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The Prophet Williams, William Carlos Williams

Hats off the the 92nd Street Y's Poetry Center Archives.  If you haven't heard of it yet, basically, it's one of the poetry gems on the Web.  The 92nd Street Y's Utenberg Poetry Center has, for decades, been inviting renowned poets to give lectures, read, and teach poetry to readers and writers. And they haven't lost a step in the digital age.  Many new poetry readings are quickly posted online, and they've also begun posting archived readings on the Web too. 

Is New York Blessed?

It’s hard to consider a city that sustained the worst terror attack in history lucky. But when you look at the attempts made since 9-11 (and a few prior) to cause widespread carnage in New York, you have to count the blessings. In a city that seems to top terrorists’ most wanted list, plots have been hatched to bomb Bronx synagogues, Herald Square, the Lincoln Tunnel, the subway, the Long Island Rail Road and other sites with an extremely fortunate track record of 0.

Holocaust sensitivity silliness, and a reasonable warning from the ADL on Arizona's immigration law

This is so silly, I can barely stand it.

The New Jersey Education Association is taking Gov. Chris Christie to task for inappropriately using the phrase “final solution” in a Washington speech.

Obey retiring, don't expect any tears from some pro-Israel groups

You can bet some pro-Israel hardliners won't be weeping salt tears over today's announcement by Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat and the dean of the congressional appropriations process, that he will be retiring.

But a lot of pro-Israel lobbyists who have worked with him over the years say his departure after 41 years in the House will be a big loss for the nation – and possibly for Israel.

Obama's Jewish charm offensive: what does it signal about his Israel policy?

We've read a lot in the last few days (see this JTA story in the Jewish Week)  about President Obama's Jewish charm offensive, which reached a kind of peak with yesterday's White House visit by Elie Wiesel, who proclaimed himself satisfied that the president does not have it in for Israel.

What we don't know: what does this all-out effort to ease the concerns of pro-Israel voters signal about administration policy?

Gag Rule For Gentiles

Interfaithfamily.com has published a very disturbing personal essay by a mom who wasn’t allowed to speak from the bima at her daughter’s bat mitzvah.

The essay by Debbie Burton doesn’t say how long ago the incident occurred, but the gag rule for gentiles remains in place at her Chicago congregation, which she describes as an independent lay-led minyan that relies on “Conservative legal opinions.” (To learn more about independent minyanim, which vary tremendously in their overall outlooks as well as their approaches toward interfaith families, read my colleague Rivka Oppenheim's excellent recent article or go to the Mechon Hadar Web site.)

Here we go again: Israel's Palestinian incitement index

Earlier this week Jewish Week editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt broke the story of a new Israeli plan to create an “incitement index” to document Palestinian incitement and the failure of West Bank leaders to extirpate anti-Israel hatred from the schools, the media and even street names.

On Schlemiels, Shlimazls, Shmendriks and Schmuks

One hopes that the New York Times story today on Jay Roach's upcoming film, "Dinner for Schmucks," starring Steve Carell, will inspire us all to brush up our Yiddish.  Critics have started to question the appropriateness of the title given to Roach's new film, a comedy of manners in which Carell plays a hapless idiot.  Given the premise, "schlemiel" or "shlimazl" -- Yiddish words that more closely translate into "idiot" -- should be in the title.&nbs

Only In NYC: A Terror Scare, And A Smile

Not again, I thought, as I saw police gathering on 40th Street and Seventh Avenue yesterday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the bungled (fortunately) car bomb on Times Square, a block from my office.

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