People are more mobile than ever; communities and jobs are more fluid, and relationships are taking on new shapes. While we are more globally connected, we are feeling ever more alienated and desperate for rootedness, connection, and community. For those of us in the expanding Zeitgeist of virtual communities, a number of questions require consideration: How
“Jacob!” Rachel’s gentle admonition echoed lightly in the busy courtyard of Berkeley Moshav. When it reached Jake’s ears, he excused himself from a pleasant schmooze with Mordy and Esther, dodged an errant ga-ga ball and its two excited pursuers, waved to Naomi and Ruth as they picked tomatoes for a community Shabbat dinner from the
Jonah Pesner writes about the staying power of centralized institutions even in a shifting communal landscape. He argues for the power of people acting collectively.
Noam Pianko lays out his assessment of the fragmentation of a centralized Jewish communal structure and examines the power of people, networks, and an evolving ecosystem.
Lila Corwin Berman examines the streets in mid-century Jewish neighborhoods. What made these streets feel safe were policies, often hidden from view, that expanded white people’s access to assets by fueling the market economy through the systematic exclusion and economic exploitation of non-white Americans.
Even at the beginning of the 21st century, at a time when “umbrella charities” seem to be losing influence, many Jews and Jewish institutions still look to federations for leadership, unity, vision, opportunity, and hope. To the extent that Jewish institutions fulfill these aspirations and position themselves at the leading edge of Jewish history, they
When I was a kid, I lived in a neighborhood. Our neighbors were the people on either side of our street. Minneapolis still had housing covenants in those days, limiting the places where Jews could buy homes, so most of our particular neighborhood was Jewish. Housewives could borrow a cup of flour from a neighbor
A hundred years ago, most American Jews lived in densely populated urban neighborhoods where landsmanshaftin and settlement houses, theaters and newspaper offices, cafes and union halls crowded together with shuls and street markets, butcher shops and delis. Relationships were direct — largely face-to-face and personal — infused with Yiddishkeit and wrapped in familiar aromas. For