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Current Affairs

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?
Is Judaism a Proselytizing Religion? Is Judaism a Proselytizing Religion?
Friday, October 19, 2012 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When Mitt Romney became the Republican Presidential candidate, some of the media attention focused on his experience as a Mormon  missionary in France and asked, subtly or not so subtly, whether a member of a proselytizing religion could properly lead a pluralistic society.
Strategic Investment in Israel’s New War Strategic Investment in Israel’s New War
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by Ronen Shoval | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Foreign governments, acting thoughtfully and strategically, fund dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that form a flourishing anti-Israel movement within Israel itself.
At Last, Zion At Last, Zion
Friday, September 21, 2012 by Charles Krauthammer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Milan Kundera once defined a small nation as "one whose very existence may be put in question at any moment; a small nation can disappear, and it knows it."  Israel is a small country. This is not to say that extinction is its fate. Only that it can be.
Neologism and Nationalism Neologism and Nationalism
Thursday, August 30, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

There has never been agreement about Zionism.  Not only is the idea of Jewish nationalism controversial, the very word “Zionism” arouses unique passions, as a recent controversy highlights.
Are Day School Vouchers the Answer? Are Day School Vouchers the Answer?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Is Jewish education a parental or communal responsibility?  The privately funded heder, with its melamed, or tutor, emphasizes the parental aspect.  The publicly maintained talmud torah, or congregational school, emphasizes the communal obligation.
UNESCO and the World Heritage Game UNESCO and the World Heritage Game
Monday, July 16, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO, claims to safeguard the shared patrimony of the entire human race.
The Chained Wife The Chained Wife
Thursday, June 14, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Yafa Friedman lives in a modest, two-story townhouse in Brooklyn. This past Sunday, the shades were drawn as a group of 30 protestors marched outside the house chanting, "Yafa Friedman—stop the abuse!"
The Jewish Left, between History and Revelation The Jewish Left, between History and Revelation
Monday, June 11, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The association of Jews with leftist ideas and movements has been a fixture of Western politics for the past 150 years. But is the relationship logical and necessary, or is it historical and contingent?
The <i>Mona Lisa</i> of Vienna The Mona Lisa of Vienna
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Susan Hertog | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1857, when Emperor Franz-Joseph pulled down the ancient stone wall encompassing Vienna, the social and cultural traditions of the country seemed to tumble with it. Impoverished immigrants, many of them Jews, flooded in from the east.
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Editors' Picks
European Muslims: The Quiet Revolution Ari Varon, Haaretz. It’s the radical Islamists who get the headlines.  But in the background, European Muslims, for the first time in Islamic history, may be developing a locally based Islamic-European identity.
Jordan in Jeopardy Oded Eran, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. The outcome of a dispute over parliamentary reform between the monarchy and the opposition may determine who runs Jordan: King Abdullah II or the Muslim Brotherhood. (PDF)
How Orientalism Shaped Obama Lee Smith, Tablet. Blaming the recent attacks against U.S. targets on a cheap video reflects Edward Said’s argument that Europe subjugated Muslims by distorting perceptions of their culture.
Noam Gershony’s Incredible Gold Marcus Dysch, Jewish Chronicle. The Israeli war hero lost the use of his legs in a helicopter crash in the 2006 Lebanon War.  At this year’s Paralympics, he became a hero again.
The Rest of the Leaked Romney Video Douglas Bloomfield, Jewish Week. In that fundraiser video, Romney also talked about Israel: “Pushing the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world.”
Poet of the Palmach Sigal Arbitman, Eran Swissa, Yehuda Shlezinger, Israel Hayom. Haim Hefer wrote songs that built Israel’s character and gained the status of national anthems.  He died on Rosh Hashana at age 86. 
A New Lease on Life Winnie Hu, New York Times. From the Bronx to New Orleans, struggling synagogues have come up with a new way to survive: They pay Jewish families to move into the neighborhood.
The Razor’s Edge Dan Ephron, Daily Beast. How might war between Iran and Israel begin?  Former Mossad chief Ephraim Levy says the flash point could be the Iranian soldiers now in Syria helping the Assad regime. 
Cooling the Circumcision Debate Andreas Michaelis, Jerusalem Post. There has been worry over a German court’s opinion that circumcision is bodily harm.  But it has no binding force—and has been repudiated by the German government. 
In Search of a Cultural Arab Spring Salman Masalha, MEMRI. In the images of Syrian violence an Israeli Druse sees the brutality of modern Arab regimes: “Every one of them is based on tribal and religious tyranny.”