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Arts & Culture

Career Corps Career Corps
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The United States has its military academies at West Point and Annapolis. The British put their officers through Sandhurst. But how will the Israeli Defense Forces, a citizen army, train its officers for the 21st century?
Desperately Seeking S’lihot Desperately Seeking S’lihot
Friday, September 23, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

There was a time, not so very long ago, when the Saturday night preceding Rosh Hashanah was the rough equivalent of the season's opening at the Met for opera enthusiasts.
Mel and the Maccabee Mel and the Maccabee
Thursday, September 22, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Australian-American actor and director Mel Gibson—he of the anti-Semitic outbursts, the abused girlfriend, The Passion of the Christ—has just closed a deal to make a film for Warner Bros. with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas about the life of Judah Maccabee.
Rosh Hashanah with the Chief Rabbi Rosh Hashanah with the Chief Rabbi
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ten years ago, the first day of Rosh Hashanah—the two-day Jewish New Year—fell on September 18. That was one week after September 11, 2001, when almost 3,000 people were killed by Muslim terrorists. On that Rosh Hashanah, rabbis did not lack for sermon topics.
Building Jerusalem Building Jerusalem
Friday, September 16, 2011 by Hadassah Levy | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On the edge of Route 1 as that thoroughfare runs through eastern Jerusalem lies an Arab neighborhood by the name of Sheikh Jarrah. In one section of the neighborhood, an Israeli flag waves and Jews walk back and forth to the tomb of Simon the Just, who served as high priest in the Second Temple.
West Bank Blues West Bank Blues
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Few groups are as demonized in public discourse as "the Jewish settlers" of the West Bank. To listen to the pundits, these international outlaws are single-handedly preventing the achievement of a utopian peace in the Middle East.
Enmity; or, Yiddish in America Enmity; or, Yiddish in America
Monday, September 12, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

He was irascible, neurotic, self-obsessed, and socially inept; a brilliant misfit and misanthropic dilettante. Upon his death in July 2010, Harvey Pekar's few close friends insisted that the underground comic-book writer was also a gem in the rough, an out-of-date socialist naïf.
Mossad and Morality on Film Mossad and Morality on Film
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Most films conform to conventions that reflect the attitudes of their filmmakers, and films about the Mossad, or Israel Secret Intelligence Service, are no different.  Hollywood's latest is a well-acted exploration of Israeli intelligence failures, moral ambiguities, and, of course, Jewish guilt.
Retrieving American Jewish Fiction Retrieving American Jewish Fiction
Thursday, September 1, 2011 by D.G. Myers | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Jewish "boom" in American writing in the 60's was ignited by Bellow, Roth, and Malamud—reeled off in that order as if they were a firm of Jewish accountants.  The roots of American Jewish literature go much further back, though. 
Jews against Zionism Jews against Zionism
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It will come as a surprise to many that the current adamant Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state was once American policy. An even greater surprise is that an American rabbi and the Jewish organization he headed played a major role in the government's articulation of that policy.
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Editors' Picks
Calumny and “Closure” Allan Nadler, Forward. Struggling to remain impartial, a writer’s memoir of a summer in Lithuania ends up little more than a collage of wide-eyed postcards from a land whose history she struggles, and mostly fails, to decipher. 
Shabbes or Showbiz? Benjamin Ivry, Forward. “I could overcome my Jewish inhibition of making the sign of the cross on stage because, as an actor, ‘there is no facet of human nature alien to myself.’”
Borges, a Jew? Ilan Stavans, Jewish Review of Books. “In a typewriter in the hotel room where his body is found is a note: ‘The first letter of the Name has been written.’”
Learning Law Young Michael Broyde, ELI Talks. Jewish day schools provide students with the functional equivalent of a first-year law school curriculum. (Video)
Interfaith Insults Philologos, Forward. Although Europe’s Jews weren’t keen on Christians—for good reason—Yiddish terminology places more emphasis on differentiating Jews than insulting their neighbors.
The Man behind the Reference Desk Zalman Alpert, Jewish Press. A career librarian at Yeshiva University reflects on the evolution of American Orthodoxy, Chabad, and what the Black Power movement gave the Jews. (Interview by Elliot Resnick)
Still (Jewish) Life Catherine C. Bock-Weiss, Jewish Review of Books. "If it hadn't been for the Russians and the Americans, I would have starved,” said Matisse.  And the Jews?  
The Woman Who Slept on a Shelf Shoshana Kordova, Haaretz. No one would dispute Nehama Leibowitz’s brilliance as a teacher and Bible scholar.  But in her own words, "Do you think I'd be writing these gilyonot if I had children?!"
Cross Off and Move On Deborah Eisenberg, New York Review of Books. "She tells me that yes, absolutely, we Jews certainly believe in God, although strictly speaking, she herself doesn’t and neither do Aunt Adela or Aunt Charna." (Fiction)
From Dogma to Dissent Benjamin Ivry, Forward. Vasily Grossman is now lauded as a dissident writer who dared to speak out against the USSR and reveal Stalin’s oppression of Jews. But he started out as a willing Soviet apologist.