Miriam Bird Greenberg recalls the role of goats in her life while growing up as a Jewish child on a farm. “As a child, the meanings one assembles from the unknown sometimes remain truths long after the stories that underpin them are eroded.”
An investigation into the leadership, organizational and financial status, and affiliations of the increasingly fractured Women’s March. Among many other explosive issues, the article interrogates the alleged anti-semitism of some of the March’s leaders, who support the outwardly anti-semitic, misogynistic, and anti-LBGTQ Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan.
Content marketers convene in Boston to rid the world of bad content, get under your skin, and scavenge the rotting bones of journalism.
Josh Lambert on the Jewish heart (and humor) of Wet Hot American Summer and its recent Netflix revival.
Robert Rockaway on Prohibition-era Jewish mobsters, who—despite their criminal behavior—still saw religious observance as an integral part of their identity.
French Jews making aliyah go from one conflict zone to another.
In a conference room at the Ramada Renaissance hotel on the western edge of Jerusalem, a group of 60 French Jews are about to become Israelis. They sit in softly cushioned metal-framed chairs set in two rows across the red-and-gold hotel carpeting. At the front of the room, delegates from the Jewish Agency stand before a dark blue table arranged with ID cards and a stack of heart-shaped pink chocolate boxes. A thin, dark-haired woman in a grey minidress holds a microphone and calls out the names of these new Israelis, serious-looking Orthodox families, retired couples on their way to the Francophone beach communities of Netanya and Ashdod, and twentysomethings headed for Tel Aviv. As they take their bounty, the new citizens pose for photos and thank their delegates, kissing them once on each cheek. Everyone stands for “Hatikva,” Israel’s national anthem. As she sings along, Nora De Pas, a girl I met yesterday, puts an arm around my shoulder, linking me to a chain of people who were strangers a week ago.
On the balance between admiration and friendship. A writer strikes up an email relationship with the author he most admires, Leonard Michaels:
“In his work Lenny exhibited incisiveness, self-awareness, and control, and yet in life he sometimes appeared to me to be innocently childlike. He was often very emotionally candid. He talked freely and unguardedly about himself and about his friends and acquaintances. Though not trying to be mean-spirited or malicious, he could be indiscreet. Once, in conversation, he mentioned a friend, a man with a recognizable name, who had impregnated his much younger girlfriend to keep her from leaving him. I understood that Lenny had mentioned this in a flow of social feeling, not to sow gossip, only to remark upon a peculiar incident that he’d found illuminating and amusing. Still, the disclosure seemed at odds with the image I’d constructed of Lenny based on his work.”
Everyone at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was Jewish—and by “everyone” I mean that while Jews comprise 2 percent of the American population roughly every third person at the conference was Jewish. I met some kids from the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, a group of terrifyingly bright 20-year-olds, and quickly learned, to my lack of shock, that most of them were Jews. The business majors and the MBAers were Jews; one conference organizer, a Sloan student with a distinctively Irish name told me how glad he was I was writing this story, because clearly everyone there, himself included, was Jewish. The journalists covering the conference were Jews. And Mark Cuban—his family name was Chopininski—is Jewish, too. This matters.
The AFL’s story is a quintessentially American tale of a group of outmanned, outcast insurgents working on the margins, forced to break with the old way of doing things and in the process creating a brasher, more exciting version of the mainstream—a mainstream that then remade itself in the insurgents’ image. And Sid Gillman, Sonny Werblin, and Al Davis—three Jewish men—were among the AFL’s boldest and most creative innovators, and through the AFL had among the greatest impacts on the shape, success, and direction of the Super Bowl you will watch on Sunday night.