Monthly Archives: March 2011

2011
Mar
01

What, Not Who, Is a Jew?

general
March 1, 2011

Daniel Gordis
How is it possible that someone could be welcomed to Israel under the law of return, serve the Jewish state’s army, and die defending his adopted homeland, and still not be considered Jewish enough to be buried alongside his comrades? More »

2011
Mar
01

Making Jews: Conversion and Mitzvot

general
March 1, 2011

Yehiel Poupko
My grandfather had no Jewish identity, he was just Jewish. In traditional society one is as one is born. In the matter of conversion how can the contemporary reality of identity construction interact with the classic concept of kedushat Yisrael? More »

2011
Mar
01

Be the Jew You Make: Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness in Post-Ethnic America

general
March 1, 2011

Shaul Magid
For much of Jewish history, Jewishness and being a “Jew” were inextricably tied to “Judaism,” or religion, broadly defined as membership in a people. But this paradigm is becoming obsolete, replaced by what American historian David Hollinger calls post-ethnicity. More »

2011
Mar
01

What Is So Great about “Post-Ethnic Judaism”?

general
March 1, 2011

Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer
While Shaul Magid applauds the shift to a porous, self-constructed, and voluntary ethnicity, we doubt it is “good for the Jews.” We take wary cognizance of post-ethnicity and urge American Jews to contend with it, rather than surrender. More »

2011
Mar
01

Who Is a Jew and What Is Jewish?

general
March 1, 2011

Susan A. Glenn & Naomi B. Sokoloff In 2009, controversy erupted when a publically funded Orthodox Jewish school in London denied admission to a child with a Jewish father and a mother who had converted to Judaism. The Orthodox standard of Jewish­ness employed by the school favored children born to Jewish mothers, regardless of how More »

2011
Mar
01

Identity Making: Its Historical Roots

general
March 1, 2011

Lila Corwin Berman “I want my child to have a strong Jewish identity.” If you travel in circles similar to mine (synagogue-based preschool and the so-called “playground minyan”), this is a familiar line. The more I hear (and say) it, the more I find myself drawn to understanding the historical complexity beneath the seemingly basic More »

2011
Mar
01

Post-Ethnic, But Not Post-Peoplehood

general
March 1, 2011

Noam Pianko Recently, I have been interested in the resurgent popularity of the term “Jewish peoplehood” as a new buzzword for evaluating Jewish identity. To get a better sense of the trend, I have had Google send me a daily alert with a link to every new Web reference to the term. The alerts I’ve More »

2011
Mar
01

An “In-Between” Identity

general
March 1, 2011

Zohar Weiman-Kelman When I think about my Jewish identity, I turn to the history of Jewish women. As a doctoral candidate, I recently had the privilege of teaching a course at the University of California, Davis, “Writing Their Way: Jewish Women between Eastern Europe and America.” On the first day of class, I asked my More »

2011
Mar
01

Picture a Jew: A Photo Essay

general
March 1, 2011

‘‘Jews Untitled” was curated by three interns (Lianna Louie, Tess Rothstein, Miriam Marks) at Hillel at Stanford in the spring of 2009. The project was born out of the hope that students who find themselves on the fringe of the Jewish community could give voice to their own Jewish stories. It grew into a broader More »