From the Editor
Epstein, Nadine, Moment
This issue marks the beginning of Moment's 35th anniversary year, an amazing feat for an independent non-profit publication. It's a testament to the vitality of American Jewish life! We will be celebrating all year to thank you for your time, feedback and support, both financial and moral. We're honored that Moment is part of your lives and inspiring dialogue between generations.
This is a big year for us in many ways. We have cutting edge journalism in the works, including our continuing series on Israel's Arab citizens. You'll find new features like our crossword puzzle on page 78 and cartoon caption contest on page 79. And because we know you love to laugh, we've whipped up a special "travel" Spicebox, the longest running section of the magazine, and we're introducing a humor section, "A Lighter Moment."
Despite all the world's troubles, this is a great time to be a Jew. For so many generations, our ancestors lived in fear: fear of death, fear of pogroms, fear of forced conversion, fear of discrimination, fear of losing their faith and culture. And here we are in America, a great democracy where tolerance and pluralism are core values, in an era that esteems Jewish thought and culture. We are blessed to be free to discover the wisdom of our traditions, the lessons of our history and what it means to be Jewish. We are blessed to be able to ask what I believe is one of the most critical contemporary questions: What can we as Jews bring to the world to make it a better place? This will be a theme of our 35th year.
I am not naive, but I am an optimist, and I can't help but take joy in progress and the good within humanity. Take the third story of our series about the New Eastern Europe: Budapest-based American writer Ruth Ellen Gruber takes us cafe hopping in Kazimierz, the Jewish district of Krakow, emptied by the murders of its inhabitants during the Holocaust. Gruber sips tea with old friends and new acquaintances who are part of Poland's remarkable revival of Jewish culture. How can one not be moved by the non-Jewish Poles who have embraced Jewish culture, committing themselves to its preservation by running festivals and saving Jewish historical sites?
We also profile Yuri Foreman, a 29-year-old born in Belarus, reared in Israel and living in Brooklyn who was crowned world junior middleweight boxing champion in November. Associate editor Boris Weintraub walks us through a bygone era when Jewish boxers were kings and bring us into the gym with Foreman to learn why the formerly secular boxer is studying to be a rabbi. Foreman's story is one more reminder of how dramatically the world has changed since Moment was founded in 1975 by Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fein: then the magazine documented the struggles of Jews shut behind the Iron Curtain. …