Shofar

Founded in 1925, Shofar is a quarterly Jewish youth newspaper published by B'nai B'rith Youth Organization in Washington, D.C. Its subject matter covers youth and Jewish interests.

Articles from Vol. 22, No. 1, Fall

A Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry, by Stephen Fredman
University of Chicago Press, 2001. 193 pp. $46.00.Stephen Fredman demonstrates that for Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976), a paradigmatic modernist poet and first-generation Jewish American of Eastern European (Russian) origins, Hellenism represented a site...
An Interview with Liliane Targownik
Directed and scripted by Liliane Targownik, Rosenzweig's Freedom (Germany: Südwestfunk, 1998) is a critically acclaimed German film concerning the wave of neo-Nazi attacks on foreign guest workers and asylum seekers in the years immediately following...
Be My Knife, by David Grossman, Translated by Vered Almog and Maya Gurantz
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001. 307 pp. $25.00.By pushing and expanding the boundaries of language, David Grossman has frequently surprised readers. He walks on the literary edge, experimenting in form and narrative, his novels at once post-modern...
Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, by Rebecca Walker
New York: Riverhead Books, 2001. 320 pp. $23.95.Autobiography is more than the vivid, even brilliant, recounting of one's life. Successful autobiography requires what is enormously difficult, namely, to see and write about oneself as if we were someone...
Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World: The Roots of Sectarianism, by Bruce Masters
Cambridge:, Cambridge University Press, 2001. 222 pp. $54.95.Sectarianism is a theme that has been assiduously ignored by several generations of Middle Eastern scholars. There are multiple causes for this: on the one hand, scholars who are working to...
Coming out of the Ethnic Closet: Jewishness in the Films of Barry Levinson
To what extent is Barry Levinson, director of mainstream Hollywood classics The Natural, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Rainman, a Jewish filmmaker? A study of Levinson's Baltimore films, Diner (1982),(1) Tin Men (1987),(2) Avalon (1990),(3) and Liberty...
Contrasts in American and Jewish Law, Edited by Daniel Pollack
Hoboken, NJ: Yeshiva University Press, 2001. 255 pp. $29.50.Jewish survival throughout the nearly 2000-year exile has involved the delicate balance between adherence to G-d's law (the written words of the Bible, together with rabbinic teaching, interpretation,...
Days of Awe, by Achy Obejas
New York: Ballantine, 2001. 371pp. $24.95.Days of Awe, Achy Obejas's second novel and third book of fiction, centers on its Cuban American protagonist's discovery of her family's concealed Jewishness. At twenty-eight Alejandra San Jose believes both...
Disraeli's Jewishness, Edited by Todd M. Endelman and Tony Kushner
London and Portland, OR: Valentine Mitchell, 2002. 265 pp. $59.50 (c), $26.50 (p). ISBN 0-85303-366-8 (c); 0-85303-373-0 (p).Even though they may be long dead, the private lives of public figures retain an abiding fascination. More often than not, the...
Dor Hameasfim Beshahar Hahaskalah (the Circle of Hame'asef Writers at the Dawn of Haskalah), by Moshe Pelli
Bnei-Brak: Hakibutz Hame'uchad Publishers, 2001. 223 pp. In Hebrew; abstract in English.The transition of the Jewish people into modern times is the specialty of Professor Moshe Pelli, director of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Central...
Editor's Introduction
What is a Jewish film? Do we classify a movie as Jewish because its director or screen-writer is of Jewish descent? That cannot be the sole criteria, since some fine films about Jewish topics were directed and scripted by Gentiles. For example, Edward...
Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Edited by Lawrence Schiffman, James C. VanderKam et Al
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000. 1137 pp. $295.00.This two-volume work, which contains 450 original articles in A to Z order (Volume 1: A-M and Volume 2: N-Z), is recommended to the readers of this journal without hesitation. All libraries...
Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, Edited by David L. Lieber
Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, for the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 2001. 1560 pp. $72.50.For close to sixty years, Joseph Hertz's The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (London: Soncino Press, 1936) was a fixture...
Franz Kafka: A Question of Jewish Identity -- Two Perspectives, by Sara Loeb, Translated by Sondra Silberston and Chaya Naor
Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2001. 273 pp. $42.00.The author of this multi-faceted book holds an M.A. in French Literature and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Bar-Han University. The reader may assume that this title originally appeared...
Gender and Holocaust Docudramas: Gentile Heroines in Rescue Films
Much as the following rescue films present themselves as reflections of historical events, they seek to articulate a message for the present. Much as they seem to "reflect" historical reality, though they appear to be "about" the Holocaust as the story...
Gender and Space in the New Israeli Cinema
Over the past thirty years, Israeli cinema has been busy dismantling the Zionist narrative that had coalesced in the first years of Israeli statehood. The new Israeli cinema has linked this dismantling with two additional kinds of deconstruction: of...
Hebrew Studies: A Journal Devoted to Hebrew Language and Literature, Edited by Ziony Zevit
Volume 42 (2001). $40.00.Hebrew Studies is a publication of the National Association of Professors of Hebrews. Befitting "a journal devoted to Hebrew language and literature" (as its subtitle states), its thirteen articles and two review essays all place...
Henry Ford and the Jews, by Neil Baldwin
New York: PublicAffairs, 2001. 416 pp. $27.50.Henry Ford has long been known as one of the most virulent antisemites in American history. To its credit, the Ford Motor Company has done much to reverse the hateful legacy of its founder, donating millions...
Hitler and the Holocaust, by Robert S. Wistrich
New York: The Modern Library, 2001. 295 pp. $19.95.Robert Wistrich has an impressive track record with his research and writings about antisemitism. Hitler and the Holocaust is part of a new series of "Modern Library Chronicles" that features titles...
Hole in the Moon or Zionism and the Binding (Ha-Ak'eda) Myth in Israeli Cinema
The biblical "binding" of Isaac (in Hebrew: ha-ak'eda: Genesis 22) is a motif that has been transformed and transcribed, both explicitly and implicitly, in Israeli culture in general and in its cinema, leaving its traces in a large number of texts. Zionism,...
Holocaust and Rescue: Impotent or Indifferent? Anglo-Jewry 1938-1945, by Pamela Shatzkes
Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave, 2002. 322 pp. $65.00.In recent years the response of the democracies to the Holocaust, especially the possibilities for the rescue of Jews from the Nazis, has emerged as one of the most important areas of scholarly debate...
Holocaust Pornography: Profaning the Sacred in Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS
IntroductionThe 1974 sexploitation film Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS begins with a voice-over of Adolf Hitler delivering a speech while a titlecard from the producer, listed as Herman Traeger, states the following:The film you are about to see is based upon...
Leaving This Life Behind, by Howard Levine
Berkeley: Creative Arts Book Company, 2000. 250 pp. $14.95.I'm frozen with horror. Then, just as suddenly, I'm beyond that: I'm with my mother in our Queens apartment, learning how to rig up a sanitary belt; I'm marrying Paul in the Bronx County courthouse;...
Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel, by Grace Feuerverger
New York, London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2001. 218 pp. $22.95.As tensions reach the boiling point in Israel and the appetite for demonizing the other becomes increasingly compelling, it seems nearly impossible to imagine Jews and Arabs living side by side....
Peace and War: The Arab-Israeli Military Balance Enters the 21st Century, by Anthony H. Cordesman
Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002. 209 pp. $104.95.Ever since the demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, relationships between the successor states of the Middle East have been chronically volatile. Today, too, alliances and alignments continue to shift, in...
Remembering a Vanished World: A Jewish Childhood in Interwar Poland, by Theodore S. Hamerow
New York and Oxford: Berghahn Book, 2001. 204 pp. $19.95.It would be hard to find a more biased reviewer of Hamerow's book than myself. The author "was born on August 24, 1920, in Warsaw, during that great, fierce debate, at what was also a critical...
Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century, by Kenneth Stow
Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001. 272 pp. $45.00 (c), $22.50 (p)."All the world's a stage," as Shakespeare put it at the turn of the seventeenth century. It is not too surprising that scholars would eventually co-opt the metaphor to contemporize...
The Hebrew National Orphan Home: Memories of Orphanage Life, Edited by Ira A. Greenberg, with Richard G. Safran and Sam George Arcus
Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., and Bergin and Garvey Press, 2001. 305 pp. $74.95.The Hebrew National Orphan Home: Memories of Orphanage Life is an engaging collection that is true to its title. The book's editors, Ira Greenberg, Richard...
The Life of Judaism, Edited by Harvey E. Goldberg
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. 258 pp.The growing number of courses in Jewish studies at colleges and universities in the United States brings with it the need for works on Jews that are broader than most scholarly monographs. If one...
The Melting Pot in Israel: The Commission of Inquiry concerning the Education of Immigrant Children during the Early Years of the State, by Zvi Zameret
Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002. 337 pp. $29.95.In January of 1950, the Israeli government, under pressure from the religious public, launched a Commission of Inquiry to investigate "educational matters in the immigrant camps." The inquiry,...
To Reveal Our Hearts: Jewish Women Writers in Tsarist Russia, by Carole B. Balin
Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 2000. 269 pp. $39.95.Carole Balin's fascinating study reminds us that not all Jewish women in nineteenth century Russia were traditional shtetl housewives or secularized revolutionaries. Rather, her focus is...
Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives, Edited by Pamela S. Nadell and Jonathan D. Sarna
Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 2001. 322 pp. $50.00.The twelve well-documented essays collected in this volume succeed admirably in depicting how American Jewish women from the colonial era to the end of the twentieth century expressed their...
Woody Allen after the Fall: Literary Gold from Amoral Alchemy
Over the past ten years, Woody Allen has responded to exigency and circumstance -- some, of course, of his own making -- by replenishing and renewing his fundamental commitment to his art. Because he has refused to remain static or complacent in the...