Reform Judaism Magazine

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1st Place Award Winner for Excellence in Jewish Journalism and a Benefit of Membership in a Union Congregation

WINTER 2007

Reform Judaism magazine Winter 2007 issue

Contents below: Red Hair, Green Eyes, & Jewish by Lucas McMahon * Being Honest With Ourselves by Tim McMahon * The Making of a Jew by Rachel Flynn * A Breathing Faith of My Own by John Tibbetts * I’m a Jew Just Like You by Joelle Asaro Berman * Celebrating Our Differences by Beverly Asaro * Outreach: The Next Generation—A Discussion Guide by Alan D. Bennett * The Protocols of Hamas by Steven L. Jacobs * Cracks in the Wall a conversation with Mark Pelavin * The Betrayal of Judas a conversation with Michael J. Cook * In Search of the Synagogue, Part II: The Temple Destroyed; The Synagogue Takes a Turn a conversation with Lee I. Levine * Portrait: Dr. Tyree Wieder photograph by Rose Eichenbaum * Inner Life: The Torah for the Trees by William Squier * Books: New Fiction—Fathers and Sons by Bonny V. Fetterman * Books: For Discussion—Significant Jewish Books by Bonny V. Fetterman * Cooking: The Spice Trade & the Jews by Tina D. Wasserman * Lifecycle: The “New” Jewish Funeral by Samuel G. Broude * Israel: Reaching Out to a New Generation by Bonny V. Fetterman * Dear Reader: The Good and Bad of Chabad by Eric H. Yoffie * Chairman's Message - The Last Four Years: Personal Reflections by Robert Heller * My Opinion: Slander in Schoolbooks by Andrea Rapp

FOCUS: OUTREACH —THE NEXT GENERATION

Lucas carrying the Torah at his Bar MitzvahRed Hair, Green Eyes, & Jewish
by Lucas McMahon
Here I am, a living example that one must go deeper than the exterior to discover a person’s true nature.

Being Honest With Ourselves
by Tim McMahon
We made decisions for us and our children based on what was right for our family—and not what our relatives might think.

With my parents in JerusalemThe Making of a Jew
by Rachel Flynn
My mom likes to say that the best Jews aren’t always the ones you find; sometimes they’re the ones you make.

A Breathing Faith of My Own
by John Tibbetts
The person whose faith is alive “breathes”—absorbing and expelling, believing and doubting.

Painting in MetulaI'm a Jew Just Like You
by Joelle Asaro Berman
Give us adult children of intermarriage a stake in the incredibly rich tradition that is our Jewish future.

Celebrating Our Differences
by Beverly Asaro
For our children, our family makeup was the most natural thing in the world—they were American Jews of Sicilian heritage and their mother was not Jewish.

Outreach: The Next Generation--A Discussion Guide
by Alan D. Bennett
This discussion and study guide for the home and synagogue includes Jewish teachings, article overviews, discussion questions, Big Ideas, a bibliography, and more.


FEATURES

The Protocols of Hamas
by Steven L. Jacobs
Hamas’ mission, spelled out in the 1988 Hamas Covenant, contains some of the most hateful, incendiary anti-Jewish writings in history. To understand Hamas, we must understand its covenant.

The Chorazim Synagogue sat on a high hill above the Sea of Galilee Cracks in the Wall
a conversation with Mark Pelavin
Pelavin, associate director of the RAC, reflects on recent Supreme Court judgments and what we can do to affect the future of American justice.

In Search of the Synagogue, Part II: The Temple Destroyed; The Synagogue Takes a Turn
a conversation with Lee I. Levine
Levine, professor of Jewish History and Archaeology at Hebrew University, describes how the synagogue evolved in Roman-occupied Palestine (70 C.E.–4th century).

The Betrayal of Judas
a conversation with Michael J. Cook
Cook, HUC-JIR Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, explains why and how Judas came to be branded—falsely—as the personification of betrayer.


JEWISH LIFE

Dr. Tyree WiederPortrait

photograph by Rose Eichenbaum
A conversation with Dr. Tyree Wieder, President, Los Angeles Valley College, about her conversion to Judaism, and her daughter’s bat mitzvah: “Celebrating with her were people of different races and religions—as the world should be.”


Beth, Levi and meInner Life: The Torah for the Trees
by William Squier
Beth and I regarded the Christmas trees, and then each other, uneasily. One of the great, unresolved conflicts of our marriage had not only been dumped onto the sidewalk, but into our laps: whether or not to celebrate Christmas in our home.

Book Reviews - Fathers and SonsBooks: New Fiction - Fathers and Sons
by Bonny V. Fetterman
Bonny Fetterman reviews The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon and Our Holocaust by Amir Gutfreund, translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen.


Significant Jewish BooksBooks: For Discussion - Significant Jewish Books
by Bonny V. Fetterman
The Union for Reform Judaism recommends two Significant Jewish Books each quarter for individual and book groups, and provides a study and discussion guide for each. This quarter’s selected books: Emma Lazarus by Esther Schor and Kabbalah: A Love Story by Lawrence Kushner.

Rice dishCooking: The Spice Trade & the Jews
by Tina D. Wasserman
Jews played a significant role in the spice trade as early as the biblical times of Solomon (10th century B.C.E.). Thanks in part to our ancestors, the spice trade flourished—and with it, culinary diversity around the globe. Featured recipes: Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice), Tsire Peanut and Spice Mix, and Curried Lentils and Vegetables.

Lifecycle: The "New" Jewish Funeral
by Samuel G. Broude
It began about twenty years ago. Instead of the bereaved family relying on the rabbi to deliver the eulogy, a member of the family asked to speak about the deceased. While this was not exactly a “Rosa Parks” moment, nevertheless it inaugurated a sea change in Jewish funerals.

group at Kibbutz LotanIsrael: Reaching Out to a New Generation
by Bonny V. Fetterman
An ambitious MASA (meaning “journey”) initiative aims to bring more than 50,000 18-30-year-old Diaspora Jews to the country each year and inspire them to experience Israel firsthand while pursuing their own academic, career, and/or personal goals.



DEPARTMENTS

Dear Reader: The Good and Bad of Chabad
by Eric H. Yoffie
In Russia, Chabad leaders have established an alliance with President Vadimir Putin which is denying recognition and funding to other Jewish groups. In North America, Chabad is becoming a purveyor of Jewish minimalism, lowering educational standards for our children and community.

Chairman's Message - The Last Four Years: Personal Reflections
by Robert Heller
The calendar does not lie. Still, can it really be four years since I was elected chairman of the Union Board?

 

My Opinion: Slander in Schoolbooks
by Andrea Rapp
We Jews have been practically silent about the biased, inaccurate, and deeply offensive portrayal of Jews, Judaism, and Israel in many of our nation’s textbooks. It’s time we took action.


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