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Arts & Culture

What is Jewish Dance? What is Jewish Dance?
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 by Walter Zev Feldman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For readers interested in the development of folk dance and, to a lesser extent, modern dance in Israel, Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance, edited by Judith Brin Ingber, a dance scholar who has written widely on Israeli dance, is a valuable resource.
Our Zoroastrian Moment Our Zoroastrian Moment
Monday, May 7, 2012 by Shai Secunda | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The great contemporary scholar of religion Jonathan Z. Smith once remarked that the omnipresent substructure of human thought lies in the human capacity to make comparisons. In ancient Sumer, scribes crafted intricate similes.
A Vote Not Cast A Vote Not Cast
Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When my Labor Zionist cousins made aliyah from New York City in the 1950s to an agricultural moshav outside Raanana they cast off comfort, kin, and familiarity for the yoke of pioneering Zionism. It was inevitable that they'd lose touch with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Joe DiMaggio's love life, and the fate of the Third Avenue El.
Songs and Psalms Songs and Psalms
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After 17 years in Israel, our family has temporarily relocated to Brooklyn. For a week after we arrived, our pious Jewish neighbors ignored us. Then, on Shabbat, three of them finally approached us, one after another—to tell us that the neighborhood eruv we were using really didn't exist and that we were profaning the Sabbath.
The Move that Dare Not Speak Its Name The Move that Dare Not Speak Its Name
Monday, April 30, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Recent years have seen a flurry of reports, studies, and worried discussions about strengthening Diaspora Jewry's ties to Israel. But what about strengthening the ties to Israel—or, for that matter, to the Diaspora—of the growing numbers of Israelis who live abroad?
Going the Distance Going the Distance
Friday, April 27, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel is a nation-state. In contrast, Diaspora Jewry—in particular, American Jewry—is a network of voluntary communities, constituting not just different structures but different life-worlds. While it is usually taken for granted that nation-states and their respective diasporas will grow apart, with Jews the issue is hotly debated.
Independence Day Independence Day
Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Every spring, within a single week, Israel commemorates Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Ha'atzma'ut. These days revisit the core drama of the modern Jewish experience.  They are also among the most controversial in the Israeli calendar.
A Room of Their Own A Room of Their Own
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The editors of B'hadrei Haredim, a website whose name could be loosely translated as Haredi "private rooms," are supposed to be the good guys—the people who are leading the Haredi community in new and positive directions. These are the individuals who turned a tiny chat room into a major news site.
The Education of a “Wise Man” The Education of a “Wise Man”
Friday, April 20, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Eddie Jacobson was once a folk hero among American Jews, and even today he is far from forgotten. In their authoritative book A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel, Allis and Ronald Radosh tell how Truman's old business partner did his part to bring Israel into existence.
Righteous Among <i>Our</i> Nation Righteous Among Our Nation
Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Chaya Glasner | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Even before visitors walk through the door of Yad Vashem, they see a powerful tribute to Holocaust heroism. Along the Avenue of the Righteous leading to the museum, thousands of trees bloom in honor of the approximately 21,000 "Righteous Among the Nations," courageous Gentiles who defied the Nazis and risked their lives to save Jews from deportation.
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Editors' Picks
Britain’s New Jews David Dee, Jewish Chronicle. By promoting participation in sports, the Anglo-Jewish establishment transformed Eastern European immigrants from aliens to “Englishmen and women of the Mosaic persuasion”—at the expense of their Judaism.
When Ben-Gurion Met Jabotinsky A. B. Yehoshua, David Janner-Klausner, Fathom. Jabotinsky: "You have turned from being a Jew to being an Eretz Yisraelite."  Ben-Gurion: "That is why I see the world and judge it from the perspective of this small patch of land." (Fiction)
A Partridge Among the Pigeons Michael Orbach, Tablet. Conservationists have ignored the poor Philby's Partridge, a Yemenite bird on the brink of extinction.  But an American rabbi is working to save it—because it might be kosher.
Keeping the Campfires Burning Gil Shefler, JTA. Remember the joys of Jewish summer camp? Foundations think that Jewish camping is critical to Jewish identity, and they’re increasing subsidies to keep it affordable.
Open Heart Stefan Kanfer, City Journal. In his latest book, about his recent medical misfortunes, Elie Wiesel once again shows himself to be "a generous man in a parsimonious epoch."
21st Century Lox Ron Rosenbaum, New Republic. As smoked salmon has evolved from deli staple to the pride of artisanal markets and upscale restaurants, has it lost its Jewish soul?
Move Over, Looney Tunes Samuel Thrope, Tablet. The artists at Studio G-dcast are making animated cartoons of talmudic discussions.  Are they expanding the audience for the Talmud or creating another excuse not to read?
Waiting for God to Call Steven Millhauser, New Yorker. "His father and Samuel, two of a kind.  Samuel: 'Thou art wicked.'  His father: 'You are ignorant.'  A special sect: the Jewish atheist." (Fiction)
Painting Scripture Hershel Shanks, Bible History Daily. Traditional depictions of Judith's decapitation of Holofernes show a pure widow solemnly performing her gruesome duty.  The contrast with Klimt's interpretation could not be greater. 
From Nebekh to Nebbish Philologos, Forward. Both nebekh and nebbish denote an unfortunate fellow; but the Americanized version dispenses with any hint of sympathy.