Jewish Journal

Stuart Schoffman

  • NCIS Tel Aviv?

    June 21, 2012 | 11:55 am

    Every morning, at my kitchen counter, I leaf through two Israeli dailies, both of them in English.  The Hebrew papers I read in cafés, not every day.  I watch the TV news at 8 pm, on Channel 2.  I rarely watch the Israel Broadcasting Authority news in English, but you can see it –...

  • After Jerusalem Day

    May 30, 2012 | 12:26 pm

    On the morning after Yom Yerushalayim, I walked past the prime minister’s house on the way to the dentist. The house sits on Balfour Street, named for the British lord whose famous Declaration of 1917 paved the road to the Jewish state. Half a century later, the Israel Defense...

  • Running off the rails

    February 29, 2012 | 2:35 pm

    On the 4th day of Adar, on the front page of Haaretz, there appeared a most curious story. Its headline read: “Israel Railways planning to build 475-kilometer rail network in West Bank.” The artwork consisted of a photo of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz of the Likud party,...

  • Opinion: Jews, Christmas and Chinese food

    December 19, 2011 | 11:58 am

    I got a cute e-mail the other day, with a photo of a hand-lettered sign: “The Chinese Rest. Assoc. of the United States would like to extend our thanks to The Jewish People/ we do not completely understand your dietary customs . . ./ But we are proud and grateful that your GOD...

  • Nation might not be safest but it’s the most interesting

    May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Not too far from my home there's a street named for the German poet Heinrich Heine, a baptized Jew and metaphorical Marrano. Sometimes on Shabbat afternoons, I take a long Jerusalem walk with my son, soon to be a soldier, and Lizzie, our German shepherd, a breed of dog that in my...
  • A Matter of Mindset

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    For an Israeli who lives in Jerusalem, it's strange being the only Jew in the room. Yet that's how it was on Jan. 10 as I gave a talk on the current political situation to an international conference of Catholic bishops at the elegant Knights Palace Hotel in the Old City.

    When I...

  • Fervid Moderation

    October 9, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The horrifying images on Israel's Channel 10 were probably the most graphic I had ever seen on television. A suicide bomber, a Muslim religious teacher from Hebron -- himself the father of young children, had blown up a Jerusalem bus filled with ultra-Orthodox men, women and children...

  • Looking at

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    We live in an age of anxiety -- to put it extremely mildly. By the time you read these words, Iraq might be in flames, Saddam Hussein (or at least one or two of his doubles) may be history -- or on the other hand, maybe not. We in Israel are readying our plastic sheeting, oscillating...

  • A Homeland Paves the Way for Lieberman

    February 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    I was pulling on my socks in a San Francisco hotel room when Sen. Joe Lieberman, in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., announced he was running for president, live on CNN.

    I don't know about you, but I found this mighty moving. Whether or not you identify with his political positions...

  • Peace and Processing

    April 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    On a recent Tuesday even-ing, 24 hours before the arrival of Yom HaShoah, I attended a symposium in Jerusalem on a subject both intriguing and urgent: "To Acknowledge the Suffering of the 'Other': Religious Obligation, Psychological Challenge." The sponsor was Oz VeShalom-Netivot...

  • Draining the Swamps

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Passover in Jerusalem, the holiday of freedom. Wildflowers decorate the hillsides, allergic sneezers fill the sidewalk cafes, schoolchildren on vacation munch matzah at the zoo, and Israel's month-old national unity government, top-heavy with the biggest number of ministers in our...

  • Topsy-Turvy

    March 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    How do you feel about what's going on here in Israel? How do you think you're supposed to feel?

    What's gone on lately in our country has been very confusing for a great many people, not least those of us on the ground. To get a better handle on the matsav -- Hebrew for situation, and...

  • Symbol of All Hopes

    February 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    About 20 years ago the Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua wrote an essay called "Exile as a Neurotic Solution," in which he endeavored to explain why so many Diaspora Jews, for many centuries and in our own day, have avoided coming to live in the Land of Israel.

    In 537 B.C.E., wrote...

  • Safe and Sound

    December 14, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Amerika, du hast es besser ... - J.W. von Goethe, 1827

    It was a perky El Al stewardess named Meital who first informed me, a few hours after the polls had closed, that George Bush had won the election. We were 30,000 feet over Halifax, more or less, and hundreds of Jews, crammed...

  • Too Much a Mirror

    October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    "Try to be one of those people on whom nothing is lost!" Henry James' advice to the beginning writer, expressed so exuberantly in his 1884 essay "The Art of Fiction," is a credo worth adopting for any sentient person. Notice everything, make the most of every experience, and, one...

  • The Lion’s Roar

    September 28, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Anyone in the Old Country who still believes that Israel is a creamy "blending of the exiles" should get on the next plane to Ben-Gurion airport, hop a cab to Ma'asiyahu prison in the nearby town of Ramle, and geb a kuk, as my grandmother used to say, at what's going on.


  • A Tale of Two Liebermans.

    August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    "Is America a great country or what? (APPLAUSE)

    Yes it is. God bless America, land that we love."

    - Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Los Angeles, Aug. 16, 2000

    Like most American Jews, I'm a Democrat by tradition and temperament. Still, I understand why some Jews might not vote for Joe...

  • Selective Memory

    June 29, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    It's not easy being 52, especially when you're a country. Israel and I are the same age, and I get the feeling it's harder on her than on me. The other night my high school classmates living in Israel got together for a 35th reunion. There were 116 graduates of our modern-Orthodox...

  • The Greatest Gift

    May 4, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    During the Passover holiday I went on a picnic with family and friends. My brother and his boy were visiting from Los Angeles, and five carloads of parents and children made for Park Britannia, a scenic spot 40 minutes southwest of Jerusalem, via a sliver of Palestinian territory and...
  • An International Symbol ofNormalcy

    May 21, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    May 1998. Israel turned 50. The weather has beenfabulous. We got a new dog. Otherwise, things are morecomplicated.

    Bibi Netanyahu has been keeping the White Houseand the rest of us guessing. Is he foolishly defying Clinton?Valiantly protecting Israel's sovereign right to make its...