The authors propose a new map with "multiple homelands" that displaces Israel from "the center of the Jewish universe." They point out that since the mid-19th century, most Jewish religious innovation has originated in the United States, rather than in Europe or Israel. As of 2003, more people emigrated from Israel to Russia than vice versa, and New York is the communal and philanthropic center of Jewish life. Ultimately, the authors find, contemporary Jews are at home wherever they live. "New Jews," they argue, "connect emotionally and culturally with multiple places and traverse routes across national boundaries but are nonetheless rooted in a specific place they call home."
Leaving aside the question of whether it is the government's role to ensure ideological balance in academic settings, the bill unquestionably is a well-intentioned response to a serious problem.
"The Passion of the Christ" opens Feb. 25, Ash Wednesday on the Christian liturgical calendar. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the controversy over the film's portrayal of Jews, we have an unusual opportunity to be recognized and heard in the public sphere.