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jewish identity

  • Jewish students feel unsafe on campus? A new study says otherwise

    A new study published by Stanford University reveals that Jewish students feel safer on university campuses when they refuse to conflate their Jewish identities with unequivocal support for the State of Israel. By Oren Kroll-Zeldin In recent years numerous studies have created the impression that university campuses across the United States are a hotbed of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. These studies describe Jewish student experiences on campus, painting an alarming portrait of a politically unsafe climate for Jewish students who are ill equipped to deal with these challenges. [tmwinpost] A new study published by Stanford University Graduate School of Education contests these…

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  • Goodbye to the Jewish-Arab school that taught me the meaning of hope

    For years, Jerusalem's bilingual school gave an entire community reason to believe in hope and partnership. In Israel of today, it is nothing short of a miracle. Today is the first day of September, the first day of school in Israel. Putting aside the years we lived abroad, this is the first time in 13 years that we are not sending our daughters to the Max Rayne "Hand in Hand" bilingual school in Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] The process of deciding which school to send one's child begins at a very early age. As young parents, it was clear to us that we didn't want anything…

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  • The long road to Bethlehem

    It wasn’t the soaring arches or the elegant windows, with their curved caps. It wasn’t that the first room of the house was built in 1808. It wasn’t the jasmine that, like a woman letting down her hair, released its heavy perfume at night. It wasn’t the olive, loquat, lemon, almond, and apricot trees that filled the garden. Nor was it that the fruit from that garden seemed sweeter here in Bethlehem than it was in Jerusalem. The apartment’s biggest selling point, in my landlady’s opinion? The well. She showed it to me the first time I saw the place,…

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  • +972's Editor's Picks of 2014

    As 2014 comes to a close, +972 Magazine’s editors and bloggers took time to look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them – in no particular order.   Israel's watershed moment that wasn't The Gaza war was perceived very differently in Israel and abroad, even among some of this government's supporters. Specifically, we heard references to the type of atmosphere that prevailed in the Jewish community during the First Lebanon War and the First Intifada — feelings of shock, after which nothing could possibly be the same. Foreign journalists and diplomats expressed similar…

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  • Does Israel have a place in Jewish identity?

    The proposed 'Nation-State Law' and a wave of violence point to the urgency of questioning Israel's place in Jewish identity. Shlomo Sand's latest book, 'How I Stopped Being a Jew,' offers a starting point for such a discussion. When I left Palestine this summer, I was relieved to leave the Israeli flag behind. No more blue and white snapping at everyone who passes military checkpoints. No more Star of David standing high over the army bases. Saying goodbye to the Israeli flag, or so I thought, would also mean an end to my ambivalence about it. Upon seeing the flag,…

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  • The struggle for Mizrahi recognition isn't limited to Israel

    If Israeli Jewish society is going to move forward dealing with its own racial tensions, it needs British and world Jewry to do the same. Generations of Mizrahi Jews in the UK no longer understand their own history: they have been taught to weep for Krakow but never for Sanaa. By Leeor Ohayon Deep in the heart of North East London, where South Tottenham meets Stamford Hill, sits an Adenese Jewish community. Here, I was born and raised, born into a mixed Yemenite-Moroccan family in the middle of a Mizrahi Jewish bubble. Within that bubble, where Hebrew was sung in heavy…

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  • ‘Religion and politics’ in Israel: The mythology of Jewish nationalism

    The State of Israel has never attempted to build a national identity that would be ‘liberated ’from Jewish ‘religion.’ Instead, it has focused on the construction of a national identity distinct in one critical respect: it is reserved for Jews only. By Yaacov Yadgar One of the more controversial legislative bills being currently pushed forward by the ruling coalition in Israel, a proposed ‘Basic Law:  Israel—the Nation-State of the Jewish People’, seeks to enshrine and ensure, constitutionally so, the State of Israel’s ‘Jewish identity’ as the nation-state of the Jewish People. Several aspects of the proposed bill draw immediate attention: first,…

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  • Is a binational identity possible in Israel?

    Two academics get into a public intellectual debate over secular national identity and the characteristics of binationalism in the future of Israel or binational state. Despite their bitter assaults against one another's ideas, they are far closer than they realize. By Jeremiah Haber It’s open season on Prof. Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University in the pages of Haaretz, following the publication of his latest book, How and Why I Stopped Being a Jew. The thesis of the book is that there is no such thing as secular Jewish experience (although he grants that there are people who have fashioned for themselves a…

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  • Occupation, imprisonment of refugees defile Israeli identity

    Israeli-Jewish identity should be one that pursues justice for the collective and perseveres in the fight against oppression. Plans to destroy hundreds of homes or imprison thousands of refugees defile and contradict all that is good in that very identity. By Moriel Rothman Scenario One. Imagine: You wake up in a place that is not familiar. You are disoriented: this is not your home. And then, it floods over you like a wave: your home was destroyed. So was your brother's home. And your parents' home. And the place that you worked. And your children's school. And your entire village. And the…

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  • Forgotten deportees: Israeli-born children of migrant workers

    While Israel’s current campaign to deport some 700-1500 South Sudanese asylum seekers made headlines around the world, the mainstream media has neglected another ongoing expulsion. Originally published in The Daily Beast's Open Zion. Since March of 2011, the state has been arresting and deporting the Israeli-born children of migrant laborers along with their parents. In the past 16 months, over 90 families have been expelled. Many arrived on state-issued work visas and lost their legal status due to a policy that forbade foreign workers from having and keeping babies in the country—a policy that was struck down by the Israeli Supreme Court…

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  • For European author, Hebrew culture existed outside Zionism

    Where is the center of Jewish identity? Israel or the Diaspora? Can we have a thriving Hebrew language and culture without a Jewish majority country? World Jewry seems to be standing at a critical junction in history. While more than half of us still remain in the Diaspora, intermarriage will probably tip the balance towards Israel in the next two decades. Ironically, Israel is pursuing expansionist and settlement policies that will most likely result in one state, where Jews will be a minority, the Palestinian population the majority. At the same time, the discourse surrounding Israel’s history vis a vis…

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