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Arts & Culture

Jewish Philanthropy 2.0 Jewish Philanthropy 2.0
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jewish mega-donors are hardly news. It is also a commonplace that wealthy Jews allocate less than 25 percent of their giving to specifically Jewish causes. Of the two facts, the latter has understandably puzzled and frustrated fund raisers for Jewish causes. But is it really so mysterious?
Jewish-Christian Dialogue Today Jewish-Christian Dialogue Today
Monday, February 21, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

How do today's Jews and Christians encounter one another? The most obvious way is in the countless interactions of Jewish and Christian colleagues and acquaintances in a host of daily settings, including exchanges on their respective religious attitudes and experiences.
Spirituality Lite Spirituality Lite
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A simple truth lurks behind the rise of "post-denominationalism" in Jewish religious life. It is that increasing numbers of Jews are becoming less interested in defining what Judaism means than in sampling aspects of the Jewish tradition that seem to promise spiritual vitality.
Skeletons in the Closet of Hasidism Skeletons in the Closet of Hasidism
Friday, February 11, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Popular demands for transparency in our institutions and the availability of technological means to achieve it have made it hard to keep secrets. This has affected the conduct not only of government and business but also of religion.
The Old New Jews The Old New Jews
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It has been 40 years since the publication of a slim but memorable volume of essays by young American Jewish radicals and intellectuals. The New Jews, edited by James Sleeper and Alan Mintz, sought to give voice to a small cohort at once deeply alienated from organized Jewish life and deeply attached to Jewish history and culture.
Blood Libels Blood Libels
Monday, January 31, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Among the unexpected consequences of the January 9 shooting tragedy in Tucson has been the introduction into American public discourse of a term seldom used and poorly understood.
Is Israeli Democracy Finished? Is Israeli Democracy Finished?
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 by Benjamin Kerstein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a now somewhat notorious story published on January 11, Time magazine announced that Israeli politics was taking an ominous "rightward lurch," and concluded that the Middle East's only democracy is on the slippery slope toward something like . . . fascism.
The Iraqi Jewish Archive The Iraqi Jewish Archive
Monday, January 24, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

To whom do antiquities belong?  For Jews, the question took on flesh in 2003 in the flooded basement of a building belonging to the Iraqi secret police.
The Conscience of a Jewish Conservative The Conscience of a Jewish Conservative
Friday, January 21, 2011 by Ruth R. Wisse | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A Jewish thinker is normally someone devoted to the study and interpretation of Jewish texts, Jewish history, Jewish issues, Jewish ideas. The late Irving Kristol (1920–2009) was, for the most part, something else: a consummate American intellectual.
Where Have All the Prophets Gone? Where Have All the Prophets Gone?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Writing in 1911, Martin Buber declared that "the nature of the prophets" lives within the Jewish people. A hundred years later, do any Jews still believe this?
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Editors' Picks
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.
From Esperanza to Shprintze Philologos, Forward. "In English my name means hope," says the heroine of Sandra Cisneros's House on Mango Street.  What does it mean in Yiddish?
In Your Face Samuel Menashe, Poetry. Eyes that spurn yet inviteLike spikes in the sunlightOf Manhattan's high-rise—Babylon's ladies outshineDaughters of Jerusalem,Zion is no easy climb
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.
There's a Key in My Challah! Jeffrey Saks, Torah Musings. Does the post-Passover tradition known as "shliss challah" derive from symbolic readings of the season's texts—or, rather, is it a Christian symbol of Jesus rising in the dough?  
Bon Voyage? Benjamin Ivry, Forward. Flaubert and other nineteenth-century French travelers in Palestine groused about wild dogs, the hygiene of the locals, the blight of tourism, and the taste of Dead Sea water.
Haredim in the Holocaust Meir Wikler, Haaretz. While Yad Vashem downplays the experiences of the religious in the Shoah, Haredim have authored their own books and are building their own museums to teach their children and to memorialize the slain.
Chasing Death Adam Kirsch, Jewish Review of Books. To some people, the thought of death is melancholy and enervating; to others, it is a provocation to seize the day. Claude Lanzmann, the director of Shoah, definitely falls into the second category.
A “Holocaust Complex”? Yair Sheleg, Haaretz. It is not only the Israeli Right that was traumatized by the Holocaust and thus views the world with apprehension. The Israeli peace camp also has a distorted view of the world due to that very same trauma.
P.O.R.K. Leah Stern, Times of Israel. "Our children have suddenly become ultra-Orthodox. What do we do?" P.O.R.K. to the rescue!