Moment

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 2, March-April

America's Other Jews
Sephardic Jews in America: A Diasporic History By Aviva Ben-Ur NYU Press 2009, $35.00, pp. 321 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Reading Aviva Ben-Ur's Sephardic Jews in America, I felt joy and sorrow. Joy because in Ben-Ur we are fortunate to...
An Israeli Prescription for American Health Care
One of the major grievances among critics of America's health care system is that it has not adopted electronic medical records (EMRs). According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last summer, fewer than 20 percent of American...
Bernie Madoff: Mystery Man
The man accused of running one of history's largest Ponzi schemes remains as mysterious today as when he turned himself in on December 11. Moment senior editor Nonna Gorilovskaya interviews Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story...
Can Eric Cantor Save the GOP? the New Minority Whip Is the Highest Ranking Jewish Republican in the History of the U.S. House of Representatives
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Not long ago, Eric Cantor wouldn't have been recognized if he strolled outside the U.S. Capitol grounds. But now the 45-year-old minority whip and only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives has become the face...
Force: An Inconvenient Truth
"The problem with you Jewish people," the Arab politician said to me, "is that you are always for the underdog--even when the underdog is trying to kill you." During the Gaza war, many American Jews were gripped by exactly this strangely self-destructive...
From the Editor
One summer when I was a kid, my family headed out west in our blue Dodge Polara station wagon. My dad was driving, fast as usual, as my mother, brothers, sister and I played games and entertained our wired hair terrier. We were on a rural stretch of...
Great Seder Films
Marjorie Morningstar, 1958 Crimes & Misdemeanors, 1989 It Runs in the Family, 2003 When Do We Eat?, 2005 Passover works for movies the way Christmas does: Through the lens of the Seder, souls are bared, family secrets revealed, and...
Israeli Films Boldly Go Where Few Politicians Dare
I'm a moviegoer, and lately an amazing percentage of the really good--even great--movies I have seen were Israeli-made. Almost all were superior to the American films I've seen in the same period. Emotionally powerful, thoughtful and nuanced, they...
It's Time for American Jews to Speak Up!
There's an old story from the cold war era, the kind of unsourced anecdote that probably never happened but nonetheless contains a truth about history. A Soviet diplomatic delegation once visited the West--so goes the story--and a Jewish member of...
JewishHealth: Your Guide to Intelligent Living
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] With this issue, Moment launches Jewishhealth: Your Guide to Intelligent Living. Use this guide to stay informed about a wide spectrum of issues that may affect you and your family. In this first edition, we focus on rare...
Learning to Love Evangelicals
One important misconception about evangelicals and Jews is that the only thing they have to talk about is Israel. This may be the case for right-wing Jews who want evangelicals to support their vision of Eretz Yisrael ha-shlema. For them it is an instrumental...
Letter from Chautauqua: The Protestant, Intellectual Playground Founded in the 19th Century Is Now Home to a Thriving Jewish Community
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Inspired by the late 19th century belief that it was possible--through education--to build a better society, Methodists Lewis Miller, an Ohio inventor, and John Heyl Vincent, a minister, dreamed of establishing a summer vacation...
Maxwell House Haggadah: Good to the Last Page
In 1923, when Maxwell House Coffee signed on with the Joseph Jacobs Advertising agency in New York, it was already a legend. Theodore Roosevelt supposedly drank a cup in 1907 at the Nashville hotel for which it was named, proclaiming it "good to the...
Return to Centro Historico: A Grandson of East European Immigrants to Mexico City Explores the Capital's Forgotten Jewish History-And Finds His Own
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On a recent trip home, I did something I never imagined I would do: I called a travel guide. Familiarity is what defines the word home. Stored deep in our memory are the sounds, tastes and colors with which we grew up....
Slumlord Millionaire
The Clothes on Their Backs By Linda Grant Scribner 2008, $14.00, pp. 304 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Oxford English Dictionary contains the noun Rachmanism, which it defines as "the exploitation and intimidation of tenants by unscrupulous...
Talking to Theo: A Conversation with Deborah Tannen
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] While Theodore Bikel may be best known for his defining portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof--a role he has played over 2,000 times--the list of his accomplishments is remarkably long. Born in Vienna in 1924 and forced...
The Evolution of Judas
Judas: A Biography By Susan Gubar W.W. Norton & Co. 2009, $27.95, pp. 453 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Notorious recipient of 30 pieces of silver. Betrayer with a kiss. Odd man out in countless medieval and Renaissance paintings of the...
The Last of the Just
Andre Schwarz-Bart is not exactly a household name in Jewish America these days. His books do not adorn shelves alongside those of Sholem Aleichem and Philip Roth. But his 1959 novel, The Last of the Just, sails alone in the vast sea of Holocaust literature...
The Man Behind the Fed
It was a matter of curiosity and some resentment that the only person to foresee the crash of 1907, the resounding culmination of a half-century of intermittent bank failures in America, was a stern Jewish banker with an imposing German accent. "If...
The Many Meanings of Passover
The etymology of the word Passover seems obvious. Passover, the English translation of pesach, means that God passed over the houses of Hebrews marked with lamb's blood so that only Egyptian first-born would be killed. But like so much about the festival,...
The Sweet Story of Charoset
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Charoset, that aromatic ensemble of fruits, nuts, spices and wine, may be the tastiest traditional food on the Seder plate, but why it is there is a matter of debate. The Torah does not command us to eat it, and, in fact,...
What Ethical Lessons Can Be Learned from the Bernie Madoff Scandal?
Chabad Scandal? What scandal? I have been trying so hard to be non-judgmental, tolerant of people's opinions when they differ from mine. Bernie allegedly made off with $50 billion, and everyone is morally outraged and shamelessly calls it a scandal...
Why Jewish Women Marry Out
Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America By Keren McGinity NYU Press 2009, $39.00, pp. 307 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the early 1970s, as connections to its immigrant past were waning, the Jewish American community...