Blogs

Does Franzen's "Freedom" Suck?

I do not know about you, but I've been riveted by the debates surrounding Jonathan Franzen's latest novel, "Freedom".  In the new issue of The Atlantic, B.R. Myers strikes a devasting blow against a book that has been otherwise roundly praised.

When Technology & Shabbat Collide, Give the Benefit of the Doubt

This past Sunday, the president of New York University issued a mass e-mail apology to students and staff. The day after Yom Kippur might sound like a sensible day for issuing apologies, but the question is whether John Sexton actually needed to make a Mea Culpa.

Still more bad news for Sen. Russ Feingold

The bad news keeps coming for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), the most liberal member of the Jewish delegation in the Senate.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, GOP challenger and political neophyte Ron Johnson now enjoys a seven point lead over the two-term incumbent less than two months from the November election.

Worrying About Another Kind Of 'Climate Control'

There is a great deal of talk about climate control these days, based on the deep concern that the earth’s atmosphere is heating up, with dire consequences predicted for future generations.

I share those worries, but have some more immediate ones as well. I’m thinking of the cultural environment, not just the natural environment.

Stop With All the Love Stories

It was a mistake to read the Vows’ column.

I mean, it’s hard enough keeping up morale in this dating morass and here the Times has to up and feature as its central love story yet another Cinderalla tale.

This time the bride, who happens to be the great-granddaughter of a famous American oil magnate - with the last name to prove it - was chosen and pursued by a young man until she finally said yes.

Clicking Against Ahmadinejad

There will be no community-wide Jewish protest rally near the United Nations this year on the day Iranian President Ahmadinejad addresses the General Assembly. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In part, there will be no public demonstration Sept. 23, when Ahmadinejad delivers his annual diatribe against Israel, because it is the first day of Sukkot. And in part, it may well be because the organizers of the rally for the past three years recognize that it was becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

Heroes, Outreach And Other News From Fooderation (er, Federation -- Got Fasting on The Brain)

My friend Ed Case of Interfaithfamily.com is becoming Mr. Jewish Federation!

In November, he’s on the roster of speakers at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans, appearing in a panel entitled “Can We Encourage In-Marriage and Welcome Interfaith Families?” He’ll be debating none other than Steven “Intermarriage=Single Greatest Threat” M. Cohen: I’m hoping they live stream or at least videotape this exchange, in which case I’ll of course embed it here, if I can figure out how!

Going Digital for Repentance

Robin Chotzinoff reflects in the August/September 2010 issue of Hadassah Magazine about how she observed the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah (the ten days of repentance) last year by answering a series of e-mail questions from 10Q. Ben Greeman, who launched the project in 2008 explains that "we tried to let people tap back into tradition, but without feeling like they have to pass an entrance exam."

Repent, Renew & Rejuvenate with Reboot's 10Q this Year

Economic angst deepens; where are the Jews?

 I'm not sure there's anything more demoralizing than watching Congress and the Obama administration sputter away about an economy that seems to heading south once again.

The past few week's newspapers have overflowed with economic news, ranging from bad to really terrible; economic pundits like the New York Times' Paul Krugman tell a terrible story of economic ineptitude at every level and speak ominously about much worse to come.

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