There will no doubt be many times when a new app is released for Apple's iPad and people exclaim something to the effect of "Well, it was only a matter of time until someone created that!"
This was certainly the case yesterday, when RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology, released its first iPad app. Approved by Apple, it is named the iPad Torah, and is essentially a scan of the Torah scroll on the iPad screen.
If you Google Sandra Bullock and Jewish, you will get pages and pages of back-and-forth about the Oscar-winning actress' heritage.WikiAnswers says Bullock was "born in Arlington, Virginia US but her mother was from Nuernberg Germany. Sandra Bullock is Jewish half jewish no doubt" [sic].
Today, on Pesach Sheni, the best Jewish holiday no one ever heard of, one reader kindly requested a reprint of story I wrote years ago that doesn't seem to be available online. Here's a slightly edited version.
The Jerusalem Post is reporting merger talks between the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress.
Pardon me while I snort.
In 23 years on this beat, I can't tell you how many times I've written about rumors of a merger between these two groups that have sometimes quarreled over which has the right to be called "AJC." It's never amounted to much except talk.
There are many reasons to not like blogs. For one, they're derivative, the great many of them dependent on hard-earned reporting. Usually, they're mere commentary on stories professional journalists have sweated long and hard to report. It used to be the case that newspapers would give a column to a reporter only after he'd spent years mastering his beat; the freedom to opine was an editor's great gift to a writer whose identity, individuality, whose thoughts and ideas were shackled in servitude to the ethical code of reportorial objectivity.
Two recent pieces have me wondering if I’ll be out of a job soon.
Not because of the sorry state of American journalism, but because these articles, both based on conversations with Jewish women in their 20s, indicate that intermarriage has become a complete non-issue for the next generation.
I can't quite get my mind around the fierce reaction to an allegedly anti-Semitic joke told by Gen. Jim Jones, the Obama administration national security adviser, during a recent appearance before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank.
Those reactions range from ADL national director Abe Foxman's relatively sedate label of “inappropiate” to emails I've received (the usual chain emails, suggesting Obama-inspired pogroms are just around the corner) calling his joke “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”
In a recent blog post, my colleague and teacher Rabbi Hayim Herring writes about the Fast Company article that questions whether the introduction of smartphones and handheld computers into classrooms worldwide will be the start of an educational revolution. Anya Kamenetz, author of the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education wonders "How technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher."
Another poll is out looking at public opinion on Obama administration's handling of the Middle East and U.S.-Israel relations, and despite the small Jewish sample (see JTA's Ron Kampeas, who loves analyzing poll methodology; I defer to him, since I barely passed graduate statistics) there's