JBuzz News August 30, 2013: March on Washington a reminder of black-Jewish relations at their best

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March a reminder of black-Jewish relations at their best

Source: Washington Post, 8-30-13

For many Americans, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was a time of broad themes, of big-picture talks about race and economic justice. But for some, the events of the past week stirred specific memories — some good and others not — concerning relations between African Americans and Jews….READ MORE

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JBuzz Musings August 4, 2013: Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

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Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This past week Israeli President Shimon Peres embarked on a four day trip to Latvia and Lituania from July 29 to August 1, 2013. Although it was a diplomatic mission filled with state dinners and meetings with the heads of…READ MORE

JBuzz Features July 12, 2013: Tisha B’Av: An unloved Jewish holiday gets a makeover

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Tisha BAv: An unloved Jewish holiday gets a makeover

Source: Religion News Service, 7-12-13

(RNS) Most people have heard of Hanukkah and Passover and maybe Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement. But Tisha B’Av? Translated as the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, it counts as one of the most important days on the Jewish calendar….READ MORE

JBuzz Features July 11, 2013: The Hero of Tisha B’Av?

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The Hero of Tisha BAv?

Source: The Jewish Press, 7-11-13

In this season of the Three Weeks, as we approach Tisha B’Av, perhaps it is worth re-examining the story told in the Gemara and the version found in the Midrash, and particularly the role of Rabbi Zechariah ben Avkulos….READ MORE

JBuzz Features July 9, 2013: How Tisha b’Av Turns Into A Holiday

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How Tisha bAv Turns Into A Holiday

Source: The Jewish Week, 7-9-13

We give credence and added strength to Zechariah’s prophecy by changing and lightening the foreboding character of Tisha b’Av (the ninth day of the 10th month), rising from our shiva stools (we must sit on the ground on Tisha b’Av) at mid-day….READ MORE

JBuzz News June 19, 2013: Giovanni Palatucci: Italian Praised for Saving Jews Is Now Seen as Nazi Collaborator

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Italian Praised for Saving Jews Is Now Seen as Nazi Collaborator

Source: NYT, 6-19-13

Information about Giovanni Palatucci, celebrated for saving Jews, is being removed from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in light of evidence that the tales may be untrue….READ MORE

 

JBuzz Reviews May 31, 2013: New York Times Reviews Ruth R. Wisse: No Joke: Making Jewish Humor

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‘No Joke,’ by Ruth R. Wisse

Source: NYT, 5-31-13

No Joke: Making Jewish Humor
Ruth R. Wisse

Princeton University Press

Reviews | Table of Contents | Introduction [PDF]

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“No Joke,” a subtle and provocative new book by Ruth R. Wisse, who teaches Yiddish literature at Harvard, recounts the long history of Jewish humor and brings it up to date. She includes the effects of the Holocaust and Stalin on Jewish storytelling; she discusses American humorists from the borscht belt stand-ups of the 1940s to Larry David, and novels from Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” to Howard Jacobson’s “Fink­ler Question,” which won the Man Booker Prize in 2010. And she reviews the lively state of humor in Israel today….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 29, 2013: Mauro Perani: Oldest Known Complete Torah scroll found at University of Bologna Library in Italy

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Old Torah scroll found in Italy university library

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts says he has found the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. Photo / AP

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts says he has found the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. Photo / AP

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts said Wednesday he has discovered the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It was right under his nose, in the University of Bologna library, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century.

The find isn’t the oldest Torah text in the world: the Leningrad and the Aleppo bibles – both of them Hebrew codexes, or books – pre-date the Bologna scroll by more than 200 years. But this is the oldest Torah scroll of the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, according to Mauro Perani, a professor of Hebrew in the University of Bologna’s cultural heritage department….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 20, 2013: Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

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Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

Source: New York Times, 5-20-13

Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and Molotov cocktails, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93….

Mr. Spiegel was on guard duty and, according to his son-in-law, Eugene Orenstein, a retired professor of Jewish history at McGill University, gave the signal to launch the uprising….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 20, 2013: Jonathan Marc Gribetz: Telling Jerusalem’s story through its many conquests

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Telling Jerusalem’s story through its many conquests

Source: NJ Jewish News, 5-20-13

Professor Jonathan Marc Gribetz questioned whether permanently holding the city of Jerusalem is an attainable goal. 

	Photo by Debra Rubin+ enlarge image

Professor Jonathan Marc Gribetz questioned whether permanently holding the city of Jerusalem is an attainable goal. 

Photo by Debra Rubin

“The history of Jerusalem is the history of conquest,” said Jonathan Marc Gribetz, “and that past has demonstrated that it is a place where religion and politics are almost inextricable.”

Gribetz, assistant professor of Jewish studies and history at Rutgers University, spoke May 6 about the conflicting identities of Jerusalem during a program at Highland Park Conservative Temple-Congregation Anshe Emeth….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 10, 2013: Geza Vermes: Dead Sea Scrolls professor dies

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Dead Sea Scrolls professor dies

Source: Jewish Chronicle, 5-10-13

Dead Sea Scrolls professor Geza Vermes has died aged 88 of cancer.

Prof Vermes was the Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at Oxford, best known for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewishness of Jesus….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 6, 2013: Suspected Auschwitz death camp guard arrested in Germany

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Suspected Auschwitz death camp guard arrested in Germany

Source: Chicago Tribune, 5-6-13

A suspected Auschwitz concentration camp guard and former Chicago resident was arrested Monday in Germany, according to a Nazi-hunting group….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 29, 2013: Israel Museum & the Metropolitan Museum of Art buy Maimonides medieval Jewish manuscript

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Museums buy Steinhardts’ medieval Jewish manuscript

Source: JTA, 4-29-13

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York jointly bought a medieval religious text by Rabbi Moshe Maimonides….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 18, 2013: Marci Shore: The Jewish Hero History Forgot — 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

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The Jewish Hero History Forgot

Source: NYT, 4-18-13

Raymond Verdaguer

SEVENTY years ago today, a group of young men and women fired the shots that began the largest single act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is rightly commemorated — through books, memoirs and movies — as an extraordinary act of courage in the face of near-certain death. Those who fought in the ghetto provide the iconic image of heroism, and an antidote to images of Jews being led to the gas chambers….READ MORE

JBuzz News April 2, 2013: 11,000 youths to attend March of the Living for Holocaust Remembrance Day

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11,000 youths to attend March of the Living

IDF chief of staff, Israeli ambassador to Warsaw, to join Jews from around the world at Auschwitz concentration camp to mark Holocaust anniversary.

Source: JPost, 4-2-13

March of the Living in Polish cemetery

March of the Living in Polish cemetery Photo: Yossi Zeilger

Eleven thousand young people will take part in this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day activities at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland under the auspices of the March of the Living program.

The participants, who are mostly Jewish, hail from over 50 countries, including Morocco, Turkey, France, the United States and Canada, said march spokesman Yoram Dori.

Among those participating in this year’s remembrances at the death camp will be IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, former chief rabbi Israel Meir Lau, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and Zvi Ravner, Israel’s Ambassador to Poland….READ MORE

JBuzz News January 20, 2013: Deborah Dash Moore: History of Jewish New York takes 2012 National Jewish Book Awards honors

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History of Jewish New York takes 2012 National Jewish Book Awards honors

Source: JTA, 1-20-13

A history of New York Jewry took Jewish book of the year honors in the 2012 National Jewish Book Awards.

The three-volume “City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York,” published by the New York University Press and edited by Deborah Dash Moore, won the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year award, the Jewish Book Council announced Jan. 15….READ MORE

JBuzz News December 12, 2012: Benjamin Nathans: University of Pennsylvania professor helps bring new Jewish Museum to Russia

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Penn professor helps bring new Jewish Museum to Russia

Source: Penn Current, 12-13-12

Jewish Museum Russia

Ralph Appelbaum Associates

View of Migrations and Shtetl Studios at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Russia. The museum opened in Moscow last month.

A new $50 million museum chronicling the richness and complexity of Jewish life and culture in Russia—the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center—opened in Moscow last month, and Penn’s Benjamin Nathans, the Ronald S. Lauder Endowed Term Associate Professor of History in the School of Arts & Sciences, played a key role in creating the state-of-the-art institution.

An expert on Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and modern European Jewish history, Nathans chaired the international academic advisory committee that designed the content for the 40,000-square-foot museum, and brought scholars from Russia, Israel, and the United States on board to compose the various exhibitions….READ MORE

JBuzz News December 3, 2012: Gennady Estraikh: St. Petersburg: Then and Now

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St. Petersburg: Then and Now

Source: Lubavitch.com, 12-3-12

According to Professor Gennady Estraikh, the Rauch Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies at New York University, the influx of Jews, however small in number, would be crucial in forming a uniquely Russian Jewish identity….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 15, 2012: New Zealand Jewish community calls for compulsory Holocaust studies

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Jewish community calls for compulsory Holocaust studies

Source: TVNZ, 11-15-12

The Holocaust Centre in Wellington is calling for the study of the World War II genocide of Europe’s Jews to be made compulsory in New Zealand secondary schools….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 9, 2012: Robert Weiner & Professors Chronicle French Jewish Community of Dijon in New Book

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Professors Chronicle French Jewish Community of Dijon in New Book

Source: Lafayette College Campus News, 11-9-12

Robert Weiner, Jones Professor of History, and Richard Sharpless, professor emeritus of history, have completed An Uncertain Future: Voices of a French Jewish Community, 1940-2012, published in August by University of Toronto Press….READ MORE

JBuzz News September 14, 2012: Yosef Yerushalmi: Remembrance of Jews’ Past Yosef Yerushalmi’s ‘Zakhor’ Remains as Relevant as Ever

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Remembrance of Jews’ Past

Yosef Yerushalmi’s ‘Zakhor’ Remains as Relevant as Ever

Source: Robert Zaretsky, Forward, 9-14-12

Speak, Memory: One of our most prolific and profound writers on Jewish history, Yosef Yerushalmi died in 2009.

Courtesy The Jewish Museum
Speak, Memory:One of our most prolific and profound writers on Jewish history, Yosef Yerushalmi died in 2009.It was 30 years ago that Yosef Yerushalmi’s” Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory” was first published. The shortest book by Yerushalmi, a prolific professor of Jewish history at Columbia University until his death in 2009, it has had the longest reach. The issues raised in the book, Yerushalmi suggested, are not “necessarily confined to Jewish history.”He was right. With the new school year beginning, teachers and parents should recall the reason that a book devoted to “zakhor,” or the Jewish injunction to remember, resonates in fields far beyond Yerushalmi’s original subject.

Yerushalmi’s reflections begin with a paradox: For a people so preoccupied by the past, Jews were remarkably indifferent to history….READ MORE

JBuzz News September 13, 2012: Cesare Colafemmina Expert on Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, dies

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Cesare Colafemmina, expert on Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, dies

Source: JTA, 9-13-12
Italian scholar Cesare Colafemmina, an internationally known pioneer in the study of Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, has died….READ MORE

JBuzz News August 25, 2012: Jews: A religious group, people or race?

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Jews: A religious group, people or race?

Source: Jerusalem Post, 8-25-12

Now, Prof. Harry Ostrer has produced a 264-page, English-language volume melding together science, history and biography to better understand the complex subject….READ MORE

JBuzz Reviews July 17, 2012: Bruce Kesler Reviews Edward Alexander: Historian Traces Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Present

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Historian traces anti-Semitism from antiquity to the present

Source: San Diego Jewish News, 7-17-12

Review of Edward Alexander’s The State of the Jews: A Critical Appraisal

Edward Alexander’s latest book, The State of the Jews: A Critical Appraisal, would better have been titled “The State of the Anti-Jews.” Edward Alexander is a professor emeritus of English as well as one of the better informed writers on matters Jewish, who brings this broad knowledge to a series of “critical appraisals” (using Matthew Arnold’s definition of “criticism”: “to see the object as in itself it really is”) that weave the continuity of anti-Jewish ignorance, indecency, inhumanity, cowardice, and illusion from the paragon of liberty, John Stuart Mill, to today’s Boycott, Divest, Sanction activists….READ MORE

JBuzz News July 9, 2012: Helene Sinnreich: Jewish Council Seeks Holocaust survivors in Mahoning Valley

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Jewish council seeks Holocaust survivors in Mahoning Valley

Helene Sinnreich, director of the Youngstown State University Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies, is working on the project and is seeking the help of members of the Jewish Community to share their history with her and her research assistant…READ MORE