I was tutoring a student. We were reading about Colonial America. Every facet of life in that distant era seemed so bizarre to her 21st century sensibilities. She winced when we read that roasted squirrel was considered a tasty treat. She was visibly disturbed to learn that children got whipped for whispering in church.
As the executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education, Stephen Smith is known for his work preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
Have you ever been lost on Ventura Boulevard, a street that’s long on history? One night, I found myself west of the 405 Freeway, searching for the street on which to turn left to pick up my teenage son and realized I’d totally lost my bearings.
Yigal Kipnis is an Israeli historian; since 1978 he has been a farmer and a resident of the Golan Heights. He teaches at the University of Haifa and researches the settlement geography and political history of Israel. Kipnis also served as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force for 31 years (26 of them in the IAF reserves). The following exchange focuses on his book, “1973: The Road to War,” which came out in Hebrew in late 2012. The book has received fantastic reviews in the Israeli press by various acclaimed critics and is scheduled to appear in English later this year.
Reza Aslan, an author and scholar of religion, has established himself as a familiar face and voice on American television, the go-to guy for commentary on the Islamic world, and he embodies all the right stuff: youthful good looks, depth of knowledge and the kind of media savvy that enables him to answer even the most nuanced questions in measured sound bites.
“The Elephant and the Jewish Problem” is the punchline to a hoary old Jewish joke, the point of which is that there is a Jewish perspective on every subject imaginable. The same point is made in a remarkable work of scholarship, “A Jew’s Best Friend? The Image of the Dog Throughout Jewish History,” edited by Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman and Rakefet Zalashik (Sussex Academic Press, $65, hardcover; $34.95, paper), a pair of self-proclaimed dog lovers who were inspired to explore what Jewish tradition has to say about dogs and Jews.
Long before Tomorrowland, there was another land in Anaheim, created and inhabited by Jews, that as a child growing up there in the 1950s and ’60s I had not the slightest clue existed.
On display in my office is a globe that captures a perilous moment in time — the world as it existed on very eve of World War II.
722 B.C.E. After Shalmaneser V conquers the kingdom of Israel, a group of captive Jews said to be descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel is sent into exile in Persia.
June 5 marks the 45th anniversary of the Six-Day War, a turning point in Israeli history that, in the popular recollection, brought the new nation a swift, almost painless, victory marked by brilliant Israeli strategy and planning.
Two momentous events occurred recently in the life of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week, he dropped a bombshell on the Israeli public by forging, under the cloak of night, a coalition with Kadima, his party’s leading rival in the Knesset. This move, which forestalled early elections expected in September, demonstrated yet again Netanyahu’s formidable political skills, in this case by co-opting his most dangerous parliamentary foe.
Much heated conversation is conducted in these pages and elsewhere in the media about Israel. We debate every aspect of Israel’s present and future — the ups and downs of its political leadership, the role of religion in the Jewish state, the path to peace with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world, the security risks that threaten its very existence, and much else besides.