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The Americas


Look for the Union Label Look for the Union Label
Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With the din from the Occupy Wall Street encampments fading in the early winter chill, it's time to step back and consider the phenomenon as part of the broader history of the anti-capitalist struggle in America.
Jews and Black Baseball Jews and Black Baseball
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Prague has its Altneuschul and Rabbi Judah Loewe, who created the original Golem; Worms has its Raschi-Haus, where the great medieval scholar is said to have studied. And in America, St. Paul, Minnesota has its Temple of Aaron.
Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation recommending that Thursday November 26th of that year be devoted "to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." 
Among the Truthers Among the Truthers
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 by James Kirchick | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Do we live in the age of conspiracy? In April, after repeated prodding by then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Barack Obama felt compelled to release his "long form" birth certificate to dispel rumors that that he was not a natural-born U.S. citizen.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, Alive in Times Square The Dead Sea Scrolls, Alive in Times Square
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the basement of a converted theater on West 44th Street, tucked between the legendary Sardi's restaurant and a bowling alley, a block from Times Square and across the street from the musical Memphis, is Discovery Times Square.
Eating Your Values Eating Your Values
Friday, November 4, 2011 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The many Jewish laws regarding food—how it gets from the ground and into our mouths in a kosher manner—are central to Jewish life.  But what ethical framework underlies the system of kashrut? Maimonides' justifications for kashrut range from avoiding cruelty to animals and eschewing the idolatrous practices of antiquity to considerations of health.
America’s Holy Haunted Houses America’s Holy Haunted Houses
Monday, October 31, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Halloween is most certainly no Jewish holiday; yet its spooky mood is curiously congruent with the ambience that overcomes American synagogues this time of year.
Are Young Rabbis Turning on Israel? Are Young Rabbis Turning on Israel?
Monday, October 24, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For all the theological, ritualistic, and institutional differences separating the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements, what distinguishes the groups in the minds of many ordinary American Jews comes down to branding.
Political Contrail Political Contrail
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

This month marks the 30th anniversary of an emotionally fraught and bitterly waged political confrontation between the Reagan administration and the organized Jewish community.
Muslims and Jews in America Muslims and Jews in America
Monday, October 10, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Consider these two questions: During the past ten years, approximately 170 American Muslims have been arrested for plotting terror attacks against Jews or materially aiding other terrorists.
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Editors' Picks
After Grant Expelled the Jews Lawrence Grossman, Forward. We'll probably never know how much of Grant's change-of-course was sincere and how much politically expedient. But he was not the last president "good for the Jews" to hold paradoxically prejudiced views about them.
The Book That Drove Them Crazy Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard. Twenty-five years ago, a studious manuscript called Souls Without Longing was given a more commercial title and a print run of 10,000 copies.  It soon was selling 25,000 copies a week, and its author was the most famous professor in the Western world.
Rabbinic Malpractice? Josh Yuter, Yutopia. Why did it take forty years for Orthodox Judaism to go from the "Lieberman Clause" to the strikingly similar "Halakhic Prenup"? It seems it was more concerned with delegitimizing Conservative Judaism than with addressing the agunah problem.
Notes on Camp Jason Miller, Huffington Post. Across denominations, statistics show that Jewish summer camps have a significant effect on children's lifelong Jewish involvement. But can Jewish camps keep up with secular alternatives?
Philanthropy Nation? Suzanne Last Stone, Hartman Institute. For a philanthropic culture to develop in Israel, the traditional American-Israeli partnership model requires serious retooling.
Why U? Helen Chernikoff, Jewish Week. As secular universities offer kosher food and religious students opt for more traditional—and cheaper—colleges, Yeshiva University risks losing not only its market share, but its raison d'etre.
J Street: A Dead End? Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post. With minimal—and falling—support in the U.S. coupled with complete divergence from Israeli public opinion, J Street looks irrelevant. But it may yet find an audience in the White House.
The Betrayal of Liberalism Hilton Kramer, New Criterion. A chastened American liberalism meets the ‘60s counterculture, in this essay by the critic and founder of the New Criterion who died yesterday at the age of eighty-four. (1998)
Beinart and Bad Faith Bret Stephens, Tablet. The Crisis of Zionism is not a work of political analysis. It is an act of moral solipsism. It shows no understanding that the essence of statesmanship is the weighing of various unpalatable alternatives.     
Ghetto Seminaries Fred MacDowell, On the Main Line. No fooling: On April 1, 1906, The New-York Tribune published a long article about the "Jewish boys who risk health by long study in foul rooms"—including the heder that would become Yeshiva University.