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Hidden Master Hidden Master
Thursday, August 25, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The saddest saga in Jewish literary history involves some 500 Soviet Yiddish artists who were stolen away by Stalin's henchmen in the late 1940's. They met a tragic fate after twenty years under a relentlessly repressive regime whose creation they had greeted with utopian fervor.
Too Many Museums? Too Many Museums?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Although the paint is still wet on Philadelphia's National Museum of American Jewish History, an announcement has just been made of a planned National Museum of the Jewish People in Washington, D.C., steps from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and not far from two other Jewish museums.
The Night of the Murdered Poets The Night of the Murdered Poets
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On August 12, 1952, thirteen major Soviet Jewish figures were executed for espionage, bourgeois nationalism, "lack of true Soviet spirit," and treason, including a plot to hand the Crimea over to American and Zionist imperialists.
Israel and the Antipodes Israel and the Antipodes
Monday, August 15, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

During the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, a boulder smashed into a car, killing 23-year-old Israeli Ofer Mizrahi.  The death toll from that earthquake was 181, including two Israelis besides Mizrahi.
Slaughterhouse Rules Slaughterhouse Rules
Friday, July 29, 2011 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Pending approval by its upper house of parliament, the Netherlands will join Switzerland and a handful of other Western countries in mandating that animals slaughtered for food must first be stunned unconscious, generally by a hammer blow to the skull.
Meet Sholem Aleichem Meet Sholem Aleichem
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the 1880's, the Ukrainian Jew Solomon Rabinowitz began his literary career under an assumed name—assumed because he was writing in Yiddish, rather than a respectable language such as Hebrew or Russian. The pseudonym he chose was Sholem Aleichem.
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes Through Soviet Jewish Eyes
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by William Meyers | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It is never not depressing: Any tale from the Soviet Union has to be depressing, whether it is conceived of as grotesque folly or simple tragedy, and if Jews are involved, all the more so. Jews are implicated in the creation of the Soviet Union, as its ardent supporters, and, inevitably, as victims of its apparatus of repression.
The Reluctant Renegade The Reluctant Renegade
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Since its founding, Conservative Judaism in the U.S. has defined itself in sharp contrast to Reform, pursuing a more religiously centrist and Zionist middle course. Its UK parallel, Masorti ("traditional") Judaism, was born as a secession movement from Orthodoxy—inspired by theologian Louis Jacobs.
Imaginary Vampires, Imagined Jews Imaginary Vampires, Imagined Jews
Monday, July 11, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

1897 was a watershed year in Jewish history. And now, Jewish historians may consider adding a surprising entry to the list of that year's events that proved so repercussive in Jewish history: the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
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.
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Editors' Picks
Stubborn Hope David P. Goldman, Tablet. Bernard Lewis' hopes for Muslim society resonated with characteristic American generosity and optimism. And so his disappointment also is ours.
The Reality of Race Jon Entine, Forward. Historical analysis now depends not only on pottery shards, flaking manuscripts, and faded coins, but on something far less ambiguous: DNA. And the study of Jewish DNA yields some surprising findings.
Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Fiction? , Moment. Howard Jacobson, Geraldine Brooks, A.B. Yehoshua, Shalom Auslander, Walter Mosley, Etgar Keret, André Aciman, Nathan Englander, Nadia Kalman, and others answer.
The Good Göring Christoph Gunkel, Spiegel. Albert Göring has remained essentially unknown—perhaps because it's hard to believe that the brother of Hitler's deputy was a member of the resistance.
Budding in Budapest Andrew Sacks, Jerusalem Post. Much of Hungary's Jewish establishment is government-funded and ossified. But in its shadow, in Budapest's old Jewish quarter, a kind of revival is going on.
There are More Things in Heaven and Earth David Winters, Bookforum. And there are other Walter Benjamins besides the post-Kantian philosopher dreamt of by Eli Friedlander.
"Kinat Sofrim" Laurent Binet, Garth Risk Hallberg, The Millions. One writer at work on the (false) memoirs of an old SS veteran reads another's bestselling, prize-accruing (false) memoirs of another SS veteran.
What Kind of Jewish Name is Shylock? Fred MacDowell, On the Main Line. The question has engaged scholars since the 18th century, leading to some very creative theories.
Darkness Visible Robert Zaretsky, Forward. Himmler and Heydrich were careerists. This is not to say they were not anti-Semitic: They were, rabidly so. But fanatical anti-Semitism was also a good career move in Nazi Germany.
Hail to the Chief? Dianna Cahn, JTA. Now that modern-day Judaism is losing ground as a uniform community in Britain, many are asking whether the chief rabbi can—or should—continue to try to unite Jewry under a single umbrella.