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Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People

Jon Entine

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Could our sense of who we are really turn on a sliver of DNA? In our multiethnic world, questions of individual identity are becoming increasingly unclear. Now in ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN bestselling author Jon Entine vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today’s most …

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The Jewish Identity Project: New American Photography

The Jewish Identity Project: New American Photography

Joanna Lindenbaum, Ilan Stavans, Susan Chevlowe (editor)

Publisher: Yale University Press

While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of …

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20th anniversary of Brooklyn race riots marked

20th anniversary of Brooklyn race riots marked

In the back of an empty Jewish deli in Brooklyn, two central figures from race riots that broke out 20 years ago Friday sat together at a wooden table before a plate of corned beef sandwiches.Carmel Cato lost his son, Gavin, when the seven-year-old black boy was crushed in an auto accident involving a motorcade of a Jewish religious leader.

Norman Rosenbaum’s brother, Yankel, was …

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Women’s Liberation and Jewish Identity: Bringing it home

Women's Liberation and Jewish Identity - Bringing it home

Last week, I had the great privilege of attending the conference “Women’s Liberation and Jewish Identity: Uncovering a legacy of innovation, activism, and social change.” (JWA was a conference sponsor, and you can check out Judith Rosenbaum’s response to the conference  here !) As a research intern for Professor  Joyce Antler , the conference convenor, this past summer, I spent …

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Rahm Emanuel has commanding lead in Chicago mayoral race

The poll, released Thursday evening, showed Emanuel with the support of 44 percent of those surveyed. Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun polled at 21 percent, and former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico at 16 percent. City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 7 percent support, while 9 percent were undecided, the poll found. Two other candidates got negligible support. All the …

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History Timeline of Jewish People in America

History Timeline of Jewish People in America

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1630 Holland captures Pernambuco, Brazil from the Portuguese and invites Jewish settlement. A significant Jewish community develops in Recife.  (Recife is the 4 th largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants.

1649 Solomon Franco was a merchant, who was granted a weekly stipend by the Puritan authorities on the condition that he leave on …

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Race To The Top

A fast paced, blockbuster novel of contemporary culture, which paints a vivid picture of the secular media’s efforts to slander the Torah community. Those on the top set the agendaナand the race is on! Meet Keren Noy, an ambitious young newspaper columnist. When her drive to stake her claim knows no limits, the inevitable is about to happen. A host of well-drawn, fascinating characters …

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Switched Identity

Who will be left to tell the tale?}}The scene opens in Berlin in the early 1930′s, where two physicians are fast friends despite their differences in background. Meyer Schwartz, a Jew, and Wilhelm Kohlmann, a German, are even so similar in appearance that they can be mistaken for one another. Yet when World War II breaks out, they find themselves on opposite sides, each desperate to survive …

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Losing the Rat Race, Winning at Life

In the rush to meet the challenges and pressures of life, we donメt always allow ourselves the time to contemplate the meaning of our realities. Why are we here? What do we hope to accomplish with our lives? Where are we headed, and what is genuinely important? }}We live in an exciting, fast-paced world that can provide us with many good things. On some level, however, we find ourselves …

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Does the World Need the Jews? Rethinking Choseness and American Jewish Identity

Daniel Gordis

Publisher: Scribner & Sons

What would happen if the world woke up one day and there were simply no Jews left? Would the world be worse off? In Does the World Need the Jews?, Rabbi Daniel Gordis suggests that on the eve of the twenty-first century, one of the chief sources of malaise among contemporary Jews is that many cannot answer this critical question. Though many …

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A People Who Live Apart: Jewish Identity and the Future of Israel

Els Van Diggele, Jeannette K. Ringold (translator)

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Fifty years after the founding of the state, the question still remains where the balance between Israel as Jewish state and Israel as democratic state can be found. The Jews returned to Palestine to found a Jewish state, whatever that might mean, but not to establish a pluralistic country or a haven for the …

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A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust

David S. Wyman, Rafael Medoff

Publisher: New Press

The unknown story of the man who led America’s most effective campaign to rescue victims of the Holocaust, from the bestselling historian.

In his landmark bestseller, The Abandonment of the Jews, David Wyman exhaustively detailed America’s failure to help rescue the victims of Nazi genocide. But one man, Peter Bergson, led a …

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Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self

Rebecca Walker

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Black, White, and Jewish is the story of a child’s unique struggle for identity and home when nothing in her world told her who she was or where she belonged. Poetic reflections on memory, time, and identity punctuate this gritty exploration of race and sexuality. Rebecca Walker has taken up the lineage of her mother, Alice, whose last name she …

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The Orientalist : Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life

Tom Reiss

Publisher: Random House

Part history, part cultural biography, and part literary mystery, The Orientalist traces the life of Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a best-selling author in Nazi Germany.

Born in 1905 to a wealthy family in the oil-boom city of Baku, at the edge of the czarist empire, Lev escaped the Russian Revolution in a …

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Destruction of Unity – The Three Weeks

Chazal say that the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinat chinam-baseless hatred. In Hebrew there is only one word for love, ahavah-feeling empathy and identity with another person. The opposite of this is sinah-purposely distancing oneself from someone with whom you would ordinarily have a close relationship. For example, if you would normally say hello to someone and you …

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Great Iran-Syria Debate: Swim or Not to Swim against Israelis?

To swim or not to swim against Israel? That is the question. Syrian says “Yes” and Iran – again – says “no” at world championship race in Shanghai.

For the second time, Iran chose to forfeit the race, this time Mohammed Alirezaei against Israel Gal Nevo, rather than risk political contamination by swimming in the same waters touched by a “Zionist.”

Alirezaei three …

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Jewish Summer Camp: A Father’s Reflection Upon His Son’s First Time at Sleepaway Camp

May you find learning and growth of all kinds.A few days before my oldest child ventured off to summer camp for the first time, I read a beautiful prayer by my colleague Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. On her “Ima On (and Off) the Bima” blog, she shared her prayer as her son embarked on his second summer away at camp. Titled “A Mama’s Prayer for Summer Camp,” she offered the following words: …

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Who is Frida Kahlo?

Tomorrow we celebrate the 104 th birthday of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist known for her striking self-portraits. Kahlo’s work was largely influenced by pain after a bus accident left her with permanent disabilities, making her an inspirational figure from a disability point of view.

In 2006, conceptual identity performance artist Maya Escobar (@mayaescobar) created a Youtube video …

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Jewish Names

Parshat Shemot begins, “V’ele shemot bne yisrael habaim mitzrayama“-These are the names of the people of Israel who came to Egypt. The Baal Haturim notes that the first letters of this verse spell out “sheviye“-imprisonment. Even when the Jews were imprisoned in exile, they stood out. They maintained their identity by keeping their Jewish names, language, and dress.

Tosfot is …

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Israel refuses citizenship for gay man married to Jewish immigrant

The Interior Ministry is refusing citizenship and new immigrant status to a homosexual married to a Jewish new immigrant, despite the law’s stipulation that the child, grandchild and partner of a Jew are entitled to Jewish immigrant rights.

Joshua Goldberg and Bayardo Alvarez, both American citizens, immigrated to Israel two weeks ago. Goldberg, who is Jewish, received an Israeli …

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Rivlin: Proud of ‘Jewish’ title on ID

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday that Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s decision to reinstate the nationality clause in Israeli identity cards, removed nine years ago, could cause questions over the definition of Jewish identity to resurface.

During a Knesset plenum meeting Rivlin said: “I’m proud that my Jewish identity is displayed on my identity card, not because of …

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Notre Dame de Sion Ecce Homo Convent

Notre Dame de Sion Ecce Homo Convent is located in Jerusalem. It holds significant relics from the Roman Period. Some of the famous relics found in this area are the Struthion Pool called the cistern, the pavement where the “Game of the King” was being held and the famous arch built by Hadrian on 135 C.E.

During the Crusaders’ Time, Christianity beliefs and traditions pointed out the …

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In a new light: Avivah Zornberg and the tale of Joseph

I have long seen myself as the dissident daughter of an orthodox father, a truant who broke her father’s heart by turning my back on his cherished orthodoxy and living a more experimental way of life. It is therefore a delicate matter, this fascination of mine with the Other Daughter – the good girl – the one whose father did not call out after her in censure, the one whose …

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Jewish Americans Mull 2012 Obama Re-election Bid

Jewish Americans Mull 2012 Obama Re-election Bid

Jewish Americans are looking ahead to the 2012 presidential race, and President Barack Obama’s re-election bid – and they’re beginning to wonder.

Among those reconsidering their support are New York’s former Mayor Ed Koch. “I believed that then-Senator Obama would be as good as John McCain (in the 2008 election) based on his statements at the time, and based on his support of …

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Sarah Palin has ‘fire in my belly’ to run for President in 2012, days after Mike Huckabee bows out

Watch out, President Obama: The Mama Grizzly’s got the fire in her belly.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is flirting again with running for the Republican presidential nomination but admitted media criticism has taken a toll on her family — which would only increase if she throws her hat in the ring.

“I think my problem is that I do have the fire in my belly,” she told Fox …

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Our Teaneck Neighbor’s Zayat Stables’ Nehro Places at Kentucky Derby

No doubt, the Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race we know of, perhaps the most famous in the world, surely one of the premier sporting events on the planet.

We are happy to report that a horse belonging to our Teaneck neighbor, Mr. Zayat, has placed (second) at the race. It’s the second time that a Zayat horse has come in second. That is a darned good record.

Here are some …

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Top 50 things to do in Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

1.)  Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is also called as the Church of the Resurrection to Eastern Orthodox Christians, located in the Old city of Jerusalem, far famed as the Christians holiest site and has been an significant pilgrimage since the 4th century. A monumental landmark respected as the Golgotha or Calvary wherein Christ was crucified and the tomb …

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Wolfson Museum in Jerusalem

Wolfson Museum in Jerusalem

The Wolfson Museum in Jerusalem is a place of a wide collection of marvelous antique and rare artifacts, all with Jewish significance. Approximately 5,000 items are on display in the museum. Each item has a story to tell as it represents a Jewish history thousands of years ago. Anyone who is fascinated with candlestick holders and Chanukah menorahs are more than delighted to visit the place. …

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Yet to come: Orgasm Inc. and the invention of female sexual dysfuntion

Yet to come: Orgasm Inc. and the invention of female sexual dysfuntion

Last night I saw Orgasm Inc. , a documentary film by Liz Canner about the medicalization of female sexual pleasure and the race to find a cure for so-called “female sexual dysfunction.” Orgasm Inc. was produced by Chicken and Egg Pictures, a hybrid film fund and production company that provides money and mentorship to women filmmakers making socially conscious films.

Chicken and …

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Prof. Gabriela Shalev joins Hillel Israel

The Center for Jewish Campus Life in Israel (Hillel Israel) announced this week that Professor Gabriella Shalev, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, has agreed to become a member of its Board of Directors.Hillel Israel works to promote pluralistic Jewish identity among students and young adults across the country, at eight centers on campus and in the community.

Hillel …

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