Articles

Politics & Society

Brussels and the Body Politic

For many years there has been concern that a terrorist strike on the networks of social connectivity, most commonly understood to include things like power grids, communications networks, and the like, could cause considerable damage to our information-based society. In many ways this concern is warranted, although the primary targets are not those infrastructural networks under corporate control, but rather much more informal networks of face-to-face community formation.
Read more >>

Poetry

New Poems from Ari Banias: “An Arrow” and “Bouquet”

“An Arrow” Too often I’d like some direction but am ashamed of this fact, still I ask for it, men are supposed be bad at admitting they’re lost though why men agree to fulfill this is lost on me. Who …
Read more >>

Politics & Society

The Chuppah That Held Us All: What We Found in Our Gay Marriage That the Supreme Court Missed

Our marriage, we continue to discover, is more than a mere two-person union. It is two people held in communion, sacred and spiritual association, by their community.
Read more >>

Religion and Culture

Exploring the Crack in Liberalism in Israel/Palestine: Reading Atalia Omer’s When Peace is Not Enough After Bernie Sanders

Progressive American Jews are very much in favor of these peace movements. And yet many of these movements, committed to liberal ideologies, become victims to liberalism’s Achilles heel.
Read more >>

Books

Reflections on Fraud and Deceit: Or, Four Splendid Summer Reads

Like Woolf’s soliloquies, Hoang’s cry out in despair, ranging in topic from the death of her sister to the verbal abuses of her then-boyfriend. And yet, like Woolf’s, her language somehow basks in that despair, flourishing even.
Read more >>

Fiction

Jacobs, the Jew

Jacobs knew he was different: after his bar mitzvah he left all that mishigas behind. He looked at himself now simply as an American. He even thought about changing his name, but he knew it would kill his father.
Read more >>

Stand Together or Starve Alone

I began working on this article the same day (September 8, 2015) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the results of its annual food security survey. The news wasn’t good. According to what is the best count we have of hungry Americans, 48 million people, or 14.3 percent of us, are considered “food insecure” or have “very low food security.” The first category refers to people who, to put it simply, experience uncertainty as to where their next meal is coming from. The second category, which includes 18 million Americans, or 5.6 percent of us, are people who suffer more severe and frequent forms of uncertainty.

These numbers sound bad, and they are, but they are even worse when you look back to the beginning of this century. The 2000 USDA food security census placed 10 percent and 3 percent of us, respectively, in these categories. In other words, the richest country in the world has not only made no progress in reducing the number of people who struggle to feed themselves, we are actually going backwards.
Read more >>

American Post-Judaism with Shaul Magid

Judaism Unbound (http://www.judaismunbound.com) is a project of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, a project that catalyzes and supports grassroots efforts by “disaffected but hopeful” American Jews to re-imagine and re-design Jewish life in America for the 21st Century. In the third of a four-part series discussing the Jewish future in America, Shaul Magid discusses his 2013 book American Post-Judaism and explores various challenges that face Jews and Judaism in America in the next generation. Focusing on the idea that America is moving into a post-ethnic phase whereby ethnicity no longer defines collectives the way it once did, Magid talks about various new forms of Jewish spiritual practice, syncretism and hybridity with other religions, the role of the non-Jew in the Jewish community, the developing role of the Holocaust and Israel in American Jewish life, the cresting of Habad’s influence, the normalization of intermarriage, the contributions ex-haredi Jews can make to American Judaism, and two models he calls “survivialism” and “spiritual humanism” that have emerged as competing paradigms in the 21st century.
Read more >>

Activism

Building a Progressive Spiritual Movement

Thousands of activist groups work to save the environment, address the needs of the homeless and hungry, ensure we have a safe and adequate supply of food and water, and fight racism and economic injustice. Many are making valiant efforts. Yet we continue to see the devastation and destruction of our environment, an increasing divide between the haves and the have-nots, and deepening racial tensions.
Read more >>

Fiction

Instinct: Ernst, Estelle, Buffy, the Birds, and the Rat

Sixty-seven is not young, after all, though it is a ridiculous age at which to undergo a divorce; he simply refused.
Read more >>

Food Justice and Personal Rewilding as Social Movements

Social and food justice: If you truly believe in social justice you might want to rethink whom you eat In her excellent essay, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian clearly showed “Why Justice for Animals Is the Social Movement of Our Time.” Here, I want …
Read more >>

Nigel Savage of Hazon on a Jewish Food Movement

Nigel Savage is the founder and executive director of Hazon, one of the most significant new organizations in Jewish life in the past several decades, focused on food policy Tikkun magazine’s Sprint 2016 print edition is focused on food policy, and this article should be read in conjunction with the articles in that issue which are not primarily focused on how these issues play out in the Jewish world, but rather on the worldwide food crisis and how to solve it. Hazon is certainly part of that solution, so we are delighted to have this opportunity to present to you some of the thinking of its most visionary leader. Rather than break up the text with questions from Tikkun, we’ve mostly eliminated the questions and tried to tie together different parts of what Nigel Savage is saying to enhance the flow of the article.To get the Food Policy edition of Tikkun, subscribe at www.tikkun.org/subscribe. To get more info about Hazon, please go to www.hazon.org
Read more >>

Can We Talk About Intimate Justice?

Despite staggering statistics and horrific personal accounts, intimate partner violence remains a normalized part of life. Even when videos of intimate partner violence committed with the hands, mouths, and privilege of sports stars and celebrities flash across our screens, outrage dissipates as soon as a new scandal arises. It is easy to become desensitized to intimate partner violence and the many forms it takes — verbal, psychological, financial, physical, spiritual. But intimate partner violence continues at epic levels, killing and wounding our women, children, and men, and depriving communities of fullness of life.
Read more >>

Fiction

Galjonen

It was one of Majda’s don’t-know-how-many attempts to land a job. After an entire week of visiting cafés and all the other glassed-in spaces, and hoping that two young foreigners who didn’t possess the language or any special skills wouldn’t …
Read more >>

The Human Body in extremis: Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children at the Berliner Ensemble

I was in Berlin last October by design.  The original plan was to turn up the heat studying German, work on some translations, reconnect with friends, and move deeper into the city’s jagged, darker spaces.  By August it was clear …
Read more >>