Jewish Journal

Tag: Jewish Identity

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  • The tyranny of the normal

    September 16, 2015 | 2:03 pm

    I grew up on 1950s television, and all I wanted in the world was to be the Cleavers. I wanted my dad to come home each evening in his neatly pressed suit, hang his fedora near the door and greet my mom, perpetually cheerful in her high heels and pearls. I wanted to sit down to...

  • Bernie Sanders: Being Jewish taught me ‘what politics is about’

    June 12, 2015 | 1:40 pm

    A day after a radio host falsely said that Sen. Bernie Sanders has Israeli citizenship, the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke publicly about how his Jewish identity has influenced him.



  • Maccabi Game fever strikes my local JCC

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 4, 2015 | 1:22 pm

    A bright red, digital clock counts down the days, hours and minutes in my Jewish Community Center's main lobby, and at the gym entrance. Supersized lettering in washable white paint shouts, "Less than 100 days left!" on outside windows, and inside mirrored halls. The brochures and...

  • New York notes: Is honesty the best policy with American-Israelis?

    By Shmuel Rosner

    May 19, 2015 | 4:03 am

    A small group of Israelis who live in the US gathered on Sunday afternoon for a long, open, and sobering conversation about their future in the US. There are hundreds of thousands of such Israelis – 600 to 700 hundred thousand according to most estimations. Many of them came to the...

  • What’s wrong with March of the Living?

    April 14, 2015 | 9:07 am

    The evening before we visited Auschwitz, over pizza with a group of young people in Oswiecim, the town on whose outskirts lies that infamous symbol, one of my students approached me with tears in her eyes.

    Tears are hardly uncommon to visitors of sites of mass death. But for this...

  • Conney Conference poses a question that may have no answer

    March 18, 2015 | 2:23 pm

    Is there such a thing as Jewish art?

    The 2015 Conney Conference will pose  and hope to answer that question during its three-day swan-dive into Jewish arts at USC, March 24-26. Programs include panel discussions, art exhibitions and performances by an array of artists tackling...

  • What’s my name? Thanksgiving

    November 24, 2014 | 3:45 pm

    I was born in Soviet Ukraine at a time when people were stripped of their spiritual rights and forced to conform to a colorless mass that was communism. How did I know that I was Jewish? It was written in the passports and legal documents of every member of my family, an undeniable...

  • Manhattan’s Ramaz school clarifies advice on concealing kippahs

    By Julie Bien

    September 2, 2014 | 3:49 pm

    When Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the principal of Ramaz, an Orthodox day school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, first heard about last week’s attack in the neighborhood on a Jewish couple by a mob bearing Palestinian flags, he had an instinctual response. Maybe the male students at his...

  • Inside and Outside

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 27, 2014 | 1:30 am

    When I was at Limmud Bay Area this summer, there was a project there called, “From Selfie to Groupie.” Participants in this project were asked to write three things about their Jewish identity on white boards mounted on a background, and then take a “selfie,” or, in this case, have...

  • WATCH: Israel Social TV on the Kidnapping, Gender in Israel, “Airing Dirty Laundry”, and more

    By Jeremy Elster

    June 23, 2014 | 7:15 am

    In this edition of the English Language Social Order, we discuss:

    - The recent kidnapping of three yeshiva youths

    - Critique gender imbalance in the Israeli media

    - Attend Breaking the Silence's 10 year anniversary and ask, "What do you think about the criticism of "airing dirty laundry" in public?

    - March in the Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv

    - Investigate the new "Jewish Identity Administration" that is run by Naftali Bennett's Right Wing National Religious Jewish Home Party and responsible for strengthing the Jewish Identity of Israelis.

  • Giving meaning to Holocaust remembrance

    April 23, 2014 | 3:49 pm

    Much ink has been spilled since the release of the Pew Research Center survey on Jewish identity in the United States. Many have addressed a number of the findings of the survey, with varying degrees of concern. But as we approach Yom Hashoah, I would like to address one issue that...

  • VIDEO / Israel and the Diaspora: Two sides of the same coin?

    By Shmuel Rosner

    June 27, 2012 | 11:47 am

    Yesterday, I hosted a panel on Israel and the Diaspora at the Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem. Joining me were Ed Rettig, the director of the Israel/Middle East office at the American Jewish Committee; Solly Sacks, the director-general of the World Mizrahi Movement and member of...

  • Global Jewish Identity- Utopia?

    November 2, 2011 | 8:35 pm

    Does something like the universal Jewish identity exist?

    Good question.

    There are Jewish communities around the world and they definitely aren’t the same.

    In the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for example, you can see four different kind of synagogues from different countries and...

  • Jewish identity defined—a la Facebook

    July 3, 2008 | 11:30 am

    Ora Weinbach is not satisfied with merely calling herself a Jew. Instead, the recent high school graduate strives to put the za za zoo back into her religious observance by being an "impassioned Jew" -- a term she uses to define herself on Facebook.

    As opposed to the generic "Jewish...

  • When ‘pride’ doesn’t cut it

    June 5, 2008 | 2:33 pm

    Growing up an observant Jew in the small city of Palm Springs with a Jewish minority was sometimes difficult, but I have always been proud of my Jewish heritage, of who I was and of what I believe. I have never thought once of questioning my Jewish identity -- it is merely a part of...
  • Theater: ‘Immigrant’ sings the story of the ‘Only Jew in Town’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    In 1909, an impoverished Jewish immigrant arrived in Hamilton, Texas, hawking 1-cent bananas from his pushcart.

    Haskell Harelik had fled Russia to escape pogroms, docking not in Ellis Island but in Galveston, Texas, via a plan to route Eastern European Jews to the West. He spoke no...

  • An old story finds new life in LGBT haggadah

    By Nick Street

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Asher Gellis talks about his life with a modest but clear-eyed sense of wonder that fits his role as a young community activist who is just beginning to hit his stride. Next week, JQ International, an organization that has helped to nurture his development as a leader, will host a...
  • Briefs: Katsav backs out of sex charges plea deal, Al Qaeda has more threats for the Jews

    April 10, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Katsav Reneges on Plea Bargain

    Moshe Katsav, the Israeli ex-president mired in a sex scandal, has rejected his plea agreement. Katsav appeared in Jerusalem District Court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual offenses. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz now will have to...

  • Hillel opens doors to non-Jews, campus at large

    By Ben Harris

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Hillel centers on university campuses were viewed not long ago as little more than the local Jewish hangout, a place where students could come for kosher meals or socialize with other Jews.

    But in a move that Hillel leaders say has been forced upon them by this generation's altered...

  • Intermarriage reports urge understanding and openness

    By Sue Fishkoff

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Three new scholarly reports on intermarriage argue for increasing Jewish educational opportunities, encouraging Jewish behaviors among both intermarried and inmarried Jews and opening the doors even further to intermarried couples and their children.

    One report, the result of a new...

  • Tikkun Olam, Thailand and an elephant named Yom

    By Phillip Nazarian

    March 7, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Who would have guessed that a 15-year-old boy born and raised in West Los Angeles would befriend a 49-year-old elephant named Yom who lives in a conservation reserve hidden deep in the jungles of Lampang in Northern Thailand?

    Ever since my bar mitzvah, I wanted to do something that...

  • Don’t build walls to keep out non-Jews

    By Gary Tobin

    March 7, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    A study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that Americans are switching religions more than ever. As many as one of every two adults does not practice the religion in which they were born or raised.

    Evangelical and nondenominational Protestantism are the winners....

  • Experience at international camp broadens perspective

    By Sivan Ron

    March 7, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    As I look at a picture from the summer of 2007, I wish with all of my heart that I could go back and relive it. This picture contains a group of campers, each with a big smile on his or her face, glowing with happiness to be surrounded by their new best friends.

    From a distance,...

  • Books: The end of many things, but not of the Jews

    By Amy Klein

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    "The End of the Jews: A Novel," by Adam Mansbach (Spiegel & Grau, $23.95).

    Adam Mansbach was at a "garish" family bar mitzvah with his grandfather some years back when somewhere between the bad '80s music and kitschy dance floor games, his grandfather turned to him and said...

  • ‘Gap year’ entices seniors to live in Israel before college

    By Celia Soudry

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Before embarking on a nine-month trip to Israel, Molly Keene made a promise to her grandmother. Nervous about the violence she'd seen reported on the nightly news, Keene's grandmother made her vow not to take public busses. But upon arriving in Tel Aviv, Keene soon realized that this...
  • Jewish researchers dispute some Pew religion survey data

    By Sue Fishkoff

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    American Jews are adopting and discarding their Jewish identities with increasing rapidity in a country that is becoming less white and less Christian, according to a new study of religious affiliation in the United States.

    But just hours after the study's publication Monday, Jewish...

  • Comedy singer drawn to Jewish thought—but not shul

    By George Robinson

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    It is commonplace that the best comedy is essentially serious. Of course, clichés often have an underlying truth, so maybe that explains why Rob Tannenbaum, one half of the comedy-music duo, Good for the Jews, playing at the Knitting Factory on Dec. 14, is both a very funny guy, and...
  • Individual choice challenges communal commitments

    By Jacob Schacter

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    In 1985, Robert Bellah co-authored a book titled "Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life," which highlighted the centrality

    of personal autonomy and individual choice in the United States. As an example of this widespread phenomenon, he described a nurse,...

  • Birthright program needs wider support

    By Charles R. Bronfman

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Although the High Holy Days have always been a period of introspection, the Jewish community -- at least those in it who care deeply about its future -- could stand to do some especially vigorous soul searching this year.

    The results of a new study, "Beyond Distancing: Young Adult...

  • UJC realigns to remain central in challenging times

    By Joseph Kanfer

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    For generations, the North American Jewish federation system has stood as the central address of Jewish philanthropy -- demonstrating from generation to generation the power of our collective to build our community.

    The 155 federations of United Jewish Communities and 400 smaller...

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