Amid all the twists leading up to the 2012 election, Jewish stories turned up at each bend in the road. From the perpetual use of Israel as a political football to the little-known Jewish presidential candidate (the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who beat out the better-known Jewess Roseanne Barr for the nomination), the election season provided much material for Jewish politicos, reporters and comedians alike. Here are the three biggest Jewish stories of this political year.
In my dream, I would see a mini-Skirball right in the heart of the hood, nestled among the shuls, food markets and falafel joints of Pico Boulevard. I love the idea that as people walk and drive through the neighborhood, they will see that Jewish creativity is part of the soul of Jewish life -- at least as important as a Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs or even a house of worship. In a neighborhood where many people stick to their own communities, the museum would be the place for all communities -- the place that would celebrate peoplehood right in the hood.
And so, my two favorite playwrights find themselves on opposite sides of a longstanding Jewish divide. "All sound creative art is rooted in a ghetto," the critic Ludwig Lewisohn once wrote. Once out of that ghetto, the roots bifurcate, and we Jews have fashioned two strategies for survival. For the Mamets, salvation lies in toughness and certainty, the People of the Butch. For Kushner, our promise is in compromise and doubt.