The 3rd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art runs from Oct. 1-Nov. 16, featuring work from more than 200 Israeli and international artists who have creatively addressed a diverse array of Jewish content. For its debut in 2013, the festival “had around 60 participating artists, and only 10 of them were from outside Israel,” but this year’s group of artists contains roughly equal percentages of Israeli and foreign-born participants, said biennale founder Rami Ozeri. “This [international representation] will give us more interpretations of what contemporary Jewish art can be,” Ozeri told JNS.org.
Amidst Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration that the U.S.-Israel alliance has “never been stronger,” the two countries recently made history by opening of the first permanent American military base on Israeli soil, writes JNS.org Contributor Yaakov Lappin.
For an increasingly large share of American Jewry, the High Holidays bring a new set of challenges that go to the very core of one’s faith. According to the Pew Research Center’s most recent comprehensive survey of American Jewry, 58 percent of Jews marry outside the faith, up from 46 percent in 1990. Unlike other Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah and Passover, which sometimes overlap with major Christian or secular holiday periods, the High Holidays fall in September or October. Rabbi Jillian Cameron, a Boston-based regional director for Interfaith Family, a national organization supporting interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life, told JNS.org that the High Holidays “are an intense period of time in the Jewish world, full of introspection, difficult and complex theology, and thousands of years of tradition. For many families, interfaith or not, the High Holidays can seem overwhelming.”
High Holiday sermons are a rabbi’s chance to impart priorities and views to congregants with the maximum possible impact. Yet at a time when many synagogues are increasingly blurring the line between their activities and politics, rabbis must ponder just how far they want to go in either venting their own opinions or pandering to the prejudices of their audiences, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
Judaism’s High Holidays are a time for prayer, introspection and for those fortunate enough, inspiration. Amid the headlines on terrorism and political disputes, some prominent newsmakers in the Israel and Middle East scene gave us something to smile about or admire during this past year. Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, JNS.org spotlights high-profile individuals who made a positive difference—sometimes in unexpected ways—during the Jewish calendar year of 5777.
Despite relative isolation from their Jewish brethren around the world for millennia, Ethiopian Jews have coveted the same dream of celebrating Rosh Hashanah “next year in Jerusalem.” Though unique, the Jewish New Year festivities in Ethiopia bear many similarities to the holiday’s observance in the broader diaspora. Limor Malessa, who grew up in a small Ethiopian village near the Jewish community of Gondar, recalled how “kessim” (religious leaders) would “rise before dawn on the holy day, to begin the first prayer service of the day before sunrise.”
In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, President Donald Trump made a forceful case against Iran’s behavior in the Middle East and the merits of the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, writes JNS.org's Managing Editor Sean Savage.
Is there anything that would entice liberal Jews to stand with President Donald Trump or to join with him in trashing former President Barack Obama’s legacy?, writes JNS.org's Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
This week, I became an American citizen. As I intently studied my naturalization certificate after the oath-taking ceremony, it struck me how fortunate I am to be accepted into this nation on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, of all occasions, writes JNS.org Columnist Ben Cohen.
A little-reported stabbing incident, coupled with a large dose of Palestinian Authority-generated fake news, have revealed pretty much everything you need to know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, writes JNS.org's Columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
When researchers at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) reported earlier this year that public school history textbooks and curricular materials were indoctrinating students against Israel, some high school officials were dismissive, writes CAMERA's Jonah Cohen.
For Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political opponents, his government’s woes aren’t just an opportunity to score political points at his expense. They also provide easy-to-understand explanations for the question that nags at the margins of every debate about American Jewish attitudes toward Israel. Every negative development or unpopular decision associated with the prime minister is used to rationalize and sometimes even justify the growing chasm between American Jews and Israelis, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
Should American Jewish leaders speak to the rulers of a petrostate that finances Hamas terrorists to blow up their fellow Jews in Israel, asks JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.
The Jewish left, the United Nations, and the international news media have been telling us for years that illegal settlers in the “occupied territories” are the main obstacles to Middle East peace. So they all should have been rejoicing at this week’s news that a group of settlers were evicted from their home, writes JNS columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
(JNS.org) Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is slated to visit Israel in October to meet with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, for discussions on security coordination in Syria.
(JNS.org) Ahead of the arrival of Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s international negotiations representative, in the Middle East this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly delayed a committee meeting on construction efforts in Judea and Samaria.
(JNS.org) The Palestinian Authority (PA) will hold a cabinet meeting in the Gaza Strip next week, for the first time in two years, after the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas recently announced it would form a unity government with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.
(JNS.org) The Kurdish region of Iraq commenced a historic referendum Monday, allowing some 5 million Iraqi Kurds to vote on the creation of an independent state of Kurdistan.
(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel Sunday after she secured a fourth term as the country’s leader.
(JNS.org) Israel has condemned Iran’s latest ballistic missile test as a “provocation” amid growing concerns over the Islamic Republic’s behavior and U.S. threats to end the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement.