Tuesday, May 31

Suing Your Way to the Top

If you're neck-and-neck with the next kid to be #1 in the class, you used to take an extra AP or a tough summer school course to break ahead. Now you can just take him to court.
The New Yorker explains...

Monday, May 30

"Body & Soul"


Prepared by Dr. Caroline Peyser and an ATID Fellows Research Team, Body & Soul is an invaluable guide for Jewish educators and schools: spells out the basics of eating disorders and treatments in laymen's terms ("everything you need to know"); reviews current and notable school programs and policies; recommends specific policy changes; recommended resources; and provides a guide to Jewish sources on health, diet and self- care -- not as a replacement for treatment, but in recognition that a Jewish school must frame the issue as part of a larger campaign of Torah education.

Click here...

Sunday, May 29

Popping Pills

If you could replace hard work, study, or piano lessons with a simple pill, would you take it?
Click here...

Thursday, May 26

New on Daat

There have been lots of recent updates to the Daat website (if you don't know what that is--you should). See especially the new "Encyclopedia" section--or click here for a directory to all recent additions (lots of bagrut stuff).

Wednesday, May 25

Essays of R. Shalom Carmy: Online Library

ATID is proud to announce the appearance of an important, new web resource: Challenges and Issues in Modern Orthodox Education: An On-Line Library of R. Shalom Carmy's Essays, a downloadable collection of essential articles by one of our community's leading teachers and thinkers.

Rabbi Carmy's work provides important models for the thoughtful Modern Orthodox educator. We hope that you will discover insights and approaches which will aid your understanding of some of the more complex and subtle challenges facing Orthodox Jewish life, learning, and teaching. Grappling with Rabbi Carmy's treatment of these issues will enhance your teaching, both in the classroom and in counseling students.

Enter the library...

Tuesday, May 24

Tevya's Children

A new book, The Jewish Century, speculatively looks at the milkman's daughters as a metaphor for what became of 19th century Russian Jewry: secularists, nationalists, and socialists. Together they created the modern world ("the Modern Age is the Jewish Age"; "we are all, to varying degrees, Jews")...

NYRB reviews.

Sunday, May 22

Library Treasures

The Jewish Theological Seminary Library has a new online resouce: JTS Library Treasures (click here).
The site features some of the library's most outstanding holdings--illuminated manuscripts, genizah fragments from Maimonides and Judah Halevi, and others. When viewing the high quality images, try "flipping the pages" of the book or magnify the images (2X and
4X) in order to examine the finest details of each manuscript.

Speaking of the JTS Library...

Friday, May 20

The Making of "Making of a Godol"

You can't buy it in stores, and probably can't afford it on e-Bay, but thanks to Yashar Books' Open Access Project, the preface to The Making of a Godol is now online.

Click here for insight and discussion on: How should Orthodox Jews tell history? Should we be revealing all, even the failings of the righteous, or should we focus on repeating inspiring stories? Rabbi Nathan Kamenetsky discusses both sides of this issue in the foreword to his controversial book, The Making of a Godol.

Thursday, May 19

Herzl Museum

Theodore Herzl, a frustrated playwright, planned the movement he founded as a great operatic drama of which he was both director and star. Now he has a musuem which looks like a theater...

Herzl Museum inaugurated today in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, May 18

Statistics Are Like a Bathing Suit...

91.2% agree the State of Israel has intrinsic religious significance...
92.7% think it's a mitzvah to have friendly relations with all (i.e., even non-Orthodox) Jews...
Only 7.3% think women should not study Torah (even though 25.3% think they shouldn't study Talmud)...
Even 33.8% think women can be ordained as religious figures (just don't call her rabbi, please!).

It's the results of the Yeshiva College Commentator's survey to assess campus attitudes to religious, political, and social issues. Is it a bellwether for the future of American Modern Orthodoxy? Is it possible that the so-called "charedization" is exaggerated?
Read the story or download the stats.

But why didn't they ask if people believe in God this time?

Monday, May 16

Rav Aharon Review

The (Catholic) intellectual journal First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life just published a review essay on R. Aharon Lichtenstein's two-volume Leaves of Faith, which attempts an analysis of his role and contribution to the state of Modern Orthodoxy.
Click here...

Sunday, May 15

Yemei Iyun in Tanakh & Jewish Thought

ATID is proud to be a co-sponsor of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah's YEMEI IYUN IN TANAKH & JEWISH THOUGHT, June 26-28 in Teaneck, NJ.
It is the premiere professional development event for Jewish teachers in the New York area.
To download the brochure and registration info, click here...

Wednesday, May 11

Yom HaAtzmaut Meaning

"We have to know that the blessing and praise that we offer God for the State of Israel is, first and foremost, a blessing over Jewish sovereignty. At the time the State was established, there were Jews in the world who had nothing. Holocaust refugees, thousands who were left in Germany after the Holocaust, languished in camps. The countries of the world refused to open their gates. Each had established its own quota and would not budge. What would have happened to those Jews had the State of Israel not arisen? Imagine the hopelessness that would have been their lot. The State of Israel arose as a sanctification of God's name, following the terrible desecration of God's name in the Holocaust. We must ensure that the State of Israel continues to be a symbol of kiddush Hashem, that Israeli society will be one characterized by sanctification of the God's name - a society where justice and righteousness prevail."

Rav Yehuda Amital on the meaning of Yom HaAtzmaut (from Yeshivat Har Etzion's VBM). Click here...

Tuesday, May 10

Pop Culture & Homework

Is pop culture dumbing us down or smartening us up?
And what's it got to do with homework (see last paragraph)?

Monday, May 9

"Great Eagle" Online

For those who did not have the opportunity to see the Jewish National and University Library's exhibition The Great Eagle at the JNUL, presenting manuscripts and printed books by Maimonides, commemorating 800 years since his passing, can view the exhibition in digital format. This version presents all the images and text of the original (Hebrew and English) and in addition provides a "digital magnifying glass" for examining the images. Links are also provided to digital copies of the works in their entirety (in the Library's "Treasures of the Library: Writings of Maimonides" site).
The exhibit can be accessed in English (click here) or in Hebrew (click here).

Thursday, May 5

Sefirat HaHomer


Wednesday, May 4

Reconsidering Poland

The Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Education are considering far-reaching changes to the youth pilgrimages to Poland. The Foreign Ministry says that the programs' current format harms Israel-Poland relations and fosters alienation and hostility between Israelis and Poles. The Ministry of Education proposes an increase in encounters between young Israelis and Poles, but says the proposal has not yet received a satisfactory response from the Polish side...

Haaretz reports, but it makes us ask: What's the purpose of the trips to Poland in the first place?

Monday, May 2

New Age

Eretz Acheret covers "New Age" spiritualism, contemporary mysticism, etc., in its recent issue.