Bintel Blog

In Other Jewish Newspapers: Saris in Shul, Hating Jerry Seinfeld, Irish Jewry vs. Mel Gibson

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

THE COMPANY THEY KEEP: The New York Jewish Week reports on the sniping over the various presidential aspirants’ Mideast advisers. And the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman expresses annoyance at Jews who are injecting the issue of Israel into the campaign. “I don’t understand why our community is making Israel an issue at this point,” Foxman tells the Jewish Week. “None of the candidates has made it an issue; their public statements have all been very good. So why are we shadowboxing and making this an issue?”

SARIS IN SHUL: Brooklyn’s Jewish Press speaks with the leaders of the only American congregation of Jews from India, which currently meets in a Manhattan synagogue. Among the tidbits interviewees reveal about their community: One of the first mayors of Bombay was an Indian Jew, women wear saris in synagogue (though not of the belly-baring variety) and young people have arranged marriages — frequently to their second and third cousins.

TALENTED TALMUDIST: The New Jersey Jewish Standard profiles Rabbi David Weiss Halivni, who recently was named the winner of the prestigious Israel Prize in Talmud. Previously a professor at New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary, Halivni, who now lives in Israel and prays at a Hasidic shul, has struggled to bridge the worlds of contemporary scholarship and traditional Judaism. “In my letter of resignation to the Jewish Theological Seminary,” he tells the Standard, “I wrote, ‘My destiny is that the people I talk to I cannot daven with, and the people I daven with I cannot talk to. However, when the chips are down, I will always side with the people I daven with, for I can live without talking but cannot live without davening.’ Now the people I daven with are talking to me.”

O.P.P.:: While many Jews are outraged over the Catholic church’s altneu Good Friday prayer, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent’s Jonathan Tobin says “this is not the time to pick fights over other people’s prayers.”

KINDNESS DAY: The Chicago Jewish News speaks with Norman Kozak, the Skokie man who is pushing the idea of a National Kindness Day.

STRAUSS’S SPIRITUAL SIDE: While Leo Strauss has entered the popular imagination as an intellectual influence on the neoconservative movement, Yale political scientist Steven B. Smith says there’s much more to the late German Jewish refugee scholar. Houston’s Jewish Herald-Voice interviews Smith about Strauss’s views on reason and faith — and Athens and Jerusalem.

THE ANTI-SEINFELD: San Diego Jewish Journal editor Debra Kamin lets loose on Jerry Seinfeld and his wife — and says their bad behavior reinforces negative stereotypes about Jews.

HAWKS VS. DOVES: The L.A. Jewish Journal looks at how Jewish hawks and doves are shaping — or not shaping, as the case may be — the debate over Israel

TACT AND TACTICS: L.A. Jewish Journal editor continues his running feud with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

RANTING RABBI: A beloved local Los Angeles rabbi hosts heimishe dinners at his home for spiritual seekers. But beware to those attendees whom he regards as non-Jews — they’re likely to get a nasty follow-up e-mail. The L.A. Jewish Journal has the story (and excerpts from the rabbi’s unhinged-sounding e-mails).

KAHANE LIVES: It has been almost 18 years since militantly anti-Arab rabbi Meir Kahane was assassinated. But his followers in the Jewish Defense League are still around and kicking. The Canadian Jewish News reports that 50 members of the “on-again, off-again” Jewish Defense League of Canada showed up at Toronto’s Ryerson University to protest Israel Apartheid Week. Meanwhile, the L.A. Jewish Journal’s Brad Greenberg reports that when Hezbollah cheerleader and erstwhile academic Norman Finkelstein went to speak at Cal-State University Northridge, he was met by Shelley Rubin, widow of late JDL leader Irv Rubin, who called him a “sick puppy.”

SHARIA AND SELF-INTEREST: The head of one of Britain’s rabbinic courts, Rabbi Yisroel Lichtenstein, is defending Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who set off a firestorm of criticism after suggesting that Britain should give greater legal standing to Islamic Sharia law. “If some of his ideas were adopted, the Jewish community would gain and the role of the Beth Din could be more effectively used for the benefit of the Jewish community,” Lichtenstein said. Meanwhile, Britain’s widely respected chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, is staying above the fray, declining to comment on the Sharia controversy, although he has written: “There is, and can only be, one law of the land.” London’s Jewish Chronicler has the story.

IRISH JEWRY VS. MAD MAX: Irish Jews are reportedly objecting to the Irish Film and Television Academy’s decision to give Mel Gibson its Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Award, according to the J.C.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: In Other Jewish Newspapers

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Ilene Schneider Sat. Jun 14, 2008

Don't you ever look at Orange County Jewish Life? You might think we didn't exist.

Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state.
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.