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Arts & Culture


Getting Birthright Wrong Getting Birthright Wrong
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 by Philip Getz | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In mid-June, The Nation magazine, which for decades has provided a special platform for Jewish critics of Zionism, published an article by a young alumna of Birthright Israel, the organization that since 1999 has sent 260,000 young Diaspora Jews (including this writer) on free ten-day tours of the Holy Land.
Capital Crime.  Capital Punishment? Capital Crime. Capital Punishment?
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Since its founding, the only person ever to be executed by the state of Israel has been the notorious Nazi, Adolf Eichmann. But the brutal murders of Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their young children this past March has the IDF weighing the possibility of seeking the death penalty for the Fogels' murderers.
In the Wake of the <i>Altalena</i> In the Wake of the Altalena
Thursday, June 30, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ships and their comings and goings have lately been a fixation over at Haaretz, Israel's chief left-wing newspaper. One of the paper's advocacy journalists has been writing enthusiastically about joining up with a pro-Palestinian flotilla that intends to smash Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Jews, Communism, and Espionage Jews, Communism, and Espionage
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the history of the American Left, Jews have been disproportionately represented—disproportionately, that is, relative to their share of the American population. At the extremes, they have also been active participants in what has sentimentally been called the "romance" of American Communism.
Montreal, a Love Story Montreal, a Love Story
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The second International Yiddish Theater Festival, an elaborate ten-day fete whose program ranges from carnavalesque performances to academic symposia, just wrapped up last week in Montreal. What is especially surprising about this celebration is that Montreal is a city with a Jewish population of less than 80,000.
Following the Strong Horse Following the Strong Horse
Friday, June 24, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A Druse physician from the Golan Heights, who works at an Israeli hospital, was one of 24 members of his community arrested for pummeling IDF troops with rocks during so-called Naksa Day protests. Just where do Druse loyalties lie?
Hebrew School Hebrew School
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Samson Benderly, one might say, had crusading in his blood. A direct descendant of Jacob Emden, the zealous 18th-century European battler against Sabbateanism, he spent his youth in Palestine before coming to the United States in 1898 with the aim of becoming a physician.
The Tourist’s Dilemma The Tourist’s Dilemma
Monday, June 20, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On the southwest coast of Albania on the Ionian Sea, opposite the Greek island of Corfu, beneath the modern town of Saranda, lies the ancient city of Onchesmos. That ancient city had a synagogue.
Israelites in the Anglo-Saxon Sea Israelites in the Anglo-Saxon Sea
Friday, June 17, 2011 by David Curzon | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Since it was first composed, there have been dozens—if not hundreds—of renderings of the Hebrew Bible. The process of translation and creative elaboration began during the first millennium B.C.E.
Jesus for Jews Jesus for Jews
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by Eve Levavi Feinstein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

That Jesus lived and died a Jew would hardly be regarded as news by most educated Jews and Christians today.  Still, while the historical Jesus is ever-elusive, the figure of Jesus, for Jews, has become more accessible.
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Editors' Picks
Our Maronite Minority Eli Balshan, Times of Israel. Inspired in part by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, two Maronite brothers have taken it upon themselves to revitalize their ancestral Aramaic into a modern, living language.
Food for Peace Kenneth M. Quinn, Huffington Post. Daniel Hillel's micro-irrigation technology, which turns desert into farmland, has earned him the World Food Prize—and the gratitude of people across the Middle East.
Reform Has Mandate to Change Rick Jacobs, Presidential Installation Sermon, Union for Reform Judaism. "Come survive with us" is hardly an inspiring call to Jewish commitment. We can do better.
We Failed Zuckerberg Dana Evan Kaplan, Forward. A Reform rabbi argues that his movement's pluralistic theology is to blame for the detachment of young Jews from their faith.
Wagner the Dog Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. What does it say about Jewish sensibilities that a month after Tel Aviv University hosted a "Nakba Day" commemoration, it judged a concert of Wagner's music to be beyond the pale?
Never on Saturday Tevi Troy, Washington Jewish Week. "During the Katrina disaster, President Bush declared to his senior staff that there would be no weekend . . . As a Sabbath observer, I wondered what to do."
Fleshpots and Ice Cream Pints Elli Fischer, Times of Israel. From olim, one hears an American—or is it an atavistic?—yearning for quality and convenience.     
A Stanza of One's Own Renee Levine, Jerusalem Post. In the nineteenth century, visitors began to appear in Trieste, Italy, to ascertain whether or not a woman was in fact producing the Hebrew verses published under the name "Rachel Morpurgo."
The Benefactors of Breslau Malgorzata Stolarska-Fronia, H-Net. A new book cataloging Jewish welfare institutions in Breslau, Germany (now Poland) shows how philanthropy was central to the cultural exchange that followed the Emancipation.
Reading and Religion Jeffrey Saks, Torah Musings. The late Ray Bradbury's dystopian vision of a world without books in Farenheit 451 shows that there is no substitute for reading as moral education—and as a route to spiritual maturity.