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American Judaism

The ISI and the Jews The ISI and the Jews
Thursday, January 3, 2013 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Pakistan's intelligence agency has supported Al Qaeda, Iran, and Lashkar-e-Taiba—the terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008, killing six at Chabad.  But the U.S. still treats it as an ally.
’Twas the Day After Christmas . . . ’Twas the Day After Christmas . . .
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Ethan Schwartz | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Joshua Eli Plaut’s new book, A Kosher Christmas: ’Tis the Season to Be Jewish, fails to recognize that in subverting Christmas, American Jews have promoted their own assimilation.
The <i>Tish</i> and the Thanksgiving Table The Tish and the Thanksgiving Table
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a scene in Avalon, Barry Levinson’s cinematic memoir of growing up in Baltimore with his Yiddish-speaking immigrant parents, Uncle Gabriel Krichinsky, brilliantly played by Lou Jacobi, arrives—late, as usual—for the extended Krichinsky family’s annual Thanksgiving dinner.
An Open Letter to Philip Roth An Open Letter to Philip Roth
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 by D.G. Myers | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Say it ain’t so.  The news that you have decided to retire from the “awful field” of writing fiction is terribly upsetting.  Not because your readers and critics might have paid more respectful attention to Nemesis if they’d only known that it was going to be your last book.
The Real Jewish Geography The Real Jewish Geography
Friday, November 16, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A new series of high resolution maps, produced by geographer Joshua Comenetz, provide a view of American Jewish life that is seemingly familiar—but, beneath the surface, spread unevenly across the 50 states.
The Most Influential Jewish Philosopher You Never Heard Of The Most Influential Jewish Philosopher You Never Heard Of
Monday, November 12, 2012 by Diane Cole | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Adapt or die: this principle now permeates discussions among not just biologists but anthropologists, sociologists, and even theologians seeking the origins of religion in an evolutionary need for group survival.  
Can Reform Judaism Get Its Mojo Back? Can Reform Judaism Get Its Mojo Back?
Friday, November 9, 2012 by Evan Moffic | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The American Jewish community as a whole cannot survive if there is no non-Orthodox movement to which American Jews can belong; in other words, survival depends on a strong Reform movement.  But in light of current trends, is that possible?
Reform of Tradition, Tradition of Reform Reform of Tradition, Tradition of Reform
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Max Lilienthal’s life provides a lens through which we watch American Judaism, Reform Judaism in particular, struggle with the consequences of its own idiosyncratic condition.
Max Lilienthal’s Aborted Return Max Lilienthal’s Aborted Return
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In Bruce L. Ruben’s new biography Max Lilienthal: The Making of the American Rabbinate, about one of the pioneers of the American Reform movement, I was surprised to learn that Lilienthal almost made a second trip to Tsarist Russia.
In Defense of the Nation-State In Defense of the Nation-State
Friday, October 5, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Daniel Gordis wants you to know that if you want tolerance, diversity and freedom, you should work for Zionism.  In his new book, Gordis weaves the work of political theorists and historians into a compelling case for the nation-state in general and Israel in particular.
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Editors' Picks
Workers’ Rights Gil Student, Torah Musings. While Jewish law does not require an employer to offer severance pay to a dismissed employee, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein enshrined it as an American Jewish custom.
Giving Up on Humanity Ilan Feldman, Klal Perspectives. By failing to reach out to non-Orthodox Jews, says an Orthodox rabbi, "we have sold out on the view of man that was the keystone of Avraham Avinu."
In Memory of a Friend Seth Mandel, Commentary. Senator Daniel Inouye, who died this week, was a decorated war hero, a champion of his state of Hawaii—and a stalwart and constant friend of Israel.
The Soloveitchiks and Jesus Shaul Magid, Tablet. Yale’s new president descends from Rabbi Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik—who, unlike his cousin, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, found much common ground between Judaism and Christianity.
Hanukkah Stats Ran Abramitzky, Liran Einav, Oren Rigbi, Economic Journal. It had to happen: economists have subjected Hanukkah to regression analysis to determine whether or not the holiday is simply a Jewish Christmas. (2009)
A Writer's Story Nathan Englander, Chicago Tribune. “When I set out to write my Argentina book,” recalls Nathan Englander, “I was going to write a Jew-free novel.”  But “the Jews, they just got in everywhere.” (Interview by Kevin Nance)
What Crisis of Zionism? J. J. Goldberg, Forward. For American Jews under 35, the decline in attachment to Israel seems to be reversing itself—but not the decline in trust toward Israel’s government.
Jewish Jocks David Davis, Los Angeles Review of Books. A new collection of essays about 50 Jewish sports stars tries to show that Jews have made a considerable contribution to American athletics.  But does it protest too much?
Does Klal Yisrael Work Both Ways? Stephen G. Donshik, eJewish Philanthropy. When European or Israeli Jews are in crisis, American Jews send money.  So where is the aid from Israeli and European Jews for the Jewish victims of Hurricane Sandy?
People of the Book, Power of the Tongue Debra Rubin, Huffington Post. The Library of Congress celebrates the centennial of its Hebraica collection with a multifaceted collection, including everything from Bibles to Winnie the Pooh in Yiddish—or Vini-der-Pu.