Do Conservative rabbis become more politically conservative on Israel as they grow older, or are older rabbis simply more right wing than younger rabbis when it comes to Israel?
Parshat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) Was Noah someone who would have been recognized as a tzadik in any generation? Or was Noah only a tzadik in a relative sense, only in comparison to those around him?
Over the past decades, nearly two dozen local Iranian Jewish groups have been involved with political awareness efforts, but no group until now has seriously pursued or organized communitywide political and civic activism.
Purim -- from generation to generation.
Kristallnacht marked the end of Jewish life in Germany; a pivotal turning point in what later became known as the Holocaust. A generation is passing, but it is a generation that has left behind voluminous records, testimonies and memoirs, video recordings and diaries, letters and notes.
"Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People"
The power of the rally was not necessarily its numbers, but its message: The "apathetic youth of America" are, well, not so apathetic. The event was coordinated by Teens Against Genocide (TAG), a group of greater Los Angeles high school students dedicated to raising awareness about the situation in western Sudan. These teenagers joined the group, and the cause, because they feel so strongly about the issue.
Lately, I've been thinking about two novels I recently enjoyed: "The Other Shulman" by Alan Zweibel (Villard, $23.95), and "Joy Comes in the Morning" by Jonathan Rosen (Picador, $14).
The following conversation took place between a cellular telephone subscriber and her daughter:
"There was level of musical sophistication that goes with the kind of music you can play on the mandolin, and my intention was to start a new acoustic-fusion thing, with an emphasis on string and wind instruments," said Eric Stein, who went on to form Beyond the Pale, a klezmer-fusion band.
Now that it has been "formally put to death and buried," as one of its grantees told me, I feel free to speak out about the Joshua Venture, a supposed breakthrough organization, subsidizing the ideas of nonprofit professionals who will be leading the next generation of Jewish life.
"Heeb is a special subset of the genus Jew," explained Joshua Neuman, 31, the new editor-in-chief and only paid staffer of Heeb magazine, a hipper-than-thou take on modern Jewish identity. With its gritty irony, the nearly 2-year-old magazine taps into a young Jewish generation that thirsts for Judaism but rejects its standard trappings.
They appear on a postcard with the romantic look of a turn-of-the-century Victorian family, although their names are anything but Victorian. Hyman, Manya, Slava, Nathan, Clara and Berra (later Ben) Chernoy all posed for the picture around 1905, looking young and fair and without any realization that their journey from Russia to America would have such lifesaving consequences for the next generation. But they left one strange legacy, an inscription on the back of the postcard which read "When I will die, when I will be no more, when my bones in the earth will crumble, you will remember me. When all people forget me, you will remember me."
It took eight decades for one of their descendants, genealogy enthusiast Lori Miller, to get their poetic declaration translated and another 10 years to track down and spread the news to the rest of the family. Thus on Sunday, May 19, the descendants of those six Chernoy siblings gathered to honor that inscription.
When Florence Hoffman, 76, says, "my children are very well-behaved and very intelligent," she sounds like any other Jewish grandmother, brimming with pride.
The hiding places in the title of Daniel Asa Rose's new memoir refer to the haylofts and cellars where his relatives hid from the Nazis during the war years, and also to the suburban tool sheds and coat closets where the author crawled into during his childhood in a mostly gentile Connecticut town. The title also alludes to the author's efforts to avoid his Judaism. Traveling to Europe to find his family's hiding places in Belgium and France with his two young sons, Rose comes to see that hiding places are "not merely dark holes of concealment" but also "places of revelation." The trip leads him to understand the links between present and past, his own connections to his family's past and to the Jewish future.
"Sunshine" is a massive, sprawling film that spans 120 years in the lives and loves of four generations of a Hungarian Jewish family.
People often complain that if we only had leaders like those in past generations, we would not have the problems we face today. It seems to be a chronic malady that we never are satisfied with the leaders of our own time. Yet, an old Jewish adage states, "each generation receives the leader it deserves." In truth, nowhere is this fact so apparent as in this week's Torah reading.
One Sunday morning, many years ago, as parents came to pick up their kids from the Hebrew school where I taught, I overheard a conversation. "How was class?" A father asked his son.The child began to whine. "I hate Hebrew school," he said. "It's boring and stupid, the teachers are mean, and the kids aren't nice. I don't want to go any more." The father stopped, turned to the kid,and said: "Listen, when I was your age, I went to Hebrew school and I hated it. It was boring, the teachers were mean, the kids weren't nice, but they made me go, and, now, you're going to go too!"
What a tragedy.