Articles

Books

The Disfigured Self: What Hannah Arendt Got Right

The great question that lurks at the heart of all Holocaust study, it seems to me, is the question of the self: What would I have done if I had been there? Arendt is unique in making that question present for us, and while Strangneth professes to be in dialogue with Arendt’s book, she does not wrestle with its argument in more than a superficial way.
Read more >>

Israel/Palestine

The View from Palestine: American Jewish Journeys into the West Bank

Extend programs are based on a simple belief that without understanding Palestinian perspectives, we are condemned to see the conflict as a matter of unequivocal good against unequivocal evil, instead of as a tragic cycle from which the overwhelmingly majority of Israelis and Palestinians want to break.
Read more >>

Israel/Palestine

Assimilation Indeed: Hillel’s Co-optation of Progressive Jewish Students, 1967-2015

For many Jewish students, the Six-Day War constituted the first time they experienced a connection to a Jewish cause recognized by the establishment. Unfortunately, the Hillel International of today has prioritized parroting the hasbara of expansionist Israeli governments over capacious intellectual debate.
Read more >>

Israel/Palestine

Dispatches from the Open Hillel Movement: An Introduction

This collection of pieces was born out of a gathering of ideas and debate modeled by the Open Hillel conference — a needed intervention in the contemporary echo chamber of Jewish American discourse about Israel.
Read more >>

Israel/Palestine

Coexistence and its Discontents

The Open Hillel Conference in October was the first place where I could engage in large-scale discussions of issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their interaction with Jewish identity openly, honestly, and with debate among people from a range of perspectives.
Read more >>

Israel/Palestine

The Twin Ghosts of Slavery and the Nakba: The Roots that Connect Ferguson and Palestine

Returning to face the violence at the root of a nation state connects the struggle for Palestinian liberation and the struggle for Black liberation in the United States. By squarely turning to face how the past lives in the present of both countries, we can move toward reckoning with the root cause of racialized violence in both the Israel and the United States.
Read more >>

Analysis of Israel/Palestine

Nakba, Occupation, and the Search for Original Sin: A Response to Wendy Somerson

My approach and Somerson’s should be two examples of dueling alternatives on the American Jewish Left, hopefully beyond the Left, in search of both a correction (tikkun) and a conclusion (siyum) to the injustices of one people dominating another.
Read more >>

Debt

Reforming Money and Banking: Keys to Debt and Jubilee

In the face of economic instability, we need to consider creative solutions—like jubilee, public banking policies, and currency reform—that take into account the complexity of the environment, the nature of money itself, and the possibility for social innovation.
Read more >>

Judaism

Selma‘s Missing Rabbi

Including Heschel would not diminish the film’s emphasis on the centrality of African Americans in the civil rights struggle, but it would have lent the film more historical accuracy, not simply about one man but as a representative of the role Jews played in the freedom struggle and as a reflection of the Civil Rights movement’s inclusiveness.
Read more >>

Judaism

Growing Toward God: Jewish Movement through an Axial Age

Just as plants are heliotropic beings that grow toward the sun, we humans are theotropic beings that grow toward God. And just as a tree doesn’t have to understand the sun to feel it and be fed by it, we don’t have to understand God to be nourished by subtle sacred influences.
Read more >>

Debt

Fulfilling Our Debt to Humanity: A Hindu Perspective on Jubilee

Once we expand the definition of debt beyond material considerations, the idea of Jubilee becomes more than just debt cancellation—it becomes a broader push to institutionalize the fulfillment of our debts to humanity and Mother Earth.
Read more >>

Race

The Demon in Darren Wilson’s Head

The actions of police officers aren’t supposed to be governed by fear. But Darren Wilson’s were. Wilson’s actions, however, weren’t “his actions,” but rather an outcropping of what theologian Sarah Drummond aptly calls “an epigenetic, cellular memory of loss and its resultant need for a scapegoat.”
Read more >>

Books

A Godless Jewish Humanist

Fromm’s quest was to free the cultivation of spirituality and ethics from their theistic, authoritative moorings in the Hebrew Bible and forge them—with elements of Hasidic mystical relatedness and themes from Marxism, Christianity, and Buddhism—into a new ethical humanism.
Read more >>

Judaism

Jewish Education During the Nazis as Spiritual Resistance

“Somehow Nazism and Martin Buber worked together to give a lot of us a much deeper feeling for what Judaism offers.”
Read more >>

Activism

Media Justice Is Social Justice: Why the Comcast-Time Warner Merger Matters

Why does net neutrality matter? Because we’re treating a lifeline to the American economy and a lifeline for communities that need to organize as if it was just about profit, rather than as the essential human right that it is.
Read more >>