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. 26, No. 2, Winter

A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past
A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past, by Matthew D. Hockenos. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004. 269 pp. $29.95.Dense, packed with detail, and exceedingly well researched, Matthew D. Hockenos's fine study is the first...
A Dialogue between Psychology and Religion in the Work of Moshe Halevi Spero, an Orthodox Jewish Psychoanalyst
The work of the Orthodox Jewish psychoanalyst, Moshe Halevi Spero, is examined as representing a non-reductionistic dialogue between religion and psychoanalysis in one analyst's work. The development of Spero's thinking is traced as he has grappled with...
After Daybreak: The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, 1945
After Daybreak: The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, 1945, by Ben Shephard. New York: Schocken Books, 2005. 274 pp. $25.00.On April 15, 1945, British tanks rumbled up to the barbed wire fence surrounding the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen. The soldiers...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeCoalfield Jews: An Appalachian History, by Deborah R. Weiner. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2006. 234 pp. $25.00. ISBN 0-252-07335-5.In this book, Deborah R. Weiner studies Jews in Appalachia, exploring where they settled,...
Bordering on Lehavdl: Michael Wex, Performing Yiddish, and a Discourse of Discomfort
This essay examines the work of Michael Wex, novelist, performer, and author of the recent non-fiction book on Yiddish, Born to Kvetch. Wex's texts and performance style are analyzed with particular attention to the ways his material addresses themes...
Call It English: The Languages of Jewish American Literature
Call It English: The Languages of Jewish American Literature, by Hana Wirth-Nesher. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. 224 pp. $39.50.In an era when so much literary criticism hovers above texts and barely engages them, it is refreshing to...
Die Kehrseite der Emanzipation in Frankreich: Judenfeindschaft Im Elsass 1778 Bis 1848
Die Kehrseite der Emanzipation in Frankreich: Judenfeindschaft im Elsass 1778 bis 1848, by Daniel Gerson. Vol. 1 of Antisemitismus: Geschichte und Strukturen, ed. Wolfgang Benz. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2006. 332 pp. euro24.95.The German word Kehrseite...
Dixie Diaspora: An Anthology of Southern Jewish History
Dixie Diaspora: An Anthology of Southern Jewish History, edited by Mark K. Bauman. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2006. 480 pp. $65.00 (c); $35.00 (p)."Connoisseurs of the complications of ethnicity," writes Brandeis Professor Stephen J. Whitfield...
Exile in Amsterdam: Saul Levi Morteira's Sermons to a Congregation of "New Jews,"
Exile in Amsterdam: Saul Levi Morteira's Sermons to a Congregation of "New Jews," by Marc Saperstein. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2005. 585 pp. $49.95.Exile in Amsterdam is a study of Jewish preaching in the early modern period that tells...
Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz
Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz, by Jan T. Gross. New York: Random House, 2006. 303 pp. $25.95.In Fear, historian Jan Gross explores a seemingly baffling phenomenon. How is it that there was aggressive antisemitism in Poland, after the...
Heir Snares Eyre's Mähr1: Murderous Idea vs. Thieving Interpretation: Cynthia Ozick's Literary Theory in Heir to the Glimmering World
Cynthia Ozick's novel Heir to the Glimmering World caps the revision of her concept of art. In her early novels and essays, Ozick's views resembled the Romantics who considered art both sublimely uplifting and utterly destructive. Ozick associated art...
Isaac B. Singer: A Life
Isaac B. Singer: A Life, by Florence Noiville, translated from the French by Catherine Temerson. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. 192 pp. $23.00.The jury is still out on the question of whether or not Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991) was the...
Jackie Robinson, Jewish Icon
The story of Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball in 1947 provided Jews with a myth representative of their experience of assimilation into American society in the era following World War II. Popular Jewish accounts of this story, found in children's...
Jüdische Wege Ins Bürgertum: Kulturelles Kapital Und Sozialer Aufstieg Im 19. Jahrhundert
Jüdische Wege ins Bürgertum: Kulturelles Kapital und sozialer Aufstieg im 19. Jahrhundert, by Simone Lässig. Bürgertum Neue Folge. Studien zur Zivilgesellschaft, eds. Manfred Hettling, Paul Nolte. Hamburg: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004. 784 pp. euro69.00.This...
Life after Death in Early Judaism: The Evidence of Josephus
Life after Death in Early Judaism: The Evidence of Josephus, by C. D. Elledge. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006. 224 pp. euro44.00.This book is a revision and expansion of portions of the author's dissertation, written under Prof. James Charlesworth at Princeton...
Marked and Unmarked Flesh: Jewish Identity, Gender, and Circumcision in Historical Perspective
Why Aren't Jewish Women Circumcised; Gender and Covenant in Judaism, by Shaye J. D. Cohen. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005. 317 pp. $39.95.Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America, by Leonard B. Glick. Oxford:...
Mark Twain's Jews
Mark Twain's Jews, by Dan Vogel. Jersey City: KTAV Publishing, 2006. 146 pp. $22.95.Dan Vogel's Mark Twain's Jews is predicated on a simple question, one I had posed in 1996: Was Mark Twain an antisemite? Certainly, like many antisemites, Twain was fascinated...
Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps
Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps, by Shirli Gilbert. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. 243 pp. $35.00.Music in the Holocaust documents a wide range of musical activities in the camps and ghettos of Nazi-occupied...
"My Place in Judaism": Geography, Ethnicity, and Sexuality on Sarah Schulman's Lower East Side
Novelist Sarah Schulman's characters inhabit southern Manhattan's lower East Side and the East Village, drawing on real and imagined histories of Jewish and gay activism and creativity in their search for physical and cultural space in which they can...
Origins of the Other: Emmanuel Levinas between Revelation and Ethics
Origins of the Other: Emmanuel Levinas Between Revelation and Ethics, by Samuel Moyn. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005. 268 pp. $29.95.Academic interest in the work of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-95), the Lithuanian-born philosopher who articulates...
Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author
Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author, edited by Derek Parker Royal. Westport: Praeger, 2005. 303 pp. $39.95.Though Philip Roth's American Pastoral only won runner-up honors in The New York Times recent poll of the best work of American...
Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple: Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism
Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple: Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism, by Jonathan Klawans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 372 pp. $74.00.This thorough and stimulating survey of purity, sacrifice, and the Temple follows...
Resources for Jewish Biography and Autobiography on the Internet
The Internet and associated digital technologies are useful to Jewish Studies scholars who research, write, and teach Jewish biography and autobiography. Increasing amounts of secondary and primary sources originally preserved in manuscript or print...
Rethinking "Sephardic": Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Observances among the Jews of Bombay
This study explores the ritual enactments of the Bene Israel and Baghdadi Jewish communities in Bombay, India during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. By comparing and contrasting the ritual enactments of the two communities against each other, the Sephardic...
Solomon: Israel's Ironic Icon of Human Achievement
Solomon: Israel's Ironic Icon of Human Achievement, by Walter Brueggemann. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005. 301 pp. $44.95.Willa Cather wrote that "some memories are realities," which leaves room to suggest that some memories are not....
Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature
Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature, by Hara E. Person and Diane G. Person. New York: Continuum, 2005. 287 pp. $34.95."The stories that are focused on [here]... are tales in which a significant transition takes...
The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day
The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, by Walter Laqueur. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 216 pp. $22.00.Walter Laqueurs many books on European and Middle Eastern history have always combined historical...
The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich: A Son's Memoir
The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich: A Son's Memoir, by Howard Reich. New York: Public Affairs, 2006. 200 pp. $22.95.For the most part survivors of the Holocaust have proved to be remarkably resilient. If they were young and physically fit,...
The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood
The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, by Rashid Khalidi. Boston: Beacon, 2006. 281 pp. $24.95.This is a bold book-perhaps even bolder than its author intends. While disclaiming to write a revisionist history as did the school...
The Jews of the United States
The Jews of the United States, by Hasia Diner. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. 437 pp. $29.95.If Hasia Diner's new synthesis of American Jewish history is occasioned, in part, by the 350th anniversary celebration of the establishment...
The Jezebel Letters: Religion and Politics in Ninth-Century Israel
The Jezebel Letters: Religion and Politics in Ninth-Century Israel, by Eleanor Ferris Beach. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005. 220 pp. $19.00.Eleanor Ferris Beach's new book about Jezebel, the ninth-century BCE Israelite queen, contributes to the growing...
The Trilling Files
The FBI dossier on Lionel Trilling discloses that the Bureau followed his activities intermittently for almost three decades. An active file was maintained on Trilling from the late 1930s to the mid-1960s. Most of these reports address Trilling's peripheral...
Transmitting Mishnah: The Shaping Influence of Oral Tradition
Transmitting Mishnah: The Shaping Influence of Oral Tradition, by Elizabeth Shanks Alexander. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 246 pp. $75.00.Transmitting Mishnah, based on Elizabeth Alexander's dissertation, focuses on the dynamics of rabbinic...
Uncertain Poetries: Selected Essays on Poets, Poetry, and Poetics
Uncertain Poetries: Selected Essays on Poets, Poetry, and Poetics, by Michael Heller. Cambridge, UK: Salt Publishing, 2005. 247 pp. $21.95.When poet and critic Michael Heller wrote his first book of prose, Conviction's Net of Branches: Essays on the...
Voices of the Diaspora: Jewish Women Writing in Contemporary Europe
Voices of the Diaspora: Jewish Women Writing in Contemporary Europe, edited by Thomas Nolden and Frances Malino. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2005.146 pp. $59.95 (c); $21.95 (p).This anthology offers a selection of contemporary...
Weimar in Exile: The Antifascist Emigration in Europe and America
Weimar in Exile: The Antifascist Emigration in Europe and America, by Jean-Michel Palmier, translated by David Fernbach. London and New York: Verso, 2006. 852 pp. $55.00.This is an extraordinary book: in its historical breadth, its command of literature,...

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