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. 20, No. 4, Summer

And I Will Dwell in Their Midst
by Etan Diamond. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. 215 pp. $39.95 (c); $18.95 (p).This book is a thorough picture of the Orthodox Jewish community in suburban Toronto. In seven well-documented chapters, Diamond deals with the history,...
And the Witnesses Were Silent: The Confessing Church and the Persecution of the Jews
by Wolfgang Gerlach. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. 304 pp. $45.00.As the title of this heavily documented, revised, and abridged dissertation suggests, it is the thesis of this book that the witnesses even in the so-called "Confessing...
A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah
edited by Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld. Wyncote, PA: Reconstructionist Press, 2000. 160 pp. $18.00.Every generation writes its own history, interpreting the past in the light of the present and looking towards the future. Similarly,...
Apples from the Desert
by Savyon Liebrecht. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1998. 234 pp. $19.65.Apples from the Desert is the first collection in English of short stories by one of Israel's most lyrical, penetrating, and measured women authors,...
At Memory's Edge: After Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture
by James E. Young. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. 248 pp. $35.00.If there is any scholar who has stirred the imagination on the issues concerning Holocaust representation, certainly James E. Young from the University of Massachusetts stands...
At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
by Yossi Klein Halevi. New York: William Morrow, 2001. 315 pp. $25.00.Yossi Klein Halevi's At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden is a most extraordinary book on interfaith dialogue between members of the three Abrahamic religious traditions. Halevi,...
Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany
by Marion A. Kaplan. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. 290 pp. $30.00.The number of publications on the subject of Jews and Jewish persecution could fill countless shelves. Thus one has to wonder why yet another book on this topic has...
Bitter Prerequisites: A Faculty for Survival from Nazi Terror
by William Laird Kleine-Ahlbrandt. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2001. 479 pp. $24.95.Memory is one of the five canons of rhetoric created by Cicero and derived from Aristotle. It is often connected to what is remembered from a speech...
Booking Passage: Exile and Homecoming in the Modern Jewish Imagination
by Sidra Dekoven Ezrahi. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 370 pp. $45.00.Sidra Ezrahi's book on the permutations of the themes of exile and return in modern Jewish imaginative writing is an impressive work of scholarship. Laced with passages...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeJews in American Politics, edited by L. Sandy Maisel and Ira N. Forman. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001. 506 pp. $39.95. ISBN 0-7425-0181-7.This book, which includes chapters by journalists, scholars, and politicians, presents...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeHer Works Praise Her: A History of Jewish Women in America from Colonial Times to the Present, by Hasia Diner and Beryl Benderly. New York: Basic Books, 2002. 450 pp. $35.00. ISBN 0-465-01711-8.Jewish women have played a major role...
But Who Am I, and Who Are My People?: A Rabbi's Reflections on the Rabbinate and the Jewish Community
by Marc D. Angel. Ktav Publishing House Inc., 2001. 181 pp. $25.00.Rabbi Angel has written a very moving and sensitive account of his rabbinate and his service to the Jewish community. Angel is the rabbi of the historic Spanish and Portuguese synagogue,...
Canon and Creativity: Modern Writing and the Authority of Scripture
by Robert Alter. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. 198 pp. $18.50.In this elegantly written volume Robert Alter reassesses the notion of literary canon as it has evolved in recent decades. He challenges the emphasis that has been placed on canon...
Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits
by Michael H. Kater. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 399 pp. $35.00.The social historian Michael Kater will be known to many readers of this journal. His scholarship is at once broad in its cross-cultural scope and deep in its rigorous...
Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews
by James Carroll. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. 756. $28.00.Unlike pedantic church historians who write without creativity, novelist and essayist James Carroll writes imaginatively of two thousand years' dealings of the Roman Catholic...
Death of a 'Jewish Science': Psychoanalysis in the Third Reich
by James E. Goggin and Eileen Brockman-Goggin. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2001. 242 pp. $32.95.Psychologists James and Eileen Goggin argue that psychoanalysis was destroyed in Nazi Germany. Such destruction by the Nazis of what...
Die Biblische Urgeschichte in der Aufklärung: Johann Gottfried Herders Interpretation der Genesis Als Antwort Auf Die Religionskritik David Humes
by Christoph Bultmann. Beiträge zur historischen Theologie, 110. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. 219 pp. 140 DM.This volume is the published version of the author's Habilitationsschrift (inaugural dissertation) as accepted by the University of Göttingen...
Die Wiener Juden Im Mittelalter
by Klaus Lohrmann. Geschichte der Juden in Wien 1. Berlin: Philo, 2000. 192 pp. Euro 25.00.As part of a planned six-volume history of Viennese Jews from the Middle Ages to the present, the author here undertakes in approximately 160 pages the presentation...
Encyclopedia of Genocide
Israel W. Charny, Editor in Chief. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1999. 2 vols. 718 pp. $175.00.When I turn to an encyclopedia, it is because I am seeking basic, but also authoritative knowledge on a subject. But what if the encyclopedia covers a brand-new...
False Papers: Deception and Survival in the Holocaust
by Robert Melson. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. 199 pp. $26.95.There is certainly no shortage of Holocaust survival accounts. We are now able to read the most amazing first-person narratives of what it was like to exist in one of the many...
Forging a Hero for a Jewish Stage: Goldfadn's Bar Kokhba
The emergence of Jewish theater under Abraham Goldfadn permitted an esthetic recuperation of the Past not outside of history as in Biblical Purimshpils but inside history. Goldfadn wanted his audience to retrieve from the stage their lost memory of Jewish...
From Ellis Island to JFK
by Nancy Foner. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000. 334 pp. $29.95.For those interested in immigrants and New York City, this is must reading. Though some readers may not agree with some of Professor Foner's interpretations of why or how some group...
Gangster Generation: Crime, Jews and the Problem of Assimilation
"Gangster Generation: Crime, Jews, and the Problem of Assimilation" examines cultural representations of Jewish criminals over the course of the twentieth century. The essay seeks to demonstrate that for several successive generations following the mass...
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
by Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer. New York: Bloomsbury, 2000. 304 pp. $27.50.These are reflections some 60 years later on formative experiences in childhood and youth. The speakers, Jewish under Hitler's racial laws, fled perilous conditions...
Israel: The First Hundred Years. Vol. I: Israel's Transition from Community to State
edited by Efraim Karsh. London, Portland: Frank Cass, 2000. 249 pp. $57.50.This volume, edited by the Director of the Mediterranean Studies Program, King's College, London, with its somewhat expansive title (100 years?), is a thoroughly researched collection...
Itsik Fefer: A Yiddish Wunder Kind of the Bolshevik Revolution
Itsik Fefer (1900-1952) was one of the most prominent Soviet Yiddish writers, who perfectly combined the two talents of a poet and an apparatchik. His 1922 poetry collection, Splinters, established him as a rising literary star. The same year he formulated...
Jewish Destinies: Citizenship, State and Community in Modern France
by Pierre Birnbaum. New York: Hill & Wang, 2000. 324 pp. $30.00.American readers unfamiliar with the work of French historian cum political scientist cum sociologist Pierre Birnbaum will find an intellectual treat awaiting them. Author of recently...
Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry's Construction of Modern Jewish Thought
by David Ruderman. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000. 291 pp. $39.50.David Ruderman's Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key is, as he states, "the first comprehensive effort to describe the emergence of Anglo-Jewish thought in the...
Jewish Feature Films
Anna's Summer. Director: Jeanine Meerapfel (Greece/Germany/Spain: Integral Film/Milena Film, 2001).A Jewish woman who has inherited her family home in Greece rediscovers her Sephardic heritage.Anne Frank: The Whole Story. Director: Robert Dornhelm(USA:ABC,2001).The...
Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics
by Markus Bockmuehl. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000. 314 pp. $49.95.When I saw chutzpah attributed to Jesus in this book, I smiled in recognition, since in a book which appeared during the same year, that attribution appeared in a similar context (Rabbi...
Jewish Life and American Culture
by Sylvia Barack Fishman. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000. 242 pp. $17.95.The inexorable reach of globalization has profoundly impacted all cultures with its unimaginable novelty. It has challenged the cultural patterns of all Americans...
Jews of the Amazon: Self-Exile in Earthly Paradise
by Ariel Segal. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society; 1999. 341 pp. $29.95.Ariel Segal's Jews of the Amazon: Self-Exile in Earthly Paradise tells the story of a small group in Iquitos (Amazonian Peru) who define themselves as Jews (some have migrated...
Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry
by Samuel G. Freedman. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000. 397 pp. $26.00.Although in most other lands acceptance of Jews lasted for relatively short periods, throughout American history Jews have had a home in this country. Only between the ends of...
Lower East Side Memories: A Jewish Place in America
by Hasia R. Diner. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000. 219 pp. $27.95.Ironically, it may have taken a well-placed, if less than charitable, review of Hasia Diner's Lower East Side Memories to prove, beyond any doubt, her most salient point...
Maimonides' Empire of Light: Popular Enlightenment in an Age of Belief
by Ralph Lerner. University of Chicago Press, 2000. 221 pp. $35.00.Ralph Lerner's new book, Maimonides' Empire of Light, is a welcome antidote to those who think that Maimonides was an unregenerate, old-fashioned elitist -- or worse. Lerner shows in...
"New Mode of Feminist Historical Analysis" - or Just Another Collusion with "Patriarchal" Bias?
According to the "Lost Eden Scenario," a Goddess-destroying, woman-oppressing culture, that of the ancient Hebrews, generated many of the sexist ills of Western civilization. This scenario finds adherents even among some reputable scholars, including...
New Technologies and Old Methodologies: Jewish Studies Research in the Digital Age
Rapidly changing information technologies and networking capabilities are transforming scholarly research in Jewish Studies. Computer screens work alongside and even supplant the printed page as a research tool. The next generation of Jewish scholars...
No Room of Their Own: Gender and Nation in Israeli Women's Fiction
by Yael Feldman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. 337 pp. $16.50.In its first century modern Hebrew prose fiction was primarily the domain of male writers. Women, when they wrote, expressed themselves in poetry, a literary form which was culturally...
Origin and Transformation: Salomon Maimon and German-Jewish Enlightenment Culture
Salomon Maimon's Lebensgeschichte (1792) presents a strange and troubled man, a solitary wanderer between the darkness of Polish-Jewish superstition and the light of German-Jewish reason. When he arrived in Berlin in 1777, the 25 year-old Maimon had...
Paradise Park
by Allegra Goodman. New York: The Dial Press, 2001. 360 pp. $24.95.Paradise Park, Allegra Goodman's second novel, is a darker, more panoramic rewrite of her story "Onionskin," which was included in the 1998 Delta paperback edition of her first story...
Quarrel and Quandary: Essays by Cynthia Ozick
New York: Alfred Knopf, 2000. 247 pp. $25.00.Cynthia Ozick's vision, glimpsed in her new collection of essays, despite unmistakably pointing towards the rough beast of a new millennium, is still shadowed by the ghosts of the previous century. As Ozick...
Reading Yiddish in a Post-Modern Age: Some Trends in Literary Scholarships of the 1990s
From the Age of Enlightenment on, attitudes to Yiddish language and culture have been ideologically motivated. Yiddish was variously perceived as a corrupt jargon or the quintessence of the Jewish soul, a propaganda tool or the idiom of the Jewish collective...
Reel Jewish
by Joel Samberg. Middle Village, NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000. 224 pp. $22.95I have a theory about why popcorn is the most popular snack to eat when we go to the movies. We generally see films either before or after having dinner. Following a...
Rethinking the Holocaust
by Yehuda Bauer. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. 335 pp. $29.95.Rethinking the Holocaust is not only a book on Holocaust history but also a meditation on the writing and implications of this history by one of its most influential interpreters,...
Revisiting the Yom Kippur War
edited by P. R. Kumaraswamy. London: Frank Cass, 2000. 249 pp. $45.00.This collection often articles by Israeli scholars covers the military, political, economic, and social implications of the 1973 war between Israel, Egypt, and Syria. Although the...
Richard Wagner in Dritten Reich: Ein Schlof Elmanu-Symposium
edited by Saul Friedländer and Jörn Rüsen. Beck'sche Reihe, 1356. Munich: C. H. Beck Verlag, 2000. 373 pp. DM 28.That Richard Wagner, as ideologue and creative artist, occupied a special place in the context of Adolf Hitler's National Socialism is well...
Salamone Rossi: Jewish Musician in Late Renaissance Mantua
by Dona Harrán. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 332 pp. $78.00.This volume is a welcome addition to current studies of music and musicians in northern Italy during one of its most impressive periods of accomplishment, experimentation, and influence....
Salvation or Destruction? the Meaning and Consequences of Lubavitch Messianism
The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference, by David Berger. London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2001. 195pp. $29.50.At supper one night at a friend's home in Montreal in the mid-1960s, I was seated next to a very...
Social Science and the Politics of Modern Jewish Identity
by Mitchell B. Hart. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000. 340 pp. $55.00.Given the horrific legacy of Nazi racial policy, it is not surprising that Jewish historians have been hesitant to investigate how Jews employed racial categories to advance...
Spinoza, Liberalism, Science, and Contemporary Judaism
For centuries Benedict Spinoza has been regarded as everything from an antisemite to anti-Biblical. These and similar charges are not supported by recent analyses. Spinoza was an intellectual figure who believed deeply in a Deity while opening up the...
Stated Memory: East Germany and the Holocaust
by Thomas C. Fox. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 1999. 177 pp. $55.00.As Germany agonizes over its latest wave of neo-Nazi violence, many fingers have been pointed at former East Germany. In the ten years since reunification, a higher proportion of violent...
Talmud Stories: Narrative Art, Composition, and Culture
by Jeffrey L. Rubenstein. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. 435 pp. $49.95.Rubenstein offers a close "literary" reading of six stories from the Babylonian Talmud: "Torah, Shame, and `The Oven of Akhnai' (Bava Metsia 591-59b)";...
The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide
by Yair Auron. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2000. 405 pp. $39.95.Yair Auron's work sheds new and important light both on the Armenian Genocide and on the reactions and attitudes of the Zionist movement and the Jewish community in Palestine...
The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It?
edited by Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000. 350pp. $29.95.The collection of essays that are gathered in this volume together with introductory essays for each section represent a thorough and careful effort...
The Cambridge History of Judaism. Volume 3: The Early Roman Period
edited by William Horbury, W. D. Davies, and John Sturdy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 1254 pp. $140.00.This latest and long-delayed volume of the Cambridge History of Judaism is a welcome addition to the growing list of reference works...
The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965
by Michael Phayer. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2000. 301 pp. $29.95.Few topics connected with the Holocaust have aroused more controversy than the "silence" of the Vatican, and especially that of Pope Pius XII, as millions...
The Dead Sea Scrolls after Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment
edited by Peter W. Flint and James C. Vanderkam. Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, 1998-99. 2 vols. 1360 pp. + plates. $196.00The first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered near the ruins of Qumran in 1947. (For a brief overview of the Scrolls, see my...
The Discourse on Yiddish in German: From the Enlightenment to the Second Empire
by Jeffrey A. Grossman. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2000. 258 pp. $59.00.From the German Enlightenment to the last third of the nineteenth century, Jeffrey Grossmann traces the views on Yiddish and East European Jewish culture held by German professionals,...
The Dying Animal
by Philip Roth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. 156 pp. $23.00.Eroticism has always been a part of Philip Roth's fiction, but until recently death has scarcely entered as a major subject, certainly not in the context of eros. In Sabbath's Theater (1995)...
The Holocaust and the Christian World: Reflections on the Past, Challenges for the Future
edited by Carol Rittner, Stephen D. Smith, and Irena Stein; consulting editor: Yehuda Bauer. New York: Continuum, 2000. 278 pp. $49.95.Although historians agree that the Endlösung, proclaimed at the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, was the goal of...
The Holocaust in American Film
by Judith E. Doneson. 2(nd) ed. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2002. 288 pp. $19.95.In Memory of Judith E. Doneson (1947-2002)I received my review copy of the second edition of Judith Doneson's pioneering study of American feature films about...
The Hyena People: Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia
by Hagar Salamon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. 157 pp. $17.95.The discovery of co-religionists in Ethiopia aroused latent racial tensions in world Jewry and sparked a major discourse regarding the identity of Ethiopian Jews. Significantly,...
The Israeli-Syrian Peace Talks: 1991-96 and Beyond
by Helena Cobban. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1999. 235 pp. $19.95.Just how difficult it is to present an even-handed account of negotiations involving Israel and Syria to an American audience is evident in the very first...
The Jewish Confederates
by Robert N. Rosen. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000. 517 pp. $39.95.Robert Rosen's Jewish Confederates represents one of the most provocative treatments ever written about the history of southern Jewry. Its title hardly does it justice,...
The Left and Israel: Party-Policy Change and Internal Democracy
by June Edmunds. London: Macmillan, 2000. 221 pp. $65.00.Conflict between Zionists and the Arabs has bothered European leftists at least since the period of the Mandate. Supporters of national liberation have worried about competing Jewish and Arab national...
The Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaism
by David Kraemer. New York: Routledge, 2000. 170pp. $29.99.David Kraemer has written an original, intelligent, and thought-provoking study of the meanings of death in Rabbinic Judaism. Methodologically sophisticated, Kraemer is sensitive to the oral...
The Name in the Poem: Women Yiddish Poets
A poet's name appearing in a poem signals the question: To what degree does the individual writer speak for her/himself and to what degree for the community? In Old Yiddish poems, no modern idea of the individual writer is present. When the poet signs...
The New Israel: Peacemaking and Liberalization
edited by Gershon Shafir and Yoav Peled. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000. 294 pp. $30.00.The 1990s was a good decade for Israel. Agreements with Jordan and the Palestinians advanced the prospects of peace. The government continued on its road to economic...
The Oslo Accords: International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreements
by Geoffrey R. Watson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. 429 pp. $72.00.Geoffrey R. Watson, formerly a lawyer for the State Department specializing in Middle East affairs, and currently a professor of law at Catholic University, has written the...
The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls - Technological Innovations, New Texts, and Reformulated Issues
edited by Donald W. Parry and Eugene Ulrich. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah, Vol. 30. Leiden: Brill, 1999. 711 pp. $184.00.This impressive volume contains 43 articles which were read at the conference held on the Brigham Young University...
The Sabra: The Creation of the New Jew
by Oz Almong. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 313 pp. $35.00.Zionism, the Jewish national revival movement, arose at the end of the nineteenth century in response to the two great challenges to world Jewry at the time: assimilation and...
The Terrible Power of a Minor Guilt: Literary Essays
by Abraham B. Yehoshua, translated by Ora Cummings. Syracuse University Press, 2000. 145 pp. $26.95.Israel's prominent novelist and essayist, A.B. Yehoshua, is also a professor of literature. In this book, which grew out of a course he has taught, he...
The Unique Cherub Circle: A School of Mystics and Esoterics in Medieval Germany
by Joseph Dan. Texts and Studies in Medieval and Early modern Judaism 15. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. 296pp. DM 168.00.In The Unique Cherub Circle Joseph Dan offers a groundbreaking study of a dozen treatises that constitute a seminal and intriguing...
The Washing of the World, the Washing of the World: Paul Celan and the Language of Sanctification
In its communicative gesture to its listeners, in its movement "toward something open, inhabitable, an approachable you, perhaps, an approachable reality," Celan's poetry performs a sanctifying function. Such a function, however, finds its origin in...
Whitehall and the Jews, 1933-1948: British Immigration Policy and the Holocaust
by Louise London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 313 pp. $59.95.In March 2000, the publication of a study about British government responses to refugees could not have been more timely. During the previous year and peaking in March of the...
Women and the Holocaust: Narrative and Representation
edited by Esther Fuchs. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1999. 148 pp. $30.00.The experience of the Holocaust has been written about and told mostly by men. In the past decade, a small but growing literature of women's experiences during the...
Wright Morris and the Jews
Wright Morris was born in Nebraska in 1910 and left the state by 1925. Despite the relatively short contact, the Midwest was a formative influence as rural and small-town Nebraska and ethnic diversity in Omaha frequently provided material for many of...
Zionism and the Foundations of Israeli Diplomacy
by Sasson Sofer. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 449 pp. $59.95 (c).Theodor Herzl enjoys a well-deserved reputation for prescience. One of his works, Altneuland, anticipated a characteristic that is vital for understanding contemporary...