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Israel & Judaism through a Fresh Lens
Israel & Judaism through a Fresh Lens

The Soapbox

If two Jews have three opinions, what about a few hundred Gap Year students and teachers? Gather round for ideas, thoughts and Israel experiences.

Click here to submit your own essay for posting to the blog.

Confronting Anti-Israel Jews in New York City

We wanted to share this story from Midreshet Harova alumna, Talia Kupferman, who shares her experience of confronting a Neturei Karta protest against Israel. We think you'll want to hear about it. Here at JerusalemU, we're mighty proud of her.

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A Sky Turned Shades of Grey

Over the past few weeks, Core18 has heard from speakers and listened to their political views of the Israeli/Arab conflict and possibilities for peace. Last Friday, we went on a walking tour of West/East Jerusalem with our tour guide, Rotem, to learn about alternative narratives of the conflict, by physically going and seeing how folks live and what they want.
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The Palestinians Sure are Something, and Surely the Palestinians are Something!

Sometimes, conversations on social media can be productive. People can respectfully discuss a topic, and share thoughts and ideas. In honor of that, and to bring light to an important topic, below is the discussion I had on Facebook. I've replaced the names of the other guys with clever pseudonyms. (For a lengthier discussion of the Abbas speech, you can check out this recent article that I read)

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Sufganiyot tasting in the Old City!

Happy Channukah!

Alan, Mike, Matt, Dina and Beth do the hard work for you guys! To take you back to the Old City of Jerusalem, the team tastes WAY too many sufganiyot to decide which are the best!

Will the winners surprise you? I dunno. But enjoy our stroll through the Mamilla, the Shuk and the Jewish Quarter!

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Three Simple Rules: Context, Context and Context

I just got a whatsapp from one of my students. It included the following picture of a note posted on the wall at Brandeis:

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One More Time: The Law of Return isn’t Racist

It’s hard for a Jew who grew up in Brooklyn to admit, but sometimes, it isn’t worth arguing. It really does depend on the circumstance. Case in point: tour guides. Sure, I overhear lots of them walking around Jerusalem. And they often make odd mistakes or misrepresentations. While putting in my own two cents is tempting, there is little point. They’ll probably be defensive, and convince the tourists that you are a dufus once you walk away. Hence my strict “no arguing with tour guides” policy.

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Jewish Students are Amazing! (we should be too)

After my shot of whisky, and of course obligatory bagel to break the fast at the end of Yom Kippur, I turned on my phone to catch up with the world. What stunning tweet did I miss while Israel shut down for 25 hours?   How many bicyclists did Magen David Adom treat over the holiday?  However, more exciting for me, buried on the bottom of the Times of Israel feed, not attracting a lot of attention, was an article based on the just released survey The Nishma Research Profile of American Modern Orthodox Jews.  As opposed to the often quoted Pew studies, which focus on the total American Jewish community, this study focused only on Modern Orthodox Jews.  

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On Kurds as Dhimmi

There’s a well known historical observation that antisemitism transformed in modernity. Crusaders and Nazis attacked Jews for different reasons. In the middle ages, Christians saw Jews as “other” and persecuted them for rejecting Jesus. As Europe secularized, antipathy towards the Jews became based on ethnicity and race rather than theology. With this shift, Jews themselves lost the escape route of conversion. Racial antisemitism in the Reich leads to a “final solution” in a way that never occurred to Popes or Feudal lords.

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The Partition Experiments

This coming April, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the birth of the modern Jewish state. Before that happens, we’ll pass by a less celebrated date. November 29th will mark 70 years since the United Nations partition plan. We’ve seen the pictures of the celebrations after the vote passed. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a city in Israel that doesn’t have a “29th of November” street.

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No Profits in Prophets

I’m so afraid of the Bible.

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