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Jewish Journal

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  • The Promised Lands exchange, part 3: Imagining a vast Jewish colony in Australia

    By Shmuel Rosner

    6 days ago

    Adam Rovner is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at the University of Denver. He holds an M.A. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington. His articles, essays, translations and interviews have appeared in numerous...

  • The Promised Lands exchange, Part 2: The mythic pull of the land of Palestine

    By Shmuel Rosner

    2 weeks ago

    Adam Rovner is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at the University of Denver. He holds an M.A. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington. His articles, essays, translations and interviews have appeared in numerous...

  • The Black Earth exchange, part 1: ‘Unlike nationalists, Hitler didn’t care about his own people’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    October 14, 2015 | 4:11 am

    Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which received the literature award of the American...

  • The Ben Gurion exchange, part 3: Why Ben Gurion matters today

    By Shmuel Rosner

    October 8, 2015 | 2:44 am

    Anita Shapira is Professor Emerita in Jewish History at Tel Aviv University as well as the Founder of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies. She specializes in the history of Zionism, the Jewish community in Palestine and the state of Israel, with an emphasis on cultural,...

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  • East L.A. Interchange—Great New Film About Jewish History in Los Angeles

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    October 7, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    L.A. Jews—or anyone who likes good films--please avail yourself of the opportunity to see East L.A. Interchange. This documentary about Boyle Heights, , directed by Betsy Kalin (full disclosure: Betsy is a friend, and I officiated at her wedding) and narrated by Danny Trejo,...

  • The Ben Gurion exchange, part 1: His leadership and authority

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 24, 2015 | 4:12 am

    Anita Shapira is Professor Emerita in Jewish History at Tel Aviv University as well as the Founder of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies. She specializes in the history of Zionism, the Jewish community in Palestine and the state of Israel, with an emphasis on cultural,...

  • The Forgotten Ghetto: Kolozsvar

    By Milad Doroudian

    September 9, 2015 | 10:24 am

    It is wholly unthinkable what it must have been like to be taken out of your home, simply because you belonged to a certain ethno-religious group, and thrown into a ghetto, where your fate was already decided by forces that were beyond your control. Yet, this is by no means a...

  • Finding roots in Israel

    By Elyse Glickman

    June 30, 2015 | 10:27 am

    l though Birthright and other identity-instilling trips to Israel for young adults have gotten a lot of Jewish media attention, there is another subset of the Jewish population — baby boomers — looking for a similar experience in Israel that transcends the leisure vacation. 

    Anat...

  • The King David exchange, part 3: ‘The biblical text always has an agenda’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    February 11, 2015 | 3:54 am

    Joel Baden is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Yale Divinity School. He holds degrees in Judaic Studies (BA, Yale), Semitic Languages (MA, University of Chicago), and Hebrew Bible (PhD, Harvard). He specializes in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, particularly of the...

  • The King David exchange, part 2: A politician, not a priest

    By Shmuel Rosner

    February 4, 2015 | 4:10 am

    Joel Baden is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Yale Divinity School. He holds degrees in Judaic Studies (BA, Yale), Semitic Languages (MA, University of Chicago), and Hebrew Bible (PhD, Harvard). He specializes in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, particularly of the...

  • ‘Finding Your Roots’ explores Jewish genealogy

    October 23, 2014 | 2:14 pm

    Singer-songwriter Carole King’s Russian grandmother barely escaped a pogrom that killed 32 of her neighbors. 

    Playwright Tony Kushner lost many relatives in a 1941 massacre of Polish Jews. 

    Criminal defense attorney and former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz’s grandfather...

  • Time to build a Sukkah

    October 7, 2014 | 1:43 pm

    After you break the fast, it’s time to break out the tools. One of the most authentic ways to celebrate this ancient harvest festival is to build a sukkah (booth) of your own. 

    Today, the celebration of Sukkot is a way to connect with our Jewish past — to commemorate the 40 years...

  • Three books, three opinions about The Lubavitcher Rebbe

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    September 23, 2014 | 2:48 pm

    The 20th anniversary of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe (1902-1994) has inspired no fewer than three new biographies, a fact that attests to his enduring importance even outside the Chasidic community he led for four decades. Even more telling, however, is the fact that he is...

  • Letters to the editor: Khuzaa, Steven Sotloff, Azerbaijan and firing ranges

    September 23, 2014 | 9:25 am

    The Fog of Narrative

    With the article “Inside the Fog of War” (Sept. 12), the Jewish Journal joins many other media outlets in publicizing Palestinian suffering. It’s an easy story to write. The photos and witness accounts are plentiful and sympathetic. It’s truthful,...

  • This week in Jewish history: March 7-13

    March 5, 2014 | 2:26 pm

    1421

    March 12: More than 200 surviving Viennese Jews were burned to death after a year of persecution, forced conversion, expulsion, imprisonment in their synagogue and mass suicide. Contemporary reports described the Jews as singing songs and dancing before the pyres.  All...

  • UNESCO halts Israel’s Jewish history show after Arab nations protest

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    January 17, 2014 | 10:34 am

    [For documents related to this article, see below]

    UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, abruptly and indefinitely postponed the Jan. 20 opening of an exhibition in Paris on the 3,500-year history of Jews in the land of Israel, after a...

  • What if Cyrus had not freed the Jews?

    By Roger Price

    September 24, 2013 | 9:01 am

      Over twenty-five centuries ago, Cyrus II, founder and ruler of the Persian Empire, freed the Jews who had been transported forcibly to Babylon and facilitated the reconstruction of their Temple in Jerusalem. Without the intervention of Cyrus, the Jewish People and Judaism as we...

  • An encore tour of Jewish-designed buildings

    September 4, 2013 | 2:45 pm

    Los Angeles’ Jewish architects built palaces and shrines, and temples, too, and not just the kind you pray in. Downtown, many of these structures still stand, and are close enough together that you can easily stop by and pay homage.

    In the 1920s, if you wanted to sink into your...

  • Jews share a sense of place in L.A. history

    May 1, 2013 | 11:25 am

    Coinciding with the run of the “Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic” exhibition at the Autry National Center — and we hope, continuing well beyond — this issue of the Jewish Journal marks the beginning of a new monthly feature showcasing various aspects of Los Angeles’ Jewish history.

    ...
  • “Polish assholes” in Auschwitz

    April 18, 2013 | 1:15 am

    Finally, we got to the March of the Living. A group of young Jews from several cities in Poland who decided to take part in this enormous and powerful way of remembering the ones who perished in the Shoah. We were accompanied by several non-Jewish people, life partners and friends...

  • Was Slavery Really That Bad?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    March 27, 2013 | 6:16 pm

    By Ben Spielberg

     

    During a Conservative Political Action Conference last month, an attendee presented a controversial view of African-American slavery. It went like this:

    K. Carl Smith: 10-20 years after Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery, he wrote a letter to his...

  • Shimon Peres remembers Ben-Gurion

    November 3, 2011 | 11:41 am

    The overly creased and still tender face of Shimon Peres looks like he has always been crying; he seems to carry centuries of Jewish suffering upon his strong shoulders. Still, there is some flicker of hope in the old man’s eyes; a stubbornness and a determination that his life’s...

  • With the Center for Jewish History debt free, its founding chairman steps down

    May 24, 2011 | 2:44 pm

    One night back in 1985, businessman Bruce Slovin was walking home from a corporate board meeting with a lawyer named Joe Greenberger when Greenberger asked him about his involvement in the Jewish world.

    Slovin responded that he wasn’t at all active, so Greenberger invited him to...

  • The forgotten miracle: Nov. 29, 1947

    By Judea Pearl

    December 18, 2008 | 3:47 am

    I originally planned to write a column about the flood of condemnations that Muslim leaders issued following the massacre in Mumbai, and how disappointed I was not to find a single fatwa in those texts, nor a mention of any religious offense: no "sin," no "hell," nor "apostasy."

    I...

  • Survivors’ stories create fabric of Shoah quilt

    By Rachel Heller

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Twelve months after her concentration camp was liberated, Ann Spicer, newly married, was leaving Germany for good. It was May 21, 1946. Her husband's little brother was the first to board the train in Stuttgart that would take the makeshift family to the first ship out of Hamburg...
  • Our place in this world

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The ancient rabbis were astute psychologists. They reflected on the inner life, not through theories, but through narratives, especially their analyses of and speculations on the narratives in the Torah.

    Let's take a look at a bit of rabbinic commentary on one brief, strange and...

  • From generation to generation

    By Arthur Cohn

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The first chief rabbi of the Jewish community of the Swiss city of Basel was my grandfather, Arthur Cohn, after whom I was named and whom I know only through hearsay and stories told by my father.

    For 40 years, my grandfather held the office of chief rabbi of Basel, a city to...

  • Demonization—or peace talks?

    By Arthur Cohn

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Throughout Jewish history, it has been necessary, time and again, to fight prejudice and false accusations. To mention just one notorious example, there is the blood libel of Pesach, which accuses the Jews of using the blood of Christian children for the baking of matzot -- a blood...
  • Scholar explores ancient Jewish reactions to ancient pagan statues

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Imagine a rabbi encountering a statue of Zeus in Roman Palestine, circa 70 to 300 C.E. -- a monotheist's nightmare.

    "The myth is that he would have uttered something like the Yiddish 'gevalt,'" said professor Yaron Z. Eliav of the University of Michigan, who recently spoke about...

  • Israel and its relationship to the Shoah

    By Michael Berenbaum

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    What can we learn from the history of the establishment of the State of Israel as to its relationship to the Shoah?

    Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer argued, "The reason why survivors turned to Zionism is not hard to understand. The murder of the European Jews seemed to vindicate the...

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