Anat Kamm, who was jailed for turning classified military documents over to a reporter, is seeking compensation from Haaretz for revealing her identity.
Hundreds of thousands of Jewish camp alumni -- and their parents -- have long known that those halcyon weeks spent at Jewish summer camp don’t just cement lifelong friendships, they strengthen Jewish identity. Now they have it in writing.
A.B. Yehoshua, long recognized as one of Israel's best novelists, has in recent years also emerged as one of its most prominent scolds.
"Religion is not primarily about faith in God; it is about community, identity, heritage and being of service to others," he said. "We Humanists must also do more to meet these needs, rather than complain about what others believe.
When I look at my daughters, I see their faces as both azoy shayne and uruwashii, "so beautiful" in Yiddish and in Japanese.
Birthright's success in awakening a connection to Jewish heritage and Israel is unprecedented in American Jewish life. The number of alumni continues to multiply and their enthusiasm is infusing new energy into American Jewry
Natan Sharansky's previous book, "The Case for Democracy," changed the world. It inspired a generation of U.S. policymakers and influenced President George
W. Bush in his decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein. So when Sharansky's second book, "Defending Identity," came out this month, I thought I'd better read it, quick
Israel at 60 faces three major challenges: identity, technology and politics. The future Israel will have to strive and struggle to maintain a credible role as the cultural and spiritual center of Jewish peoplehood. Demography will continue to play a fundamental role here, but the main challenge will be whether Israel can strengthen internal and transnational Jewish cultural bonds to preserve some consensus among the Jewish people.
Bettina Kurowski is the chair of the 2008 fundraising campaign of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and active in her Conservative synagogue. She's also a grandmother of three young grandchildren. They give her great naches, or joy, she says, but she's also worried -- the children's father is not Jewish, the kids are being raised in an interfaith home and Kurowski, for all her Jewish involvement, is not sure what role she should play in passing on the Jewish heritage that is so dear to her.
A summer without camp? The thought was incomprehensible. I had my life ahead to travel and explore the world, yet only childhood for camp. Soon, I would be inundated with the stresses of being an adult, and it felt as if I was being forced away from my youth. I wanted to be in Malibu; I wanted to be a Jewish camper.
These days, more American families are adopting from China than any other foreign country, and a large number of those families are Jewish. A wave of girls is now coming of age, starting to face challenging issues of identity.
I'm thinking of the Southern accent, the country-club attitude, the ship-captain husband, trying to figure out how any of that fits in with a story about a family from the Jewish ghetto of Esfahan. "She might have told me," I confess. "I didn't listen because it didn't make sense."
Social scientists, myself included, have charted -- and implicitly celebrated -- the growing and exhilarating diversity of Jewish identities, communities and innovation.
Los Angeles is not only a city where Jews present their identity through Jewish museums; it is also a place where Jews have had an unparalleled role in shaping the cultural identity of the city.
The gang violence that has recently wracked parts of Los Angeles compels me to ask this question: Where are all the Jewish gangs?
I'm not being cute.
The first Torah portion in Exodus is Shemot, Hebrew for "names." "These are the names of the Israelites coming to Egypt..." (Exodus 1:1). That might be where we got the name of the parsha, but that is not where the parsha takes us. Namings take place throughout Shemot.
Honestly, I'm glad that the recent vote of the Conservative movement has opened the door a bit toward acceptance of gay and lesbian Jews. Now that this teshuvah, or legal interpretation, was one of two that received a majority vote, I know that this helps some of my gay "friends and family" squeeze sideways through the now partially open door. I nevertheless remain sad and disappointed that the door has only opened a little, and the idea that it is a qualified acceptance is troubling to me.
For so many Jewish men, it always comes back to fathers and sons, despite what Philip Roth might think. Look at the films of Daniel Burman, the rising young star of the New Argentine Cinema.
"I'm a colorful person," Tochterman said. "I like color; I like texture; I like mixing things together. I think my customer is a sophisticated, ageless, confident woman."
Living a life of dual identity is no simple task. On one hand, my peers and I are told to live up to the expectations of being Modern Orthodox teens, but on the other side of the spectrum we are tempted by the culture of the secular world on an everyday basis.
Daniel, a 24-year-old UCLA student, has gotten under my skin. I met him a month ago when I followed Rabbi Yossi Carron on his rounds through Men's Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles.
7 Days in the Arts.
Billed as "Jewish Literacy: A Learned Community and a Community of Learners," CAJE 31 was a raw, messy, creative affair, with 20 sessions held every hour for five days on such wide-reaching topics as "God Shopping," "The Jews of Sing-Sing," "Assessing Our Relationship to Israel" and "Jews as Global Citizens."
For a great many of us, there is an instant and easy identification with the Jewish state. They are not they, they are we. The heat of battle forges them into us. Whether we've spent much time there, whether we have blood relatives there, we feel ourselves as one, we are they.
"It's like a temple," the painter says of his artist's studio.
A lonely temple, that is.
"I'm the rabbi and congregation all in one," he says with a laugh.
Etz Jacob prides itself on accepting children who would not otherwise get a Jewish education. Rabbi Rubin Huttler of Congregation Etz Jacob founded the school in 1989 as a haven for new immigrants flooding into Los Angeles from Russia and Iran.
Wounds are plentiful in Eli Wiesel's "The Time of the Uprooted," an absorbing novel that moves back and forth in time, from 1940s Hungary to New York at the end of the 20th century, shifting points of view, with emotional intensity packed into memories and stories.
One, two, tree."
"No, dad! It's one, two, thhhhreeee."
Growing up with Israeli parents in Los Angeles was often uncomfortable. I never felt completely at home
Freud famously called dreams "the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious." And his own dreams and their analysis revealed to him a whirl of conflicts around his Jewish identity.
The article in this week's Journal about Poland and the March of the Living was accurate, on target and, quite frankly, overdue ("March of the Living Dead?" April 21). For quite some time now I have been troubled by the misguided attempts of some in the Jewish community to exploit our people's tragedy for the purpose of giving young Jews a renewed sense of identity.
When Fairfax resident Yasmine Noury boarded an El Al flight late last year, she joined the growing ranks of North American Jews who immigrated to Israel in 2005.
The author, who also graduated from Harvard Law School, keenly portrays the life of well-to-do professionals who strive for the best for their children, unable to see the downside of their single-minded pursuits.
Almost from the time she was born in 1941 in Milhars, Kaufman had to be invisible, she recounted. Her parents had come from Poland, where they had suffered under Nazi oppression.
What I Like About Jew is more irreverent than unorthodox, which is typical of artists immersed in what critics call the bourgeoning "hipster Heeb" movement. Like Jewcy T-shirts and the "Jewsploitation" flick, "The Hebrew Hammer," their work sets out to replace images of the neurotic nebbish with an new persona: the cocky, hard-ass Jew.
The last few months have seen a flood of studies of Gen-Y Jews -- all trying to map their sense of Jewish identity, affiliation patterns, needs, hopes, beliefs and behaviors.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival runs April 1-6 at a variety of venues around town. Below are the reviews for two of the films.
The idea that Jews in Argentina are passing through on their way from Russia (or other place of origin) to Israel -- a voyage that might last several generations -- was hardwired into the Jewish educational system. Many have made aliyah out of necessity, especially during the Dirty War and subsequent economic downturns.
You know Jews for Jesus, the lovable San Francisco-based organization that uses the appeal of Jewish kinship to introduce Jews to "Y'shua ha Mashiach" (Jesus Christ). Its executive director is a pleasant fellow named David Brickner. After he critiqued my book, "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus," in a Jews for Jesus publication and later graciously retracted a prominent factual error he made, we started e-mailing.
DREAM is an acronym for Developing diverse, Respectful relationships, Empathy and Action with Meaning through dialogue. The program is a youth leadership project of the ADL's World of Difference Institute, run by the ADL's West Coast office.
John F. Kennedy once said, "When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."
Life is full of change -- in fact, one of the only things we can predict and count on in life is that things won't stay the same. For many of us, this is exemplified in our work. Indeed, statistics suggest that most adults will experience five to 12 careers or job changes in a lifetime.
"Truthfully, my grandfather really was the catalyst for the journey," Brian Bain said in a phone conversation from Dallas, where he relocated after his New Orleans home was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. He was referring to Leonard Bain, a retired traveling hat salesman and silent film editor who was 99, in 2002, when the film was made. The elder Bain has since died at the age of 101.
"Looking at what's happening locally and nationally, we've found that fewer teen boys enroll in informal Jewish activities than they did in previous years," said Lori Harrison Port, senior associate director for planning and allocations at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Letters to the Editor
"Mozart does not belong to any nation. It would be a total misunderstanding for anyone to lay claim to Mozart," said Peter Marboe, Vienna Mozart Year artistic director. "That makes it obscene that the Nazis should claim him as an example of a great German artist and all the while hide his Jewish collaborators."
Wherein lies the power of the Judah personality? Is this the same Judah who initiates the sale of his brother and whose conduct in the Tamar episode raises troubling questions? Equally remarkable is the haunting silence of Judah's siblings. Why is it Judah alone who stands tall in the face of the hostile viceroy who wants to seize Benjamin? Are they not all certain of the consequent early demise of their father Jacob?
"David Karp made it possible for us to have this program," said attorney Yacov Greiff, scoutmaster of Troop 613 at Shaarey Zedek. "Aside from personal kindness and modesty, exemplary menschlichkeit and tireless efforts on behalf of the Jewish community, he deserves particular recognition for going out of his way to reach across sectarian lines."
Guilt & Pleasure -- "A magazine for Jews and the people who love them" -- hit newsstands across North America last month, offering readers content ranging from long-form essays and memoirs to fiction, comics, photography and archival material.
"Who We Are: On Being (and Not Being) a Jewish American Writer," edited by Derek Rubin (Schocken Books, 2005), an Israeli-born professor who teaches in the Netherlands, collects 29 essays by Jewish American writers, some of which were previously published, others reshaped or written for this collection.
Often pictured in Christian iconography as solitary figures, lost in a unique and incommunicable holiness, Rice's "holy family" of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, by contrast, is part of a large, boisterous, affectionate Jewish clan, living a full, observant Jewish life together, full of rituals and prayers and the rhythm of the holy day feasts.
Stan is deeply attracted to the Lubavitch way of life: He longs for a wife and house full of children and is drawn by the prospect of fully expressing his Jewish identity as a member of a tight-knit community, steeped in Jewish tradition and insulated from the pressures of modern life.
As soon as incoming freshman Chana Ickowitz received her UC Berkeley e-mail address, she registered on the online directory facebook.com. There, on her personal profile, she described herself as someone with moderate political views who likes sushi, rainy days, Urban Outfitters and "Jane Eyre" ... and who is a member of a group called Jew Crew.
Although it illuminates large themes, the Maltz Museum is compact. The permanent exhibit occupies 7,000 square feet of the 24,000-square-foot minimalist building, which is faced in luminous Jerusalem limestone. Elsewhere, exhibits throughout the meandering rooms and alcoves engage and inform museum-goers.
A new study of Jews in their 20s and 30s reveals that though these young people are underaffiliated with traditional institutions, many have a strongly defined Jewish identity that they express in creative new ways outside synagogues, Jewish Community Centers and the federation system.
What is the best way to move toward a new year? The Jewish method that calls for an intense review of the past year, or the American approach of entering each new year with a sort of reckless optimism oblivious to what has come before? It seems that the answer depends on whether or not one is a parent.
Opportunities to view Jewish-themed dance by contemporary choreographers, however, do not occur every day and, in the case of Duckler, "Narrow Bridge" represents the first time she has explored issues of Jewish identity.
There is a new twist to the contentious question of who is really a Jew. John C. Haedrich, who claims that his DNA proves his Ashkenazi descent, is challenging the State of Israel to recognize his Jewishness under the Law of Return.
Perhaps there was a time when the secular/religious divide -- it is of the Jews I write -- made sense. In Eastern and Central Europe from 1850 to 1930, it may have been the case that seculars Jews were genuinely secular, as some few remain today.
Jewish students are currently subjected to an unprecedented assault on their identity as Jews. And we, the Jewish faculty on campus, have let those students down. We have failed to equip them with effective tools to fight back this assault.
We can reverse this trend.