Warm Place. Cool Shul.
My Journey To Find My Mother’s Jewish England — And How It’s Changed
Jane Eisner for The Forward
In late April, my sister and I returned to Yorkshire, in the north of England, for a brief visit to explore what we could of our mother’s roots. She died nearly 13 years ago, and for almost a decade prior, Alzheimer’s disease had progressively clouded her ability to recall much about her life. I regret that I wasn’t prescient enough to put everything down before it was lost, so this trip was a reclamation project of sorts.
How Shabbat Dinners Transformed a White Nationalist
BY KRISTA TIPPETT for ReformJudaism.org
When Derek Black was 11, he designed the kids’ page for the first major Internet hate site, Stormfront, which his father created and still leads. After Derek was outed in his freshman year at New College in Florida as a white nationalist, one of the few Orthodox Jews on campus, Matthew Stevenson, invited him to Shabbat dinner in his dorm room.
Medieval Tycoons: The Amazing Story of the Radhanites
By Ushi Derman for Beit Hatefutsot
On January 30, 1939 Adolf Hitler addressed a historical speech, in which he announced publicly for the first time his intention to exterminate the entire Jewish people. In his address he mentioned several times “the world Jewish capital” as the source of all humanity’s evil. Many researchers asserted that Hitler’s pathological hatred of the chosen people has derived from an imaginary paranoia from the allegedly economic magnitude of the Jews, who were in fact were a weak, scattered people without any political or sovereign rights.
Mizrachi Jews Are Finally Getting the Recognition They Deserve As an Integral Part of Israel’s Narrative, Culture, and History
By Yifat Mukades for eJewishPhilanthropy
It’s Saturday morning in Los Angeles (April 21st, 2018), and I am watching the official closing ceremony celebrating Israel’s 70th year of independence, on Israeli TV. As has happened to me many times during the past 10 days of remembrance, I’m all choked up with tears and a sense of pride: Proud to be an Israeli, a Mizrachi, an Iraqi Jew. The ceremony is named ”Israel Sound track” and, for the first time in many, many years, I felt my heritage being represented and validated in Israel’s history and the story it tells.
How and Why Jews Hebraized Their Family Names at the Founding of Israel
“If there is no overriding reason for the Major to retain an awkward-sounding German name that our people finds hard to pronounce, . . . he [should] change it to a Hebrew one.”
I had always thought that these Zionist leaders changed their names to Hebrew ones upon their aliyah to Palestine in the period of the Ottoman empire or the British Mandate. Now I see that this happened much later. The changing of first names, of course, goes back to the Torah and is also traditional for Jews seeking recovery from illness. But the fact that these secular Jews took Hebrew last names only at the time of the founding of Israel is an interesting one, don’t you think?