JBuzz News April 9, 2013: Laurel Leff: How, and why, some Jewish scholars were left behind

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

How, and why, some Jewish scholars were left behind

Source: News@Northeastern, 4-9-13

Northeastern Holocaust Commemoration

At the Northeastern Holocaust Commemoration, Bernard A. Stotsky Professor Laurel Leff (right) explained that American universities had one of the few lifelines to extend to refugees fleeing Europe to escape Nazi persecutions, but they didn’t do enough. Photos by Brooks Canaday.

During the 1930s and early 1940s, fac­ulty posi­tions offered by Amer­ican uni­ver­si­ties served as one of the few life­lines for hun­dreds of thou­sands of scholars trying to flee war-​​torn Europe to escape per­se­cu­tion. Yet far too often, the uni­ver­si­ties didn’t do enough to save these refugees and even offered chill­ingly dis­mis­sive rea­sons for not doing so, according to Laurel Leff, asso­ciate pro­fessor in the School of Jour­nalism and the Bernard A. Stotsky Pro­fessor of Jewish His­tor­ical and Cul­tural Studies at Northeastern….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 20, 2012: Morton Weinfeld: How Do Canadian Jews View Israel?

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How Do Canadian Jews View Israel?

Source: Open Zion, 11-20-12

For all the talk of the Jewish vote in the recent U.S. elections, I can’t help but wonder how Canadian Jews are conceiving of their own political commitments towards Israel. Canada’s Jews have a more traditional profile on most ethnic and religious measures than their American counterparts. And last year’s Canadian federal election cemented the different political profiles of the two communities as Canadian Jews tilted rightwards.

Morton Weinfeld, professor of sociology at McGill University and longtime analyst of Canadian Jewry recently told me Canadian Jews, by many common metrics—ritual observance, visits to Israel, Jewish education, marrying other Jews, etc.—are more “Jewish,” as he put it, than American Jews. They are also more religiously traditional by denomination.

irwin-cotler-openz
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Irwin Cotler, the Canadian Member of Parliament and former Minister of Justice on December 22, 2010 in Ramallah, West Bank. (Thaer Ganaim/PPO via Getty Images)

Among other differences, according to Weinfeld, Canada has a higher proportion of Holocaust survivors than does America, as well as a higher proportion of Jewish immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, where attitudes tend to be more traditional. Canadian Jews are also a relatively newer immigrant population compared to American Jews. One out of every four Jews in Canada was born elsewhere, compared to one in ten in the United States. All these factors lead Weinfeld to suggest that a newer and more traditional immigrant group—and one still directly touched by the Holocaust—may mean a more insecure group….READ MORE

JBuzz News October 31, 2012: Yehuda Kurtzer: US Jews: Ashamed of Israel, proud to be Jewish

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US Jews: Ashamed of Israel, proud to be Jewish

Source: YNet News, 10-31-12

They are politically involved, have high voter turnout rate and are no longer purely Democratic. Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer seeks to strengthen American Jewry’s connection to Israel, but clarifies that Jewish vote has nothing to do with Israeli issue

“Statistically, Jews in the United States have a particularly high voter turnout rate and are very politically involved,” he tells Ynet. “They are always ‘more,’ perhaps because they are relatively educated or feel committed to the democratic idea of voting and making a difference.”

“Israelis are always surprised when they discover that despite all the talk about Israel within the communities – and there is always a lot of talk about Israel – most of the population does not vote for a president based on his foreign policy in the Middle East.

“The American Jew votes for his president according to the usual measures: Economic policy, or identification with social values. Israel has nothing to do with it.

“On the other hand, there is a lot of talk, especially among certain population groups like Israelis (the American definition for former Israelis), who believe Obama does not sympathize with Israel or even seen him as anti-Israel, and it bothers them. But most Jews see this issue as unrelated.”…READ MORE

JBuzz News July 18, 2012: Michael Brenner: Is Brit Ban The Gravest Threat to European Jews Since 1945?

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Is this the gravest threat to European Jews since 1945?

Source: Salon (blog), 7-18-12

For Michael Brenner, a professor of Jewish history and culture at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and himself the son of two Holocaust survivors, the decision is déja-vu all over again….READ MORE