Jewish Journal

Tag: Jewish Identity

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  • Three far-flung Jews find fellowship on U.S. trip

    By Lakshna Mehta

    July 20, 2016 | 11:35 am

    They came to the United States from three wildly different countries and cultures, but what bound them together was their faith — Judaism.

    One came from Kenya. Another from Nicaragua. And one — who formally converted while in New York — was from a community in India. 

    Thanks to...

  • Spiritual, but not religious, but not woo-woo

    By Marty Kaplan

    April 18, 2016 | 10:27 am

    Years ago, a few days before Passover and a few days after we moved into the house where our children would grow up, I ran into one of my new neighbors, Mr. M----. We’d met on moving day, but I’d been too crazed dealing with boxes to more than shake his hand, so I was glad for this...

  • Sanders confronted about ‘Zionist Jews’ at Harlem forum

    April 11, 2016 | 8:12 am

    Democratic presidential candidate defended his support of Israel and peace in the Middle East as he was confronted by a “Black Lives Matter” supporter about his relationship with the Jewish community during an event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Saturday.

    “You went to Israel...

  • The missing left: Where’s the support for liberal Zionists on campus?

    April 1, 2016 | 1:36 pm

    The Forward recently asked college students “to tell us about a college experience that had shaped their Jewish identity in some way.”

    Of the six students whose responses it published, five attend American universities. Of those, two are members of Students for Justice in...

  • Parents, past and prejudice

    March 10, 2016 | 4:06 pm

    When our youngest son was in 2nd grade, he came home from school one day to let us know that his class was preparing for Multicultural Week. In an effort to embrace diversity, students share about their nationality, ethnicity, or culture with the week culminating in a multicultural...

  • Sanders: ‘I’m proud to be Jewish’

    March 7, 2016 | 8:23 am

    It happened. After months of refusing to discuss it in public, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders referred to his Jewish faith as something he's proud of and as an essential part of who he is.

    “I am very proud of being Jewish and that is an essential part of who I...

  • Indie bands and intellectuals at the ‘Woodstock of Jewish identity’

    February 23, 2016 | 1:09 pm

    My teenage years were pretty Jewy.

    Back in high school, I happily attended Jewish day school, spent summers at a Jewish camp, went on a group Israel trip and took part in a few youth group events. So it was a strange feeling I experienced over President’s Day weekend when I found...

  • For Jewish Mormons, hybrid identity seen as no contradiction

    February 22, 2016 | 10:50 am

    Phyllis Miller’s experience growing up in Southern California wasn’t much different from that of many American Jews.

    The product of an intermarriage — her mother wasn’t Jewish but later converted — Miller’s family attended synagogue occasionally, kept the kids home from school on...

  • Why ‘good for the Jews’ is bad for the Jews

    December 15, 2015 | 11:40 am

    Ever wonder if Bernie Sanders is good for the Jews? How about Andy Warhol? The pope? 9/11? The Diaspora? Alexander the Great? Drake? The year 5775?

    These questions and many more have all been asked and answered. Apparently a lot of people still see this as a useful metric.


  • The University of California is guilty of Zionophobia

    December 15, 2015 | 9:40 am

    There is a new, dangerous epidemic throughout the world -- Zionophobia. The disease has stricken the world at large, but students on campus are left trying to combat it alone with no proper action by their university administration. The University of California is guilty for not...

  • The menorah wars

    By Rabbi David Eliezrie

    December 4, 2015 | 10:09 am

    “Shah! Don’t be too Jewish” is how Charles Silberman described the dominant attitude of American Jews in his 1985 classic, “A Certain People.” As part of the march to success during the second half of the 20th-century, Jews subdued the public expression of their Jewish identity,...

  • 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...

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