle over the last 40 years, a wealthy Jewish businessman is now offering $50,000 to any Jewish family that decides to move to the town. "I tell them there's running water, that we wear shoes, have a Starbucks," the director of the resettlement program tells The Atlantic.
Eight hundred and seventy-five years ago, Maimonides was born. I didn't realize that till yesterday, when I was doing a bit of research on the man, and came across a wonderful summation of his life and contentested legacy. It's a piece by Arthur Hertzberg, another titan of Jewish learning, who attended an academic conference in Paris for Maimonides' birthday, back in 1985. Though the conference happened a quarter century ago, Hertzberg's observations are eerily pre
Jewish news this week has been dominated by the flotilla crisis, but there's another Jewish problem still brewing: the fate of Jewish art museums. You'll remember that about a year and a half ago, Brandeis University announced that it was considering selling all the artwork in its small, but precious and impressive Rose Art Museum. Warhol's, de Kooning's and many other mid-century treasures were on display on museum's walls, and the university, facing its own dire fiscal problems, thought they could make money quick be selling it.
Given that last week's big Jewish news was Peter Beinart's criticism of the Jewish American establishment, I got up today wondering what he'd say about the Gaza flotilla attacks. Not so surprisingly, he had quite a bit to say, and posted his reaction on The Daily Beast.
If you are interested in politics--on Israel, or the Middle East, or anywhere else for that matter--you, like me, probably spend a lot of your time reading the news. You probably look beyond newspapers and to thoughtful magazines or blogs, be it The New Yorker or Commentary, Shmuel Rosner or Little Green Footballs. That's well in good, and in our harried day, even those media sources can seem a beast of burden.