• Elsewhere: Irrational rites, Syria needs Israel, mystery mega-donors

    European fascism returns: With its designs on Ukraine, Russia is mimicking the ideas promoted by Mussolini and Hitler before World War II, argues Timothy Snyder. (The New Republic) Irrational rites: Jews should acknowledge that circumcision and kosher slaughter are not necessarily rational, even as they defend them, writes Jay Michaelson. (Forward) Photos of Ottoman Palestine: Color images shot by… More ▸

  • Donald Sterling rambles about blacks, Jews, Magic Johnson and Jewish free loan societies

    Donald Sterling showed that he is the same person in public and in private. The world got to know this crazy old billionaire with offensive views via leaked audio of him ranting about black people. The same crazy old billionaire with offensive views showed up to rant about black people in his interview with CNN’s… More ▸

  • The Bible as (boys’) baby-naming guide

      Jacob have I loved, but apparently not as much as we used to. The most popular boys’ name in the United States for 14 consecutive years, Jacob was just displaced in the annual Social Security Administration ranking of popular names by another Genesis hero: Noah. No doubt the eponymous film starring Russell Crowe helped… More ▸

  • French Jewish leader: ‘It’s not so pleasant living there as Jews’

    France’s flag has three stripes, and its motto promotes three values: liberty, equality and fraternity. Now, its Jewish community — Europe’s largest — faces three threats, according to Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations and a vice president of the World Jewish Congress. In an appearance at New York’s… More ▸

  • Elsewhere: Arab letter to Israelis, jailhouse Jews, Zionism’s bureaucratic goldmines

    An Arab letter to Israelis: Abdullah Hamidaddin reflects on how his views of Jews have evolved since his childhood in Lebanon during that country’s civil war. (Al Arabiya) Jailhouse Jews: Daniel Genis, a Jewish ex-con, describes the strange community of Israelis, Hasidic Jews and “bad High Holiday Jews” that formed at New York’s Greenhaven Correctional Facility…. More ▸

  • From the Archive: Cardinal O’Connor’s run-in with the Tribe

    “Is the pope Catholic?” has long been a popular (if cliched) way of emphasizing that the answer to something is, of course, yes. Now we’re asking a new question: “Was the cardinal Jewish?” Last week news broke that the late Cardinal John O’Connor, the longtime supreme Catholic leader in New York, was halachically Jewish (his mother… More ▸

  • This Week in Jewish Farming: The impostor farmer

    In a small gallery off the main entrance to the University of Hartford library, there’s an exhibit now on display about the history of Jewish farming. The walls are lined with sepia-toned photos of Jews tilling the fields, building kibbutzim, tending livestock. And there among them is a picture of yours truly, looking deadly serious clutching… More ▸

  • Elsewhere: Mother’s Day mourner, Ukraine’s unlikely nationalists, wounded Syrian bear

    Mother’s Day mourner: After suffering two miscarriages in one year, Mother’s Day hoopla feels like a personal taunt, writes Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin. (Huffington Post) Unlikely Ukrainian nationalists: Despite the history of anti-Semitism in their country, Ukrainian Jews are united with their gentile countrymen against Russian President Vladmir Putin, Josh Cohen writes. (Foreign Policy) Facebook on the front: Israeli soldiers’… More ▸