Category Archives: Jews and Judaism

from “The Lines That Antisemitism and Racism Draw”

Today is Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath of Consolation. Last year at this time, I was on a family vacation in Europe, sitting in our host’s dining room in Sweden, early in the morning while everyone else was still asleep, and … Continue reading

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from “Multiculturalism and the Politics of Interest,” by Michael Walzer

Reading Walzer’s essay, I kept having to remind myself that this book was published nearly twenty years ago. There’s a lot about what he says that makes sense to me, but I found myself wondering if things have changed. Religious community is of course … Continue reading

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from “Pluralism and Its Discontents: The Case of Blacks and Jews,” by Cheryl Greenberg

Twenty years or so ago, not too long after I first started teaching at the college where I am still a professor, one of my colleagues–the woman who started the institution’s Jewish Studies Project–tried to start a Black-Jewish dialogue on campus. It … Continue reading

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from “In Defense of Shaatnez: A Politics for Jews in a Multicultural America,” by Mitchell Cohen

Shaatnez refers to the prohibition in Jewish law against mixing wool and linen in the same garment. Such mixing is considered, as Cohen puts it, “an inappropriate bringing together of opposites” (35). His article is an exploration of the value that multiculturalism … Continue reading

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from “The Melting Pot and Beyond,” by David Biale

Continuing my excerpting from Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism, this is from the first essay in the book, “The Melting Pot and Beyond,” by David Biale, a fascinating look at the Jewish role in forging the notion of the United States … Continue reading

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More from Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism

This is from the introduction by David Biale: Standing somewhere between the dominant position of the white majority and the marginal position of peoples of color, Jews respond with ambivalence to the attack of multiculturalism on the Enlightenment. For two centuries … Continue reading

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What I’m Reading: Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism

Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism, edited by David Biale, Michael Galchinsky, and Susannah Heschel, has been on my shelf since I bought it in the late 1990s—the book was published in 1998—but I only started reading it last month. I … Continue reading

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Reading Journal: Verses of Forgiveness, by Myriam Antaki – 1

I started a new novel not too long ago, Verses of Forgiveness, by Myriam Antaki and translated from the French by Marjolin de Jager. Antaki is a Syrian novelist who writes in French. Verses of Forgiveness, which is narrated in a lyrical, dream-like … Continue reading

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Blogging My Summer Classes: Literature of the Holocaust

I have just finished reading the first set of essays written by my students in ENG 261, Literature of the Holocaust. The prompt asked them to consider whether or not they think there is an obligation to remember the Holocaust, with … Continue reading

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Happy Chanukah!

Not much time for posting these days. Too much teaching and grading and dealing with the situation at school which only seems to be getting worse. Right now, it appears as if the administration has used the pretext of a … Continue reading

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