Saturday, May 27, 2006

Remembering the First Five Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court

Lives — and Legacies — in Law

Remembering the First Five Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court


There is an age-old connection between Judaism and law. For centuries, rabbis and other Jewish scholars studied, re-studied and ceaselessly interpreted the Talmud, producing a vast corpus of juridical writing, which to many was the very heart of the Jewish religious tradition. Jews have always prized the scholarship of judges and lawyers in their own tradition. When antisemitic occupational restrictions lessened, they were drawn to the learned professions of the countries in which they lived, including the United States. Law figured prominently among those professions. Law became and remains an avenue of social mobility, a field in which intellectual achievement is rewarded. And, as it evolved in the United States, law also became a bulwark against the kind of oppression Jews historically have encountered and endured. Thus, Jews in large numbers became lawyers in the United States, and some eventually became judges. The best of those lawyers and judges used the law not only for personal gain, but to secure justice for others. So it was with my predecessors, the first five Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court. To celebrate the 350th anniversary of Jews in America, I will recall in quick snapshots their lives in the law, and the legacies they left.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kielce Memory/Memorial

Friday May 12, 2006

New monument to commemorate 1946 Polish pogrom

by ruth ellen gruber

kielce, poland The American son of Holocaust survivors is creating Kielce’s first permanent public memorial to Poland’s most infamous episode of postwar violence against Jews.

The monument, designed by New York-born artist Jack Sal, is to be unveiled July 4, the 60th anniversary of the Kielce pogrom, an attack by a Polish mob that killed 42 Jewish Holocaust survivors and injured another 50 or so.
According to the artist, "The opportunity to create a work to bring people to visit a monument in the public park of Kielce will allow a meeting of the past and present out in the open, a forum of great importance for this wound of Planty Street to begin to heal."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bernard-Henri Lévy

Touring With Lévy a Dizzying Experience
by Marc Ballon, Senior Writer,
The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

Date: Saturday, April 8, 2006.
Time: 9 a.m.
Place: The Beverly Hills Hotel lobby.
I have come to this palace of privilege to meet Bernard-Henri Lévy, France’s philosophy king, the author of 30 books, including best sellers “American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville,” released earlier this year, and “Who Killed Daniel Pearl?” (Melville House, 2003).
“I believe [being an agnostic] is one of the best ways to be a Jew,” he says. “Jewishness is an experience of the nonevidence of God. That’s one of the main differences between Judaism and other faiths.
The Jewish faith, the Jewish relationship to God, is the one most aware of [God’s] absence sometimes, the silence often.
If you read really the prophets of the Bible, you’ll find that their main experience isn’t one of the warm presence of God, but of the despairing absence of it.”
Passionate Jews like himself need not believe in God to embrace the bedrock Jewish value of tikkun olam.
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

First in North America: Kosher Subway@the J
By: ARLENE FINE, Staff Reporter

Beginning in early May, Subway@the J will be open for business.

This flagship fast food restaurant, the first and only kosher Subway restaurant in North America, will be located in the spacious, sunny living room area at the Jewish Community Center’s main entrance.

Over the next few weeks, this central spot, which at one time housed an Arabica Coffee House, will be refurbished with a warm, Tuscany look.

The meat and pareve (permissible to be eaten with either meat or dairy) menu will feature the traditional Subway fare, but every item served will be strictly kosher and under the supervision of Cleveland Kosher.

Pareve cheese will be used, and beef fry will be substituted for pork products. The mashgiach (kastrut supervisor), partner, and co-operator is Avi Cohen, former owner of Brooklyn Bagels.

All bread baked on the premises has the approval of the Orthodox Union.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Democrats Need a Religious Left Values that the Left already holds, like loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek, need to be embraced politically.

By Michael Lerner

For years the Democrats have been telling themselves "it's the economy, stupid." Yet consistently for dozens of years millions of middle-income Americans have voted against their economic interests to support Republicans who have tapped a deeper set of needs.Tens of millions of Americans feel betrayed by a society that seems to place materialism and selfishness above moral values...

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Sunday, May 07, 2006


The origins of the work conducted today at Casa Shalom are perhaps unusual , but is an entity that has within a few years made considerable strides, having become both internationally and academically respected and a clear example of how from unexpected events can emerge a catalyst to unique and important research.

The whole concept was initiated almost as a holiday hobby in the Spanish Balearic Islands of Ibiza and Formentera, known as the Pitiuses Islands, in 1978, when it emerged that within these backwaters Jews had been protected by the Islanders and survived after the expulsion in 1492 until modern times.

As Jewish customs and ritual were discovered, as well as documents, which included a 14th century Megilla Esther, (now being restored by the Spanish Government) and four buildings that had been secret synagogues, some in use until the Civil War in 1936, the importance of the discoveries began to be appreciated more widely. Within a few years the research expanded to the larger Balearic Islands of Majorca and Minorca.

Elie Cohen


One most memorable story of spying during the Arab- Israeli conflict is attributed to Elie Cohen who was born in Alexandria, made aliya to Israel and subsequently was selected by the army secret services, for a most daring attempt to infiltrate Syria which at that time was on Golan Hights, and very frequently shelled at Israeli farmers down below. Maurice Mizrahi, the author of «l'Egypte et ses Juifs». «Le temps révolu (19-20e siècles)», reports on the fact that Elie Cohenworked in his business. Mizrahi noticed that Elie took a long time to carry out his duties outside the business. At that time, Cohen was connected with the movement of the young Zionists which explained these long absences. In 1949, Cohen and all other Jewish students were expelled from Farouk University and an investigation was carried out because of their Zionist activities. In 1956, he was jailed during the Sinai campaign and subsequently expelled from Egypt in 1957....

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Jewish Emancipation.

by Isaac Leeser

Our readers are aware that the liberty of conscience and political equality enjoyed by the Jews in Northern America (United States and Canada) and the West India Islands, as also in France, Belgium, and Holland, are not granted to them in other countries, but that we are subject more or less to certain disqualifications for the sake of our religious opinions. It is not alleged that we are not intelligent enough for the rights of men, but that it is unsafe to intrust us with political power in Christian countries. Even in at least one state of this confederacy, to wit, Massachusetts, and probably also in New Hampshire, Jews are ineligible to certain offices; in North Carolina they are eligible to none whatever....